About Bill Bennett

I am an Australian based producer and director of feature films and documentaries.

Intuition Insights – by Dr. Francesca McCartney

I met Dr. Francesca McCartney early in the making of my film on intuition: PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System.
Francesca is the Founder of the Academy of Intuition Medicine – perhaps the world’s foremost teaching institution of intuition. Francesca was not only interviewed in the film, she also assisted me greatly behind the scenes in connecting me with other key intuition practitioners.
Francesca was recently interviewed for a new book – Developing Informed Intuition for Decision Making, edited by Jay Leibowitz. Here is an excerpt from that book, featuring Francesca. It’s all about hunches!
Introduction
The idea of intuition is increasingly used in discussions about business management and decision-making, sometimes as if it were a new concept. But it is hardly so. A manager in the days before the Internet had little choice but to use intuition-the raw data simply was not accessible. Often, “a hunch” was all there was. Today, so much data is available that the inverse is true-in mere seconds, we can sum­mon enough data to support any decision we want to make-good or bad. Sorting through this flood of data makes the use of intuition more crucial than ever. Are we back to the idea of a hunch?
What is a hunch? Where does it come from, and how can we tell if a hunch is coming from intuition or false beliefs? Let’s ask an expert.
For the past 40 years, Francesca McCartney, PhD, has been researching and teaching the use of intuition in daily life and as a modality for medical healing. She has published several books, is a featured lecturer on the topic of intuition, and is the founder of three schools: the Academy of Intuition Medicine® founded in 1984; Energy Medicine University, founded 2006; and the Academy of Intuition Medicine® Online, founded in 2017.  
[Kirk Hurford] Dr. McCartney, I know this sounds simple, but to begin with, what is intuition?  
[Francesca McCartney]
That was exactly the question I asked in 1976, and I am continuing to explore and expand upon that topic. Recent research shows that humans have more than 21 senses. Most people assume that we operate with only the five common senses. That belief was given to us by Aristotle and is long overdue for a revision. Those over the five senses are accessed via intuition.
The Oxford Dictionary defines intuition as “the faculty of knowing as if by instinct, without conscious reasoning.” But what does that mean? It is the sense of knowing or perceiving something without knowing exactly how you know. How does this work? Can we develop this ability in ourselves for decision-making and more? Yes!
Humans are wired from birth to receive inner- and outer-world information signals, but too often we ignore or don’t trust our subtle intuitive perceptions. The world is constantly communicating with us and the secret is learning to pay attention.
We are so much more than our five common senses, and learning to listen to, trust, and act upon your intuition develops super-consciousness, and with practice, becomes the normal way you live in your body and operate in the world.
We experience intuition in many perfectly ordinary, everyday ways. Intuition is the sudden “Aha!” that seemingly comes from nowhere after wracking your brain for an analytical solution that refuses to come-the light bulb over your head. Intuition is the flash of insight that reveals where your lost keys are. Intuition is the picture of someone in your head just before they call on the phone or walk into your office. Intuition is that feeling in your gut when something is not right, or someone is lying. Intuition is that inner knowing, so often drowned out by other, more insistent noises, that warns or advises us, and to which we often say (after the fact), “If only I had listened …”  
[KH] Listened to what?  
[FM] Intuition has location signal points within your body. Intuition is a learned language of interpreting those signals-just as a child learns how to decipher signal language from sight, smell, sound, touch, and taste. Each of the five com­mon senses has a receptor location that delivers signals to the nervous system and the brain for decoding and informing. The language of intuition operates in the same way.
In business, and in life, operating with a wide perspective of information yields the best outcome in the decision-making process. Five points of perception is a lim­ited range of information and often is filtered through bias from conditioned data entry. An excellent starting place to stimulate stronger intuitive language signals is to listen to your first hit, go with your hunch, trust your gut feeling. The more you listen, trust, and follow through with your hits and hunches the stronger the sig­nal wiring in the nervous system becomes, whereupon your decisions are memory imprinted in your brain, which develops a cognitive intuitive language.  
[KH]
When we say cognitive bias, we’re referring to a personal perspective, right? How is this different from intuition?  
[FM]
Cognitive bias is a language of personal perspective that for the five-sense person is developed from a limited perspective of the five senses. Western-minded people lean toward using analysis and rote educational sources for deductive decision-making. This system of analytical decision-making does not recognize the larger menu of possible choices available with the expanded human sense of intuition, and therein is a limited decision-making process. Decisions made in a box rather than inspirational choices streaming from outside of the box-where intuition, inspira­tion, and invention operate.
Limited perception developed as a survival mechanism as our body is bom­barded by two million bits of information every minute. The common senses and analytical mind act as a filter. If we were unable to filter out most of these bits, we would go mad in one second. We use our filters-the purpose of which was to weed out information irrelevant to our species-for the task: to lock into those objectifi­cations alone which are in tune with cultural, informational, and survival purposes.  
To survive with a semblance of sanity, we need some sort of filters to pick out those events, interactions, or relationships that we want or need to focus on. This doesn’t mean that we should always keep filters in place or use them for purposes other than they were originally intended. Filters require intentional management. If properly handled, filters can both isolate the objects that we need to focus on and reveal their relationship with other objects and the whole. They can be both-like two sides of a coin.  
Intuitively sourced information does not pass through the same perceptual fil­ters that process analytical information. The sense of sight, for example, gathers five points of data through the rods and cones in the eyes, travels through a decoding filter in the optic nerve that chooses three of the five data points based on the most common memory-that is the memory pattern that has the most charge stored in the brain and delivers a composite image to the brain built on that three of five choice of repeated experience.
This creates visual image perception based on repeated data and most likely probabilities and excludes new data/new perception as a primary choice for decision-making. These filters become so internalized and automated that alternative perspectives, such as intuitive sensing, are not even rec­ognized. This mostly unconscious control mechanism obstructs the ability to think outside of the box, thus limiting new knowledge, inspiration, and the “quick hit.”
Historical and cultural contexts also influence perception and create bias. A Coke bottle dropped from an airplane into a society of bushmen in South Africa’s Kalahari Desert in the movie The Gods Must Be Crazy is seen as many things, but never as a container for carbonated beverages. It has been reported that some pre-Columbian Native Americans could not see the large sailing vessels of the first European explorers to approach their shores because they had no cultural prec­edent for such an event or object, and no appropriate words in their vocabulary to describe it. Thus, in their reality, such things simply did not exist. Even the “objec­tive” cognitive act of seeing in the material world requires a synergy of senses.
Genius is often described as highly creative, clever, and brilliant-characteris­tics of a person who has access to knowledge and data beyond the norm-which is a definition that also applies to intuition.  
[KH]
So, you’re saying intuitive information is from outside the box, and cognitive bias is an attempt to restrict information from inside the box?  
[FM]
In the broadest sense, yes. Information is more than just facts. Facts also have context. Context is a powerful influence on how we perceive facts. Context is what gives facts meaning. For example, you might be reading a story about animals on a farm and, at some point in events, you realize that there is a bigger story being told (Orwell, 1945). As the context changes, so does your perception of the facts. The pig is no longer a pig. Intuition allows for a richer context. Cognitive bias comes from a failure to perceive and appreciate the contextual information that comes from our extra-normal senses.

