The Impact Of Happiness With Amy Nguyen And Intuitive Decision-Making With Paul O’Brien

They say that happiness is not about what you achieved in life but what you’ve overcome. Career Happiness Coach and Founder of Happiness Infinity LLC, Amy Nguyen, teaches us about taking charge of happiness within ourselves that is backed with brain-based training. Sharing how she did it herself, Amy goes deeper in her upbringing that made her pursue her career of helping women be highly motivated in the pursuit of happiness.

Visionary entrepreneur, Paul O’Brien talks about intuitive decision-making. Inspired from the sourcebook for Taoist wisdom, I Ching, Paul shares the importance of timing and harmony to relationships and how this relates to intuitive intelligence to businesses and organizations. With that, he lets us in on his book, Intuitive Intelligence, and how we can make life-changing decisions with perfect timing.

TTL 630 | Intuitive Decision-Making


I’m glad you joined us because we have Amy Nguyen and Paul O’Brien here. Amy is the Founder of Happiness Infinity and Paul is the author of Intuitive Intelligence. We’re going to get into some brain-based thinking here. It’s going to be fascinating.

Listen to the podcast here

The Impact Of Happiness With Amy Nguyen

I am here with Amy Nguyen who is the Founder of Happiness Infinity LLC, a career happiness coaching service company in the US. She is trained as a Brain-Based Coach by the NeuroLeadership Institute and she is an official member of the Forbes Coaches Council where I met her. It’s so nice to have you here Amy, welcome.

Thanks, Diane.

This is going to be fun because I love anything to deal with Brain-Based Research Coaching, NeuroLeadership and all the stuff that you talk about and happiness. I’ve had some happiness experts on the show Michelle Gielan and others. Happiness is something that is getting a lot more attention because we’ve got a lot of people who aren’t engaged at work and there are so many issues. I want to have a little background on you, how did you get interested in this? Can you give me your little backstory there?

I deliver happiness workshops for organizations and this is a huge passion for me and my mission is to bring more happiness to all humanity. My husband and I have a close and we have a long story together. When I was small, I had every reason to be unhappy. I was born in a poor and broken family, my dad left us to go to Germany and he had his old family there, so he abandoned me, my sister and my mother. I stayed with my grandma, my mom and my sister. We lived in a house that has rain coming in whenever it was a rainy season because the roof was made out of these dried palm tree leaves. We lived in a neighborhood that was rampant with drugs and all things like that. The school that I went to had a lot of bullies and after I went back from school my routine was different from any other children’s typical routine. I would find myself fetching a dozen bottles of beers under the roasting sunlight from a store about 20 minutes away by walking back to my grandma’s convenience store in the small village, in Hanoi. At the other time, someone would find me working on her accounting book that was full of numbers and names and dates and they match people owed her in a store. I had every reason to be unhappy but I grew up and I turned out to be fine.

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I turned out to be a happy and positive person based on my friends, family members, ex-colleagues, colleagues and clients. They came to me and told me, “You’re so motivating. Your happiness and positivity are so contagious.” I was curious about your Curiosity Code. I need to read a book right soon, Diane. From back to that I was so curious, what was making my own happiness? When I wanted to work, I dealt with everything from unhappiness to happiness, so I investigated complains and grievances and then I was also in charge of employee happiness with the eCommerce companies in South East Asia. I was able to improve happiness a lot and that impacted the business results as well in a good way. I do always search for happiness in eCommerce but I was not totally satisfied. When I went around the world, I brought the same question with me. When I was in Kenya a couple of years ago, we went to the South Valley and then we went to a village nearby and I found out that the people there lived a simple life, the house was small, it was made out of the soil. It was small and tiny that I, a petite-sized, had to crouch down to come inside the house and there was nothing. It’s only a small window, a small bed and then a few kitchen cutlery, that’s it. These people were so proud of themselves, they showed us how they made fire out of stone and there were happy and content and I was wondering, “What’s going on here?”

A few years ago, I went to India, I went to slums and I spent a few hours there. Opposite to my expectation, the people in the slums, from the children to the adults to the old people, they were radiant. They smiled at me, they laugh at each other, and they gather with each other and share stories. These people did not show any signs of poverty at all. Why is that? When I went to Cuba a couple of years ago, a similar story happened. The people there were open and they live a basic life. I had a hard time finding fresh milk for my daughter. We went to many kinds of supermarkets but it was not there until we went to a fine restaurant but the people there were kind. Some train men bought me some juice and women who worked in charge of the store gave me the food with all the warmth she had like my grandma. I was wondering, “What makes these people happy?” Throughout my life, with my own personal experience with my challenging experiences with my professional experiences, happiness is an essential thing of my life, it motivated me. To me, I have seen firsthand how happiness and positivity helped me to transform my life and bring me to where I am now. On the contrary, I see a lot of people suffering out there. They stay where they are and they’re stuck where they are. They have no clues about how to up-level their life, especially their careers.

