We learned from an early age that we have five senses. During our science classes we discovered them and I would venture to say we still know them by heart and use them on a daily basis.
- Sight – you use your eyes to view and interpret the world, for most people
- Smell –It provides a wealth of information to you, smoke, rotting material, and rain.
- Hearing – Listening to music or television, children laughing, and alarms from your pets.
- Touch –It lets you know if something is too hot or cold and the feel of a loved one’s skin.
- Taste – The taste buds allow you to savor the flavor of food or make your nose wrinkle.
There are 2 other senses that are stunted and ignored by most people, especially after becoming adults. They are just as important to your survival, both at work and home if you begin to utilize them. The first one can actually save your life or the life of someone else…if you listen to it.
- Gut instinct:
Also known colloquially as the 6th sense, most people including security professionals, especially at the field level, ignore as being paranoid or just plain stupid. It isn’t Bull Shit, déjà vu, or coincidence. Nor are you being paranoid or stupid.
Listening to your gut instinct can help keep you safe from innumerable misfortunes. From an assault, fraud, scams, people, not paying attention, falling material and storms. If you get that indistinct sensation in your stomach or back of your brain, listen to it. It is trying to tell you something, whether you perceive it externally or not.
You’ve heard the stories of people who suddenly turned around and jumped out of the way of a speeding truck or the metaphorical falling piano. You also have the stories where someone has suddenly made a startling move for them…and it worked to their benefit, financially, finding love at first sight, or saving their life.
Another term that is used to replace gut instinct by many people is situational awareness. This term may be more officious for use by military or law enforcement personnel, it certainly applies to anyone who has the tingling sensation in their guts that tells them something just isn’t quite right.
I’d wager that while wracking your brain trying to figure it out you didn’t come up with this one. Your imagination, or delusions (not drug, alcohol, or mental illness induced) as some may call them, is just as important as the physical senses you have. Why? Because it allows you to see different possibilities and a different way of seeing things in the world around you.
We are born with an imagination that could fill the universe, if we could have the brain power with it. It helps us think about things we would never think of otherwise. It allows us to visit distant planets and wonder about future inventions such as mini computers to take anywhere…think iPhones.
As we get older we are told by parents, teachers, and many others “Stop day dreaming and be an adult. You’re wasting your time…and ours!” So, we put aside the imagination into a corner of our minds until we dream.
Then when we wake up we forget about them because no one else wants to know that rubbish or delusions much less hear about them. Well I can tell you succinctly that the imagination is what pushes mankind forward, both for our benefit and detriment.
Sometimes it is for the greater good. People like Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. had a dream and tried to make his imagination become reality, unfortunately we’re still working on that one. Some are like Albert Einstein or Steve Jobs using their imagination to come up with possibilities that no one had ever thought believable…except in a sci-fi novel.
Others were destructive. Need examples? Adolf Hitler, Kim Jung Un, ISIS, white supremacists, communists, socialists, politicians and any number of groups that think they are better than everyone else, according to their ideology.
With both of these two, supposedly new, senses you have to develop them in order to be able to use them effectively. I know how hard it can be. After years, and literally decades, being told to “ignore that rubbish and be real “I decided I wanted it back. It was a long time in coming but being a confirmed realist, fatalist or pessimist as some call me, it was easy for the gut instinct.
The imagination didn’t come about until I could no longer use my eyes to tell me what abounded in the world. Therefore my imagination returned to the empty part of my brain to help perceive the world without sight. Not the way I wanted to do it but…you still have to cultivate it.
One way that people who are not in the creative arts, fiction writing, painting, sculpture, and even modern journalism. can do this is simple. Start writing. Sooner or later your imagination will take hold. It doesn’t matter what you write just start writing.
Eventually it will come to you, and your family, and the company you work for will be better off for it. Imagination is what drives man forward. Gut instinct is what keeps us safe even if we don’t outwardly perceive any threat.
Sow the seeds of imagination and cultivate it. We all have the capacity to do it, so get out there and create something. Gut instinct? Pay attention to that niggling feeling that tells you something is wrong, whether you perceive it with your other senses or not.
Robert D. Sollars assists businesses & schools to safeguard the lives of their employees & students to lessen their risk of violence as well as other security/customer service related issues with time tested and proven ideas. You can follow him on his website www.robertdsollars.com, twitter@robertsollars2, or by e-mail at email@example.com.
He is the author of 2 books on preventing violence in both schools and businesses:
Never to Grow-Up: Preventing Violence in our Schools
One is too Many: Recognizing & Preventing Workplace Violence
both available on Amazon. His upcoming book will be available in May, watch for more details on
Murder in the Classroom: A Practical Guide for Prevention
I May be Blind but my Vision is Crystal Clear
Permission to reprint? Of course, with these guidelines; the original content must be printed in full with original wording, with grammatical corrections, and full attribution.
Copyright 2018 Robert D. Sollars