Dr. Francesca McCartney in PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System

 

Twins in the Womb

This delightful story was given to me by Natalie Ledwell (Mind Movies.)
She got it from Michael Koenigs.
I’m now giving it to you!

In a mother’s womb were two babies. One asked the other: 

“Do you believe in life after delivery?” 

The other replied, “Why, of course. There has to be something after delivery. Maybe we are here to prepare ourselves for what we will be later.”

“Nonsense” said the first. “There is no life after delivery. What kind of life would that be?”

The second said, “I don’t know, but there will be more light than here. Maybe we will walk with our legs and eat from our mouths. Maybe we will have other senses that we can’t understand now.”

The first replied, “That is absurd. Walking is impossible. And eating with our mouths? Ridiculous! The umbilical cord supplies nutrition and everything we need. But the umbilical cord is so short. Life after delivery is to be logically excluded.”

The second insisted, “Well I think there is something and maybe it’s different than it is here. Maybe we won’t need this physical cord anymore.”

The first replied, “Nonsense. And moreover if there is life, then why has no one has ever come back from there? Delivery is the end of life, and in the after-delivery there is nothing but darkness and silence and oblivion. It takes us nowhere.”

“Well, I don’t know,” said the second, “but certainly we will meet Mother and she will take care of us.”

The first replied “Mother? You actually believe in Mother? That’s laughable. If Mother exists then where is She now?”

The second said, “She is all around us. We are surrounded by her. We are of Her. It is in Her that we live. Without Her this world would not and could not exist.”

Said the first: “Well I don’t see Her, so it is only logical that She doesn’t exist.”

To which the second replied, “Sometimes, when you’re in silence and you focus and you really listen, you can perceive Her presence, and you can hear Her loving voice, calling down from above.

A talk on happiness ~

I don’t often post other people’s stuff here – not because I think anyone else’s opinions or thoughts are inherently inferior to mine, although there could be an element of that – (just kidding folks!) – it’s that there are plenty of opportunities to read other people’s stuff elsewhere.

However I came across this TED Talk on happiness, by Shawn Achor, a Harvard trained scientist and author of The Happiness Advantage and thought it was worth sharing.This particular TED Talk has been viewed nearly 20 million times, and I can see why – his views on working hard, achieving success and being happy are quite unconventional.