I’m passionate about this area once you bring more of that to the world. I always feel so satisfied with what makes happiness happen. When I learned more about neuroscience, I was trained on Brain-Based Coaching by the NeuroLeadership Institute headquarters in New York. That’s a short story. With my work coaching women especially mothers to find out what their right next step in their career, I find that happiness is culture. It has to be an excuse there. Schools teach it at school but we are not taught in school. It’s all leftover at the workplace and even in the workplace some of them get up and some of them not. It’s based on that we need to study and have people. That’s the story with happiness.

That’s interesting and what I find in that story is people you expect may not be happy and the people who you think have everything aren’t. How do you help them?

I do have a well-structured program, it is a process but the first thing is to help them understand exactly what happiness is because different people have different recognition. Even before the study of happiness is where they’re different. Sometimes it is misunderstood. Setting them on the right foundation on what is happiness is important and I help them with creating before we go on to the career part. I have to help them build the foundation of happiness by having the knowledge and by creating some foundation or anchors of happiness. That includes their life vision, who they want to become and also help them build up certain powerful habits along the way. The career reinvention or core pivot process that meets a certain level of happiness to make sure it is effective enough for the person to make the right move.

Once we’re done with that happiness quotation, we move on to the career part where I had my clients to kneel down into that so-called career happiness infinity zone. What that zone includes is, one, the life purpose. We as human beings rarely expect this question. I was asked this question when I was 30 years old and I had no clue, but now I’m clear. That’s the first thing. The other one is the value that is carried with us. A lot of us have fitted compounds that carry out your life that articulating the value is important so that we can be more aware and use them more in our daily lives as well. The third pillar of that zone is a unique talent. Each of us is built with certain and unique gifts that only we possess.

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Most of the people don’t understand what exactly their talents are. They’re like, “I’m good at writing or good at public speaking.” Those things are not talent, they’re activities that they are good at. Having that knowledge of exactly what their talents are is super important to their career happiness. The fourth pillar of the zone is passion. It’s found on passion and tolerance but sometimes they are not. Having those four elements understood exactly and accurately. I would have them map out the zone that they should be in. Once they know the zone, we will walk through and pick options within the zone. The exact option will depend on the life stage or other variables of that moment for certain people.

For example, my clients, some of them would look at the zone and they will pick options as a lawyer or are still working in the finance industry as a financial expert or data analyst, those options along the line. We would keep deep-diving into each of the options with my tool and then we narrowed it down and then she finally said, “I do go on with the financial industry. The only thing is I need to find out another company whose values align with mine as well.” Sometimes people think, “I’m meant for some other thing.” Some twists are surprising that the one that they had been working in is fodder for something was not right. The result would be different for different people.

One of my clients, she’s also from the financial industry but she’s moving towards coaching, my own job as well. Some are moving from vaccinations to nutrition to the static ground but still having that zone new that is important. Nowadays, an average person would need to have 5 to 6 career changes in their life with technology, information, all of those factors. Having that skill, core people is so important because you don’t do it one time you do it a few times. Having the right structure in place for the first time you people work would be kosher for your next move as well.

A lot of that ties into the research I do with curiosity to discover different things that you’re good at. I love that we have that crossover. I know you have two kids and we’re talking about this. I have two daughters but they’re grown and anybody who’s got kids knows that they’re completely different right from the beginning. They have different things that make them happy or not happy right off the bat. How much of this can we change with training? We are born with certain personalities. I’m curious what makes you focus on children because I know you do children’s fiction and all this stuff and you work with women and mothers. What put you in that direction?

When I was small, I had a big dream to become a writer. I’m a writer of fiction that changes lives. That was the first idea in my mind when I thought of a career when I was 7 or 8 years old. When I grew up I did something different, I was a teacher for several years and now I am a career coach but usually, it’s all the same thing. The same with changing people’s lives but you can use different tools to achieve that same goal. Even with coaching, I’m changing people’s lives for the better but still have the opportunity to write a lot. I write for blogs, Thrive Global, Business Insider and on the side I also do I write children’s fiction and I’m working on my draft.

