Tag Archives: Malcolm Gladwell

I Almost Ate a Live Fly!

I was recording some training videos at a place of business and I wasn’t sure if I should take a break to get something to eat, or if I should keep on going until I was finished recording. On one hand I needed a refresher – it was almost 3:30 p.m. and I had not eaten anything for the day. But if I pushed past my hunger, I would finish sooner and get home sooner. I decided to get something to eat and walked to a nearby café.

For some reason, that day was filled with indecision. At the café, I couldn’t decide if I wanted the black bean burger or a salad. I decided on the salad. The pecan salad was made to order – spring mix greens topped with pecans, dried cranberries, apple slices and grated cheddar cheese. It looked so good!

As I started to eat the salad I immediately felt that the salad wasn’t clean. I inspected the greens and I couldn’t find anything specifically wrong. I ate cautiously, while reasoning that it was the crumbled pecan pieces that gave the appearance that the salad wasn’t clean. I sat on the outside patio on this unusually warm February afternoon. Instead of enjoying the scenery, I couldn’t take my eyes off the salad. I kept rummaging through it with the fork, inspecting every bite.

I was about three bites in when I noticed something black. At first I though that it was a cranberry. But it couldn’t be. It was black not maroon. I looked closer and saw the black thing making its way upward through the spring mix. Soon a big black fly emerged! I felt like I was going to vomit. Quickly I covered the bowl and stared at it in disbelief. There was a live fly in my salad!

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I sat for a moment so my queasiness could subside, then gathered up everything to take back to the café. The lady at the counter, who had prepared the salad, seemed more amused than apologetic. “I’m sorry about that ma’am,” she said emotionless as though the offence was forgetting to put napkins in my bag. “Look, there’s a fly in there,” she said to her coworker, “come see it. It’s right in there alive!” Then she added, “I didn’t even see any flies in here today.” Still a bit nauseous, I couldn’t stop staring at the lady. She soon stopped her chatter and proceed to make me another salad, to which I responded: “I’d just like a refund please.”

I headed back to the office hungry and grossed out – plus I had just lost about 20 minutes of time.

My intuition was right. The spring mix clearly wasn’t rinsed. Live flies don’t stick around for baths. Had I not been paying attention, I probably would have eaten that fly.

Intuition is the subconscious processing of information that informs our decision-making or actions. All of our thoughts impress upon our subconscious, which then directs most of our actions. So sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint the reason for our actions, when they are guided by our subconscious.

This is somewhat like instinct. Instinct is our primal response system to “fight, flight or freeze” when we’re in danger or feel threatened. When our instincts kick in, we often get a distinct feeling in our core know as a “gut feeling” that guides our response.

Evidence supports more and more why we should rely on our intuition and instincts. In my “Live Empowered” membership, I train on how to understand these two and make them work in our favor.

“We need to respect the fact that it is possible to know without knowing why we know and accept that – sometimes – we’re better off that way,” author Malcolm Gladwell said in is best-seller “Blink.”

This fly-in-my-salad incident is mild compared what my intuition has saved me from. How has your intuition spared you from some danger? Did you ever overthink your intuition and choose a logical option instead, only to find that your intuition was right?

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