Here is a précised transcript of his talk – and here is the video link too –
Shawn Achor TED Talk on Happiness

TED Talk – Happiness

When I was seven years old and my sister was just five years old, we were playing on top of a bunk bed. I was two years older than my sister at the time — I mean, I’m two years older than her now — but at the time it meant she had to do everything that I wanted to do, and I wanted to play war. So we were up on top of our bunk beds. And on one side of the bunk bed, I had put out all of my G.I. Joe soldiers and weaponry. And on the other side were all my sister’s My Little Ponies ready for a cavalry charge. 

There are differing accounts of what actually happened that afternoon, but since my sister is not here with us today, let me tell you the true story — which is my sister’s a little on the clumsy side. Somehow, without any help or push from her older brother at all, Amy disappeared off of the top of the bunk bed and landed with this crash on the floor. I nervously peered over the side of the bed to see what had befallen my fallen sister and saw that she had landed painfully on her hands and knees on all fours on the ground. 

I was nervous because my parents had charged me with making sure that my sister and I played as safely and as quietly as possible. And seeing as how I had accidentally broken Amy’s arm just one week before — heroically pushing her out of the way of an oncoming imaginary sniper bullet,  for which I have yet to be thanked, I was trying as hard as I could — she didn’t even see it coming — I was trying hard to be on my best behavior. 

And I saw my sister’s face, this wail of pain and suffering and surprise threatening to erupt from her mouth and wake my parents from the long winter’s nap for which they had settled. So I did the only thing my frantic seven year-old brain could think to do to avert this tragedy. And if you have children, you’ve seen this hundreds of times. I said, “Amy, wait. Don’t cry. Did you see how you landed? No human lands on all fours like that. Amy, I think this means you’re a unicorn.” 

Now, that was cheating, because there was nothing she would want more than not to be Amy the hurt five year-old little sister, but Amy the special unicorn. Of course, this option was open to her brain at no point in the past. And you could see how my poor, manipulated sister faced conflict, as her little brain attempted to devote resources to feeling the pain and suffering and the surprise she just experienced at contemplating her new-found identity as a unicorn. And the latter won. 

Instead of crying or ceasing our play, instead of waking my parents, with all the negative consequences for me, a smile spread across her face and she scrambled back up onto the bunk bed with all the grace of a baby unicorn — 

What we stumbled across at this tender age of just five and seven — we had no idea at the time — was going be at the vanguard of a scientific revolution occurring two decades later in the way that we look at the human brain. We had stumbled across something called positive psychology, which is the reason I’m here today and the reason that I wake up every morning. 

The key to understanding the science of happiness is understanding the way your brain processes the world. What I’ve found is that only 25% of job successes are predicted by IQ, 75 percent of job successes are predicted by your optimism levels, your social support and your ability to see stress as a challenge instead of as a threat. 

For instance, the absence of disease is not health. Here’s how we get to health: We need to reverse the formula for happiness and success. 

Most companies and schools follow a formula for success, which is this: If I work harder, I’ll be more successful. And if I’m more successful, then I’ll be happier. That undergirds most of our parenting and managing styles, the way that we motivate our behavior. 

The problem is that it’s scientifically broken and backwards for two reasons. Every time your brain has a success, you just changed the goalpost of what success looked like. You got good grades, now you have to get better grades, you got into a good school and after you get into a better one, you got a good job, now you have to get a better job, you hit your sales target, we’re going to change it. And if happiness is on the opposite side of success, your brain never gets there. We’ve pushed happiness over the cognitive horizon, as a society. And that’s because we think we have to be successful, then we’ll be happier. 

But our brains work in the opposite order. If you can raise somebody’s level of positivity in the present, then their brain experiences what we now call a happiness advantage, which is your brain at positive performs significantly better than at negative, neutral or stressed. Your intelligence rises, your creativity rises, your energy levels rise. In fact, we’ve found that every single business outcome improves. Your brain at positive is 31% more productive than your brain at negative, neutral or stressed. You’re 37% better at sales. Doctors are 19 percent faster, more accurate at coming up with the correct diagnosis when positive instead of negative, neutral or stressed. 

Which means we can reverse the formula. If we can find a way of becoming positive in the present, then our brains work even more successfully as we’re able to work harder, faster and more intelligently. We need to be able to reverse this formula so we can start to see what our brains are actually capable of. Because dopamine, which floods into your system when you’re positive, has two functions. Not only does it make you happier, it turns on all of the learning centers in your brain allowing you to adapt to the world in a different way. 

We’ve found there are ways that you can train your brain to be able to become more positive. In just a two-minute span of time done for 21 days in a row, we can actually rewire your brain, allowing your brain to actually work more optimistically and more successfully. We’ve done these things in research now in every company that I’ve worked with, getting them to write down three new things that they’re grateful for for 21 days in a row, three new things each day. And at the end of that, their brain starts to retain a pattern of scanning the world not for the negative, but for the positive first. 