The reason why I choose to do so is that it’s interesting. One day where we moved here, I decided that I would like to enter a children’s fiction competition and I talked about that with my son. He gave me the first line and with his first line that’s how I started the book. I did not plan to write children’s fiction in the first place. I want to write a book, a fiction book that is. As soon as he gets me that big idea and they’re like, “I read tons of children’s fiction.” We discussed the ideas over on the dinner tables, on the bed and I was in the zone as well as much as I was in coaching. What I wanted to convey to the stories that it is fiction is fantasy but at the same time, I want to convey certain values with the book as well, the values about the challenge in finding your zone. Even at a young age, you can embrace your talent and not living by other’s citations or enforcement. It’s so important for us to live an authentic and fulfilled life. I want to convey that to the children, but I want to say that in a personal way because at the end of the day still, it’s still fiction. I started reading Harry Potter and that is among my models for the book I’m writing.

It’s interesting to look at how people can write different things. You’re saying you’re interested in the family, the kids, the fiction aspects but a lot of it is based on their foundational training you’ve had at the NeuroLeadership Institute and it all ties back in. Tell me what you learned at that Brain-Based training that you went through? What is the NeuroLeadership Institute exactly? What did they teach you there?

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When I started out, I’ve got a recommendation from my ex-colleague. He was the head of Color Management, he was my peer and he said “I think you may be a good coach. You should attend the training that I had gone through. It’s fantastic and the trainer is great.” I did not research a lot and I went ahead with the training. I trusted him so much. I thought I would never regret it because I know that there are a lot of coaching programs out there. This particular program, it’s based on the research of neuroscience and with a lot of work in the field and we still have a lot of things to discover, but it is cutting edge. Understanding about how the brain works, it’s so powerful. Once I understand more about how the brain works, I also apply it to my clients and I apply to my own self, my life and the way I teach my children and it has brought me amazing results. Yes. I embraced methodologies and they’re always my favorite. Another thing is when they taught me, we did not go into a lot of theoretical stuff, it’s an applicable level. That’s what I love about it. We don’t need to know a deep theory but it would apply certain principles and apply rigidly then we would be widely successful.

A lot of what you’re studying was similar to what I studied when I wrote about my dissertation on emotional intelligence. Some of the stuff I worked on in curiosity and all the different areas and the perception I’m researching on that. All this is tied together. What makes people not only happy but having empathy is such a huge part of getting along in the world and you try to get out your message not to companies but to mothers. A lot of people are trying to pursue a career but they’re trying to work with their happiness but they’re afraid they don’t have time for the kids and they don’t feel there’s enough time. Do you deal with that?

That’s a common choice, so a lot of mothers who come to me and as a mother, there are many pressures, many demands in life. We are often faced with a lot of guilt, so then having them navigate our life, it’s an important setting that party. People come to me and one of the top priorities is their career, they come from anywhere. We also work to the two parties in life. It’s part of the program, I sometimes check in to see how it’s going on so that had some, “Do you have a lot of focus?” Instead of feeling overwhelmed, guilty and anxious, they feel focused and they become productive at the same time. If you’re looking for some come to sit in productivity through the ideas for myself, set my life and then set the life, serving happiness productivity and meaning is the package and resolve that I give to my client.

You have a lot of people who follow you. I know you have a Mother’s 4.0 Diary Facebook page. What other things do you have in the process? Are you continuing on the happiness path are you working more with companies or individuals or families? What’s your main focus?

I did change the name of the diary page to Diary of Happier Mom Brain. I changed it because I was invited to be a panelist for a Mom Brain event and that made me think, “Let me change.” I decided to change the name of the Diary page as a Facebook page. My ambition for that is not business-related because for me it’s the purpose of bringing happiness to the planet. That is where I share how I use and apply to the Brain-Based happiness principles in my own life. It covers the key areas in the mother’s life on career, parenting, relationship and dealing with the work. I believe that bringing that essential knowledge and also how it works in real life too as many as possible is important to me online. In the future, I plan to write a book based on the context late because I believe that if people don’t accept me and to work with me on the one on one program, I still want them to have certain benefits of the affordable by point. The book is one of the options and I hope it should inspire a lot more people through that Diary page.

She lived a more fulfilled and happy life. They didn’t know that. They need somebody to guide them and some of these show them that, “This is not a theory.” There’s a lot of news websites, anchors, and blogs that talked about how to be happy, how could you positive. It’s everywhere, rampant and repeated. What I share here is more about my own story, how I struggled to hotwire my own brain happiness because sometimes we are in our negativity by a cycle. It’s hard to get out of it and I trained myself. I want to tell people, “If you do train yourself every day with this process, you are building up your mental muscle to live a better life. When you spread the challenges along the way, you also bring happiness to people around you. I want happiness to be a cycle. It’s by reaching from people to people.

When you say that I got the name for your next book, I was thinking of Mental Muscle Memory? You’re going to like that.

