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How to Think Like a Genius
Geniuses don't necessarily think any differently than other people, but sometimes they think faster, sometimes they are more persistent, and sometimes they have different habits of thought.
1-Read as much as you can. This is one of the best ways to expand your mind. Minimize the time you spend watching TV, which is much less useful.
2-Learn about Bloom's Taxonomy. Bloom's Taxonomy is a breakdown of the six levels of thinking, from the lowest level to the highest (with an example):
Knowledge: Knowing a fact. Knowing 2 + 2 = 4, doesn't mean you know what 2+2=4 means.
Application: Knowing how to use the fact. I can determine that 2 cats plus 2 cats equals 4 cats. You don't know what 2 +2 =4 means, but you can apply it.
Comprehension -- Understanding a fact: You understand the concept of addition and how 2 + 2 = 4.
Analysis -- breaking down information into its parts. 4 - 2 =2 ; (1 + 1) + (1 + 1) = 2 + 2 = 4
Synthesis -- creating something new , writing a book, etc.
Evaluation -- Discussion of the merits of 2 + 2 = 4 .
3-Learn as much as you can about everything. The more you know, the more options you will have. You can actually make yourself a tiny bit smarter by learning a lot, too. There are lots of ways to learn. Don't limit yourself to any one field.
4-Solve problems by "Analysing" the situation; "Evaluating" possible causes and "Synthesizing" possible solutions; "Evaluating" the possible solutions.(See info about Bloom's Taxonomy above).
Example problem: You do not have enough money to make ends meet.
**Analyse: Review your spending. Review your budget. Review your expenses. Review your income.
**Evaluate: Are you blowing your money? Is your budget realistic? Can you reduce your expenses? Have I received my entire paycheck? Am I living in an apartment that is too expensive? What exactly is the problem?
**Synthesize: I am going to do this and this and that to solve the problem. I may need to brainstorm to give me ideas.
**Evaluate: Will this solution work? How is it good? What could be wrong with it?
**If necessary, repeat.
5-Always pay attention to small details that stick out.
Geniuses will often solve problems using details others have ignored.
6-Look at the world from different points of view. What would this look like from the perspective of an ant? An airplane? A child?
7-Expand your definition of intelligence. Intelligence isn't all book learning. Read about the Theory of Multiple Intelligences.
8-Use both sides of your brain. Your creative side is on the opposite side of your brain from your analytical style.
9-Learn how you learn. Different people learn differently. Major ways of learning include seeing, hearing, talking, listening, touching, manipulating, reading,interpreting ideas and writing. Feel free to doodle, talk out loud, or touch and play with the item you're thinking about. Any of these activities can help facilitate your thought process.
10-Embrace change, uncertainty, and doubt. It is on these edges of knowledge that innovation and discovery happen.
11-Question conventional wisdom. Most people will violently oppose challenges to "conventional" wisdom. The will ignore facts to support their beliefs. Geniuses think critically. They do not ignore facts, even when it conflicts with conventional wisdom. Below are some examples.
**People once believed the world was flat. Eratosthenes (400 B.C.E.) showed it was round.
**Ptolemy's view of the solar system held sway for 2000 years. Copernicus was forced to recant his view that the Sun was at the center.
12-Practice. Rehearse, scribble, sketch, sing in the shower, talk to yourself, or try what you're doing several different ways. Genius doesn't always come naturally.
**It helps to create a safe place for practice, whether that is scratch paper, someplace where nobody is watching, or a test copy of whatever you're doing. It will help you learn with confidence if you know that nothing will break.
**Wisdom is learning from mistakes. Geniuses do not fear mistakes but view them as learning opportunities.
**Be prolific. Try for quantity before quality. To produce exceptionally good work, do a lot of whatever you're doing. It increases your chances for success and it means you will get more practice along the way. It also takes the pressure off, knowing that while an effort may be your first, it will likely not be your last.
13-Experiment. Experimenting can involve "Analysis", "Synthesis" and "Evaluation".
**Keep an open mind. Don't discount an unexpected or even an unwelcome outcome. Instead, evaluate it. Even if you learn how something does not work, you will gain wisdom.
**Imagine and fantasize. Create scenarios in your mind which presents an alternate to the existing situation.
14-Control your vision to address the situation at hand.
Follow your interests, even if they are different than what people expect of you. Side paths and unexpected turns may turn out to be quite fruitful, and you'll spend far less energy fighting boredom and burnout.
15-Introduce some randomness or variation. If you find yourself stuck, try something else for a while. Sometimes inspiration will strike after the pressure is off. Sometimes introducing a random concept and following another path for awhile can get creative juices flowing again.
**When you learn something new, try to apply it and connect it to what you already know. You will remember the information better and you might come up with a new idea. For example, if somebody shows you a new kind of jam, think about how it would taste on your favorite type of sandwich. If you're trying to learn a language, use what you have learned to write or say new sentences that aren't in the book.
**If something is complicated or difficult to understand, break it down into smaller pieces, summarize, and explain it in your own, simple terms. Try analogies and simplified cases of a problem or situation. Also look at what happens in the extreme cases.
**Read about geniuses, especially in the field(s) that interest you. What made Richard Feynman great? What about Frida Kahlo?
**Do not only read about geniuses, but also read what geniuses wrote, so that you can see how they were thinking. Always search for primary sources.
**Find your own talents and interests, and develop your strengths. One person may be terrible at sports but adept at working with animals. You may be a good writer even if your spelling is terrible. Try lots of different things.
**Write things down. Keep a notebook. Even if you never show it around, it will be a record of your guesses, and you may find good ideas there later.
**Keep a notebook and pencil by the bed. Sometimes great bursts of creativity happen when the mind is just on the edge of consciousness, not still awake or not fully awake.
**Collect ideas. Many great ideas are small variations or remixes of existing ideas.
**Include unstructured time in your days to let yourself play or your mind wander.
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