I just started a book by Alan Fine called You Already Know How to Be Great. His hypothesis is that our conscious mind gets in our way, so one key to achieving higher performance (and helping others achieve higher performance) is removing the barriers in our own minds–that, in essence, out brain gets in its own way.
I obviously think there is something to that–otherwise I wouldn’t have picked up the book–but I’ll admit my bias in some ways runs opposite to his hypothesis. I tend to equate high performance with deep domain knowledge, long and useful experience, and reflection. I tend to worry that going by instinct, which is what this feels like, leads us to give into our own biases uncritically.
But, we’ll see. I’ll keep an open mind. I’m certainly sympathetic to notions that our subconscious mind have incredible pattern matching abilities. If Fine can teach us to better harness those abilities, that would be valuable.