I’d love to catch base with you on that. That’s an amazing achievement.

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Intuitive Decision-Making: It’s crazy that we’re putting pressure on the younger generation to make decisions that they’re not qualified to make.


I was thinking as you’re saying that it would be catchy at least for a blog title on something about you. It is a mental muscle memory thing that we’re doing. As you learn, develop and get used to new habits that your body gets used to it. It’s similar to bad habits, you’ve got to work on the positive one. A lot of people are probably finding this fascinating and they want to know more about you and how to reach you. I was wondering if you could share any websites. We talked about your Facebook page. Is there anything else you’d to share for people?

My website is My Facebook page where I share my story on a weekly basis every Friday, is named Diary of a Happier Mom Brain and I’m at LinkedIn by the name Amy Tu Nguyen. I’m on Instagram too it’s the same, it’s Diary of a Happier Mom Brain. I do share some random photos with some ideals of happiness there so if people want to find some information so if people want to find some inspiration or learning more about happiness that works in real life, they can cite some photos and some discussions there on my Instagram page as well.

I know you and I will continue to see all our stuff together. We do so much work with the Forbes Coaches Council and it was so nice of you to do this show. It was fun to learn about what you’re working on. You made me happy. Thank you.

Thank you for the opportunity. It’s so great to talk to you finally after everything, your amazing website and amazing achievement on LinkedIn, with the book launch. I would need to read your book. I would need to learn about your absolute program as well. I am used to aligning my work. I would love to read about it and then you spread the word with people as well.

Thank you, I appreciate that and this was fun.

Intuitive Decision-Making With Paul O’Brien

I am here with Paul O’Brien who is a visionary entrepreneur who invented a new category of software in 1989 that evolved to become the world’s largest astrology and divination websites. He’s the author of Intuitive Intelligence. I’m excited to have you here, welcome Paul.

Thank you so much Diane, it’s a pleasure to be here.

I am interested in what you’re doing because I study different types of intelligence. I wrote my dissertation on emotional intelligence, I wrote a book about curiosity. Everything you do fascinates me because you’re talking about creativity, things that fascinate you, and you’re talking about this intuitive decision-making that’s the thing that I love to talk about with organizations. I want to get a little background on you before we talk about how you define intuitive intelligence and tell me a little bit how you got to this point.

It all started when I was young and I was introduced to The I Ching, which is an ancient Chinese Divination System also known as The Book of Changes, it’s the oldest book in the world. I was introduced to it at the age of nineteen when I was studying martial arts and I was curious about Chinese philosophy. There goes that word curious. I have a lot of resonance with the word curious and there’s quite a bit in my book about that, about self-discovery through the exercise of curiosity so, you and I have got some nice overlap. I was introduced to The I Ching at age nineteen and then I was introduced to the phenomenon of software when I was 23 and that was a computer center in Eugene, Oregon where they had a computer that would take up this whole room and it was called a mini-computer. It cost $150,000.

What year was this?

This was in 1974 and this is a few years before Apple even existed. This computer took up a whole room and it had less power than my iPhone does but we would go there. My friend was a programmer there and we would go there at night and we would play a game on this computer. A game that was written by MIT and transmitted to this research institute using the ARPANET which was the original internet and we play this game and I was enthralled. Talk about curiosity, I was fascinated. I was fascinated by the premise and promise of software. The whole idea that somebody could write some code that could deliver an immersive experience. I didn’t care about gaming that much. I’ve never been much of a gamer. It was a phenomenon of software inspired me and so I did everything I could to get a job there and I was a college dropout. I couldn’t get any scholarship money. I had scholarships but I couldn’t get any money because the state of California said my dad made too much and my dad didn’t agree. I was a college dropout and I got a job there as a secretary.

My career in software started out as a secretary at a computer center. I went from there within several years I was a VP of marketing for a high-tech company and I used The I Ching the whole time. What is divination good for? It’s a way to stimulate your intuition to think outside the box around problems that logic can’t handle. Life is full of problems like that, big decisions that we need to make, relationship issues, negotiating strategies, and timing issues. The I Ching was written for the emperor of China 3,000 years ago and the Emperors and the military leaders and they were trying to get some insight into the best timing, it’s all about timing and I have found it to be a tool that improves your intuition if you use it in a serious way. When I first discovered The I Ching, I made fun of it and lo and behold it came back with the Hexagram 4 which is entitled Youthful Folly, the student lacks respect for the teacher. It was making fun of me. I tried it again I said, “Let me see this thing.” Then I was testing it and it came back and with some text that said, “Questioning the sincerity of the seeker.” It was testing me and I said, “What the heck is going on here?” That’s when I got hooked and I studied it from age nineteen and I used it for every major decision in my adult life since.