Journaling about one positive experience you’ve had over the past 24 hours allows your brain to relive it. Exercise teaches your brain that your behavior matters. We find that meditation allows your brain to get over the cultural ADHD that we’ve been creating by trying to do multiple tasks at once and allows our brains to focus on the task at hand. And finally, random acts of kindness are conscious acts of kindness. We get people, when they open up their inbox, to write one positive email praising or thanking somebody in their support network. 

And by doing these activities and by training your brain just like we train our bodies, what we’ve found is we can reverse the formula for happiness and success, and in doing so, not only create ripples of positivity, but a real revolution. 

The lies we tell ~

I called my accountant the other day.

The call went through to the office reception desk, and I asked to speak to him.

The receptionist, a sweet lady, said: Hold on, I’ll see if he’s in.

It occurred to me – that’s a lie.

I know how that office works, I know the physical layout – I know that the receptionist would know for certain whether he’s in or not.

She knew he was in.
She lied.

She didn’t want to say to me: Hold on, I’ll check to see if he wants to talk to you.

That would have been too confronting. So she lied instead, so that I wouldn’t be offended if my accountant didn’t want to talk to me.

We accept these lies.
We understand that lying is an accepted form of social discourse and interplay.

Another lie we accept, when meeting a friend: Oh, you look great.

When actually, you are shocked at how old / haggard / fat / rundown / stressed out / unattractive they look.

A little lie is better than saying: Jesus, you been hit by a truck?

What’s the difference between a little lie and a big lie?
Dare I say it, a Trumpian lie?

We lie all the time.
Even those of us who value truth above all else.
Moreover, we accept that people lie to us.

Could we ever live in a world which lives by:
You want the truth? You can’t handle the truth.

Wouldn’t it be good if we were that strong…

Intuition for kids ~

I just wanted to pass onto you a message I got overnight from someone who’d seen my film PGS – Intuition is your Personal Guidance System. 

I just wanted to compliment you on producing a beautifully executed movie on what is an elusive subject for many. I have three children (Freshman, Junior & Senior) that all attend separate private schools in the suburbs of Philadelphia and I sent each head of school a screen shot of the movie asking them to show it to the juniors and senior. Of course I think every kid (and adult) should watch no matter what their age. Anyway I REALLY think you all should promote this movie to schools. Again well done!

It’s interesting because when I made the movie, I thought it would really only appeal to an older audience – but from the screenings we’ve had I’ve been surprised at how strongly it resonates with millennials, and even younger.

It would be great to get the movie into schools. If you have any ideas on how we best to that, please contact me at: billpgsblog@gmail.com

If you haven’t seen the film, here’s a link:
www.pgsthemovie

And you should check out the book:
Amazon link to PGS the Book

Oscars – not quite the seismic shift ~

Well, this year’s Oscars wasn’t quite the seismic shift I – and a lot of others too – were hoping for.

Roma missed out on Best Picture – the largely staid, conservative, white, male, Academy voters just couldn’t bring themselves to give the big gong to a black and white foreign language film made by a Mexican about Mexicans.

Mind you, producer/director.writer/cinematographer/editor Alfonso Cuaron – who is entitled to call himself an auteur – came away with some impressive hardware – three Oscars; for Best Director, Best Cinematographer, and Best Foreign Language Film.

So how did I go with my predictions?
Not as good as in previous years.
But not bad either.

You decide –

Best Picture
Roma
NUP – GREEN BOOK

Best Director
Alfonso Cuaron
Roma
YEP

Best Actor
Rami Malek
Bohemian Rhapsody
YEP

Best Actress
Glenn Close
The Wife
NUP – OLIVIA COLMAN, THE FAVOURITE

Best Supporting Actor
Mahershala Ali
The Green Book
YEP

Best Supporting Actress
Marina de Tavira
Roma
NUP – REGINA KING, IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK

Best Documentary
Hale County This Morning
NUP – FREE SOLO

Original Screenplay
Green Book
YEP

Adapted Screenplay
Can You Ever Forgive Me?
NUP – BLACKKKLANSMAN

Foreign Language Film
Roma
YEP

Cinematography
Roma
YEP

Film Editing
Bohemian Rhapsody
YEP

Production Design
Black Panther
YEP

Visual Effects
Avengers: Infinity Wars
NUP – FIRST MAN

Original Score
If Beale Street Could Talk
NUP – BLACK PANTHER

Original Song
A Star is Born
YEP

Sound Mixing
Bohemian Rhapsody
YEP

Sound Editing
Bohemian Rhapsody
YEP

Costume Design
The Favourite
NUP – BLACK PANTHER

Makeup & Hair
Vice
YEP

Animated Feature
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
YEP

So of the 21 I called, I got 13.
Pretty pathetic if you ask me…