UNITED STATES—We have all heard of the saying “go with your gut instinct,” but precisely what does that mean? Is that a feeling, is it a hunch or is it a premonition? I would say it’s possible it’s all of these things. So why is it that so many people don’t go with that gut feeling? I think we live in a world where we’d like to tell ourselves we know what we’re doing, even if we have a hunch that it may not be the correct choice.

Many of us tend to listen to that instinct others might have about a person or a situation, but we want to one-up them by making our own decisions. Not always a good idea. This slight uproar came from a recent outing at the casino. I wasn’t really in the mood to go out, but I went anyway with a few family members. As soon as I sat down to play a few slots, I just got that eerie feeling that luck was not going to be on my side.

Did I have people in my ear saying think positive? Absolutely! Did I have people telling me if I focused my energy on the positive I would hit big? Yep! But it didn’t matter; I had that feeling telling me it wasn’t my time, so after about losing 15-20 minutes I just stopped. I cut my losses and moved along. I knew that this particular day was not going to be my lucky day at the casino. That is the thing about gambling; it’s a game of luck and one never knows when that luck will hit gold.

So many people lose tons of money hitting the casino or playing the lottery because sometimes they have a ‘gut instinct’ that tells them things will be in their favor, other times they have a ‘gut instinct’ that tells them otherwise. Could it be possible that our gut instinct steers us towards not only a bad outcome, but also a good outcome?

Yes, but I’m not sure if I would call that a gut instinct. If you’re taking a test, a lot of the times if you don’t know the answer going with your gut instinct works in your favor. That is not always the case in other situations in life. I know people in the workforce who can have a hunch about certain applicants, but instead of going with that gut feeling or that voice of a colleague that echoes something is slightly off about someone else, they do otherwise. What happens? It tends to bite them in the butt time and time again, yet, they still repeat past mistakes over and over.

If a past mistake continues to be repeated more than once, that is a sign that whatever you’re doing, or whatever instinct you’re trusting should not be trusted because the path that you are being led on is not bringing any joy, its bringing misery. As Americans, I honestly do not believe we can decipher from a good hunch when it involves chance or luck, but when it comes to a bad hunch I think we already know before things even transpire.

It similar to that notion that if it sounds too good to be true, than it probably is. Someone would call that feeling a hunch, and if that hunch leads you to not take the chance or risk so be it. We might not be able to control everything that transpires in our lives, but there are many things we can control, sometimes we just have to open our eyes and see the bigger picture.