I was at work as a VP of marketing for a high-tech company, I was making a lot of money, and this is the late ‘80s. I had a secure career path. I was doing great but I was unhappy. It was a dysfunctional environment, the office politics were horrible and the whole thing was so sterile. I wasn’t in love with high-tech, I was in love with the promise of multimedia. CD-ROMs didn’t even exist until ‘93 or ’94. That was what inspired me about software in 1974. I was having visions of multimedia many years before CD-ROMs existed. We’re going to use this for education, we’re going to use this for spiritual stuff. In 1988, I was the VP of marketing and I was finding myself taking The I Ching to work in order to get through the day without going crazy because it would help me calm down and it would help me realize that there’s the time to assert yourself but there’s also a time to do nothing and let the dark clouds pass.

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I want to ask you a question on that real quick. There are a lot of people who aren’t sure what The I Ching is and that’s the Book of Changes. Maybe a little definition of what that is might give us a little background.

It’s the oldest book in the world. It’s the sourcebook for Taoist wisdom. It’s the sourcebook for the whole Yin-Yang system that lies behind martial arts, Chinese medicine and Feng Shui. It’s considered the oldest book in the world but it’s more than that, it’s a divination system. You cast coins around something that’s on your mind, a dilemma or a problem that you can’t figure out with logic. You look up the chapter in the book that is indicated by the pattern that the coins produced based on the synchronicity principle which is what Carl Jung defined it. There’s a whole chapter in my book Intuitive Intelligence on how divination works and how the synchronicity principle what that’s all about. The synchronicity principle simply states that “Things are related in time as well as in space.”

In science, everything that matters is related to action, reaction, etc., but we don’t take timing into consideration at all. If you do the controlled experiment on Tuesday afternoon and you do that same controlled experiment on Friday morning it’s supposed to come out exactly the same it doesn’t matter about the timing of it. We’re trying to answer a black-and-white left-brain question which is what are things made of and science has done a great job of figuring that out in many cases and then recombining things and coming up with new inventions, technologies, and drugs through the scientific method. That’s fantastic but that doesn’t work so well for relationships, communication strategies, and timing issues. The ancient sages they cared a lot about how things want to go together in time. They cared about the timing of the campaign. The timing of this heart-to-heart talk that you need to have with your rebellious teenage child, the timing of some ritual or some significant cultural event like a marriage or whatever. They were concerned with the timing of things because they saw the bigger picture. They were interested in the fabric of society and they were interested in harmony. They had a philosophy that was all about harmony with nature.

We’ve lost that we basically have a philosophy that wants to commandeer nature and manipulate it in order to create products. That’s The I Ching ancient book, it’s a divination system, it’s a way to stimulate your intuition. It’s not fortune-telling. You don’t have to believe in anything, it’s similar to Tarot cards. Tarot cards are another system of divination, the 78 cards each card represents an archetype and in The I Ching you have 64 chapters. Youthful Folly is one of the archetypes. They’re not all warm and fuzzy. These are not angel cards. These are not a made-up card system. A lot of the cards are rather dark or foreboding but they’re all inside of us. We have all 78 archetypes inside of us. That’s the definition of an archetype which was also defined by Carl Jung. I’m a big fan of Carl Jung.

In the first third of the book, layman’s terms define some of his more esoteric concepts synchronicity and archetypes and the collective unconscious which I call infinite intelligence. That’s where all good ideas come from. We can channel infinite intelligence if we have good intuition and intuitive intelligence. It begs the question, what is intuitive intelligence? I define it simply as a higher form of intelligence because it transcends the linearity of logic and it takes in the big picture. Intuitive intelligence is the ability to access your intuitive sense when you need it the most. When you need it the most it’s the hardest to get. It’s a loan from the bank.

When you talk about Carl Jung, I’m curious about what you think of how Myers-Briggs work and the MBTI that came from that. What’s your type if you know it?

TTL 630 | Intuitive Decision-Making
Intuitive Intelligence: Make Life-Changing Decisions with Perfect Timing

I’m an ENFP and I feel that that describes me well and that’s an intuitive feeling type. My story and the story in the book it’s the most unlikely business success story ever because I left a high paying secure career in order to pursue meaning. I left money for meaning and my dream was, “If could make a living at this, I would be so happy.” That was my dream of creative freedom, it was modest. I never did I imagine that I was going to become a multimillionaire out of it. I wasn’t money motivated. I had no exit strategy. I never imagined that I Ching software was going to lead to anything. That’s what happened, I was this VP using the I Ching at work and I thought, “I wish I could do this on my Macintosh.”

