Test Your Intuition

Test Intuition

So the brain-teaser written right there on that cyber-blackboard above is a problem that a professor of mine once gave to one of my business classes when I was in college.

He was trying to make the point that even though the business world is an arena that’s slaved largely to logical, left-brain ways of thinking — logic, math, linear stuff — there’s also still a place for more intuitive, “hunch”-style thinking, even on Wall Street.

This exercise, he said, will feel almost impenetrable if you try to tackle it using your logical left-brain circuits. Trying to “solve” it will be damn difficult, if not impossible.

If you come at it in a right-brained sort of way, though, leading with your intuitive faculties, then the answer might actually just sort of present itself…and when it does, it will make perfect sense. You’ll know that it works.

Are you ready for the answer?

The answer — the “right” answer, or at least the answer that my professor was looking for that day — is “S.”

Like this:

O

T

T

F

F

S

Why…?

Why is the answer “S”…?

Because this:

One

Two

Three

Four

Five

Six…

…so then another “S” for Seven, then “E” for Eight, and on and on and on and on.

What was your answer? How did you arrive at it — what was your thought process? And then in general, do you think that you rely on either your left-brain or your right-brain a lot more than you rely on the other one…?

—Steve Seinberg

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