Intuition has been defined as “the power of knowing from within,” a kind of wisdom that can guide us to safety or to lofty goals. A burst of intuitive thought can pop into our consciousness when we least expect it, but whenever it arrives, we are generally better off if we act on lt. Intuition is often associated with mysticism and psychic powers, and while certain people may have fine-tuned their intuitive skills by pursuing mystical or spiritual beliefs, it isn't necessary to be a mystic to be intuitive. Intuition isn't supernatural: it's as natural a sense as our other five, given to us for survival as a species. But while many people credit their success and happiness to abiding by an inner voice, intuition is often trivialized and even altogether discounted because it isn't rational. There is a certain school of thought, to which a number of renowned scientists subscribe, that if something cannot be proven empirically, it should be rejected. In all fairness to these so-called realists, it should be noted that efforts to find empirical evidence of intuition have been relatively unsuccessful. But if something cannot be physically measured, does it therefore cease to exist? There may be another explanation for the apparent lack of intuition in those who refuse to acknowledge it. Some research suggests that we may begin to lose our intuitive powers as children, around the age of seven, if our intuition is not encouraged or developed. Like a muscle, intuition becomes more powerful with use, but it atrophies with negligence and can be extinguished without proper care. It's imperative that we keep our minds open to that inner voice if we hope to reap the rewards that it can bestow.