We were an early Macintosh company and that’s a graphical interface, I thought, “Maybe, I could put sound and art in there and create what I called ritual space.” I was fascinated. I followed my fascinations that had gone back several years, my fascination with The I Ching and the potential of software to produce experience and I found an intersection between the two and it inspired me. I said, “I’ve got to do this.” I took my life savings which weren’t that great and I hired a programmer and an artist and I created what turned out to be one of the first multimedia titles which were an interactive version of casting the I Ching.

In the process I had to write my own version of The I Ching, I was trained as a writer in school and I had studied The I Ching for many years at that point. I was a labor of love and then when I got it done I thought, “This thing works. This is satisfying. This ritual space idea, I like this.” It’s not only one of the first multimedia titles because it took multiple floppies, but you’d also have to load them and load all that graphic, it’s the dumbest business idea ever. I would have gotten eaten alive on Shark Tank that’s for sure. There was no market for I Ching software in 1989 and the people who knew what I Ching was didn’t have computers. There were engineers and accountants buying the software so, it was the dumbest idea ever but it was driven by love and desire to create something meaningful for me. I needed to see if I could make a living out of it because I was a software marketing guy and I had some serious chops in the direct marketing arena. That was my core competency up to the time so, I started a business I became an accidental entrepreneur out of love.

That’s an interesting time to be doing that. I’m thinking I was selling system 36s and 38s back then. Nobody was doing stuff with the big mainframes. Where did this run? What system was this running on?

It was in the early ‘70s that was the PDP-11/45.

When you came up with this idea, this was the late ‘80s?

Yes. We were a Macintosh shop and we were doing data communication software for Macintosh that was the sterile end of the business. We were trying to make AppleTalk which was the primitive networking hardware for Macintosh. We were making them share other things other than laser printers and Apple-backed. My job was to travel around the world and do all these shows at Macworld shows in Amsterdam, Sydney, etc., because we had a technology that was strategic to Apple so it was cool stuff from a technological point of view but I’m not a technologist. I’m a content guy. I’ve always been a content guy. I created this content product. It’s a new category software, it’s called divination software, but who the heck knows what that is?

It’s more about the content than it is the software. The software was a way to deliver an experience so it was a multimedia version of the oldest book in the world. I starved for several years trying to keep it all together and had to do more mainstream stuff than I moonlighted. To be a bootstrap entrepreneur, it’s not an easy path and when CD-ROMs came out I made a CD-ROM and then I added do-it-yourself Tarot cards. I got hooked up with this Tarot expert and so we created a cool CD-ROM to do that and so I had this little business selling the CD ROMs. The internet, email and web pages came out and I thought, “I’m a direct marketer. I used to do direct mail like crazy.”

I thought, “This is a direct marketer’s wet dream and I knew exactly what to do.” I was in the right place at the right time to start using email to do marketing campaigns. I added astrology and then I’ve got this franchise with AOL to provide all of their horoscopes and I provided all the horoscopes for Yahoo and we did a gadget for Google. That’s how it became the largest astrology website because Tarot was ten times more popular than the I Ching, nobody knew what the I Ching was even now people don’t know what the I Ching is. Tarot cards are 10, 20 times more popular and astrology was ten times more popular than that and I like astrology too. I added that I’ve got that franchise and then we grew the company to have ten million registered members.

I started the whole thing in my basement and then we started to be pursued by large media companies. I never thought about selling the company out. I politely thanked them for their interest and told them I was making seven figures. I went for thirteen years without paying myself half the time. All of a sudden when I got that deal with AOL, a couple of years later, these companies are making seven figures. I’m thinking, “What the heck this is pretty good.” I wasn’t even expecting that to happen. I thought, “What would I do if I sold the company? I’ve got books in me and I’d like to do some more traveling and I started a nonprofit.” That’s what I’ve been doing for several years, I run this nonprofit called the Divination Foundation, a podcast and I have books that I’ve written including my version of The I Ching but also including this new book Intuitive Intelligence.

Who’s that for? Tell me about that book. Who do you think should read that?

The subtitle of the book is Make Life-Changing Decisions with Perfect Timing. Anybody who wants to improve their intuition and their decision-making through the use of intuition and improve your timing which is the Holy Grail. Anybody who wants to improve their ability to make the right moves at the right time which is the formula for success in any arena whether it’s business or relationships or whatever. It’s a book for that person. It’s a book for wannabe entrepreneurs and students. Self-discovery is the first stage. Discover what fascinates you and be loyal to what fascinates you. This is the curiosity aspect that you talk about what you’ve written about. I’m encouraging people to honor what they learn, what fascinates them in stage one of life which is the student stage. Instead of making a lifetime commitment at the age of nineteen and taking out $100,000 of student loans to get a degree as a lawyer because your father wants you to be a lawyer, don’t do that. Try stuff, experiment.

That ties into Rich Karlgaard’s work, Late Bloomers, and he’s been on the show. He is an editor of Forbes and what he talks about, how sometimes you aren’t necessarily ready to be successful yet it comes later and that’s your what you’re saying, there is perfect timing.

I was number two for several years. I never had a piece of the action but I was honing my skills and I developed some core competencies. That’s what I tell young people, find out what fascinates you. Apprentice yourself to somebody that’s doing that or doing something in that arena rather than think you got to be a billionaire by the time you’re 27 or get on American Idol. It’s crazy that we’re putting pressure on the younger generation to make decisions that they’re not qualified to make. Whether it’s to take out $50,000 in loans or whether it’s to commit yourself for life. Your brain doesn’t stop growing until you’re 26 years old, make it easy.

Divination stimulates intuition for problems that logic can't handle. Click To Tweet

How do you get predictive intelligence?

Predictive intelligence is the use of intuition to envision what’s possible in the future so it’s one form of applying intuition. It’s what I did when I was envisioning multimedia in the early ‘70s. You can get a sense of which way the wind is blowing and using the I Ching can help with that. The whole second part of the book is the how-to part of the book. It’s how to cultivate intuitive intelligence and I’ve got a chapter on how to use divination to do that, reading poetry helps. How to invoke archetypes? How to interpret your dreams? How to use mindfulness of synchronicities? We go through life and all these amazing coincidences happen and the left brain tends to dismiss them, “That’s a coincidence, isn’t it nice that it’s a coincidence,” maybe it’s more than a coincidence, maybe it’s a meaningful coincidence.

Is it meaningful in terms of?

In terms of offering you a signal.

From whom is it?

It’s from the infinite intelligence.

Is it from God or from your brain?

You can use the word God or you can use the word higher power or you can use the word infinite intelligence. You can think of it in any one of those ways you want. God is an archetype. God is an abstract archetype. You could think of divine mother it doesn’t matter. It’s not dependent upon what you believe. What I’m saying and this is what Carl Jung taught, he calls it the collective unconscious, “The reservoir of creative ideas and creative impulses is in the collective unconscious.” He recognized that unlike the personal unconscious, which Freud defined as being full of demons, dark drives and these animalistic drives. Jung said, “There’s a lot more in there. How are you going to explain symphonies? How are you going to explain creative inspirations? How are you going to explain Mozart?” These people are channeling from somewhere, he called it the collective unconscious and he broadened the definition. Napoleon Hill called it Infinite Intelligence. He wrote the book Think and Grow Rich. He called it Infinite Intelligence which is what I call it. People used to ask me, “Do you have any backers?” Back in the day when I was a bootstrap entrepreneur and I’d say, “Yes and my backers got infinite resources.” That was the only backer I had. It was this reservoir of all of the great ideas and wisdom that transcends our ability, the ability of the human brain to figure out on its own.

I’ve got a question for you then, you said you’re an ENFP and I’m ESTJ so my N is pretty low and my T was 100% T, I had no F. How do I become more intuitive if my natural state is to be more logic, facts, and figures, that type of personality?

TTL 630 | Intuitive Decision-Making
Intuitive Decision-Making: If we want to make significant decisions, we need to engage our intuition and the predictive intelligence is basically answering the when question.


You are intuitive and these tests don’t define you. They’re not determinative. They don’t limit you. They give you an idea of what your tendencies are, what your preferences are and what you’re used to. The first step is to buy my book because that’s what it’s all about. How to cultivate intuitive intelligence? I tend to be more intuitive than most people. Everybody’s got this intuitive sense and they call it the sixth sense for thousands of years. We’ve got the five senses so the five senses are huge antennas that channel information into our mind and they are powerful and distracting too. I’d like to use the metaphor of the hand and the palm of the hand is your mind and the five fingers of it are the gigantic antenna visual, auditory, etc. Imagine there’s this dinky little sixth antenna which is the sixth sense, its intuition and that’s calibrated to a fine signal. It’s a subtle frequency and in order to receive information via that antenna, you got to dial down the noise of the other five and not to mention the chattering of the mind itself. It’s in the old days with ham radio, you’re trying to get that dial-in Bora Bora.

You’ve got to turn the knob right.

There’s a lot of noise on the line. You got to dial the noise down, so you can’t force intuition to happen, it’s something that you have to make room for, it’s something that you have to get out of your own way. If you’re used to relying on logic to solve every problem and you’re going to have outgrown that and realize the logic is a great tool but it has its limitations. I have a whole chapter on logic in the book too on how to define the what question, which is, “What is your strategic vision?” I think that you can use logic to sort out what your options are and that’s a good tool but it has its limitations. I say things that divination stimulates intuition for problems that logic can’t handle. If you have a problem that logic can handle, use it. It’s a great tool.

That’s logical. That’s a great place to let people know a little bit more about how they can get your book and how they can reach you because it’s interesting and a different take on it. I’m fascinated by all the different types of intelligence, predictive intelligence, intuitive intelligence, all this is so important to discuss so if somebody wanted to read your book or find out more about you, how could they do that?

My website is and it’s got links to the book, my podcast, and my other works. It’s got a lot of information about the I Ching in there, it’s got a link to my I Ching app which is called Visionary I Ching for iPhones and Android phones which is a fun useful tool, inexpensive and it’s got links to the Intuitive Intelligence book which is also at another website called Both of these websites link to each other. I say is a way to get ahold of me. There’s a contact form there and there’s a lot of resources there. I’ve got a creative manifestation meditation template that people can download. Start using every morning in order to attract the good that they are in tune with that they’re visualizing. I’m trying to give back. I’m the luckiest man in the world that I’ve got to do what I love and then the money came anyway. I’m using my nonprofit to give back and the book Intuitive Intelligence is one piece of that and all the proceeds go to my nonprofit work the same thing with the Visionary I Ching app. I’d say is the best way to get a hold of me.

If you make better decisions, even a little bit better it’s compound interest, it rebounds and it gets easier. The whole process gets easier with practice. If we want to make significant decisions a career change or a relationship change or some big life-changing decision, we need to engage our intuition and the predictive intelligence is basically answering the when question. After you answer the what question, what’s the best next move I could make? You’ve then got to answer the when question, “When should I make it?” That’s the timing question. That’s 100% intuitive. Your timing is never going to be great until you’ve cultivated intuitive intelligence and once you start doing that though, your timings will automatically get better because it’s an intuitive decision. Intuition is impossible to access when you’re all upset or when you’re stressed out and you need it the most. We have to learn how to calm down and how to get a grip on ourselves and to let go of all the noise in the system and all the negative thinking. I’ve got a chapter in there on belief engineering, you’d love that. It’s about how to own what you believe and how to decide what you believe rather than adopting what you were taught when you were four years old. The book’s getting good reviews and I hope people take advantage of it because it only exists to help.

There's a time to assert yourself but there's also a time to do nothing and let the dark clouds pass. Click To Tweet

I hope they do too and thank you so much for being on the show, Paul. This was fun.

I’ve enjoyed it. Thank you.

You’re welcome.

I’d like to thank Amy and Paul for being my guest. If you’ve missed any past episodes you can catch them all at, you can listen to them there, you can also listen in all places where podcasts are, iTunes, iHeart, Roku, you can name it, we’re at all the sites. In addition to the AM/FM, you can find out more about the Curiosity Code Index and Cracking The Curiosity Code book on the site so I hope you do that. I hope you join us for the next episode of Take The Lead Radio.

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About Amy Nguyen

TTL 630 | Intuitive Decision-MakingAmy Nguyen is the founder of Happiness Infinity LLC, a career happiness coaching service company in the US. Amy is trained as a brain-based coach by the NeuroLeadership Institute and is an official member of Forbes Coaches Council. Amy’s mission is to bring more happiness to our planet through career happiness coaching for mothers & happiness workshops for mission-driven organizations (with the brain in mind). Her signature coaching programs focus on helping highly-motivated and heart-centered women find out their Career / Life Happiness Infinity Zone and live it every day.

While not coaching, Amy is often found blogging about how she rewires her children’s and her brains for positivity, happiness and inner strengths through brain-based coaching on her A Mother 4.0’s Diary FB Page. In her previous life, Amy did a Master in Public Policy from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in Singapore, took seven jobs including Human Resources and Communication across nine industries in three countries namely Vietnam, Singapore and the United States. Amy’s most recent position before she decided to do coaching as a full-time job is the Head of Employee Happiness at the biggest e-commerce company in South East Asia, Lazada Group.

About Paul O’Brien

TTL 630 | Intuitive Decision-MakingPaul O’Brien is a visionary entrepreneur who invented a new category of software in 1989 that evolved to become the world’s largest astrology and divination websites. He sold the company in 2007 and has since authored three books.

Paul is a sought-after speaker, philanthropist and founder of the educational Divination Foundation. He is the author Intuitive Intelligence. He is the author of Intuitive Intelligence.


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