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Middle aged hetrosexual, WASP male. Middle of the road, reasonably sane and  reasonably employed.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Stroke of Genius!

Everyone's a Genius in one way or another. It might not be apparent to you but we all excel in at least a few areas.

Geniuses don't necessarily think any differently than other people, but sometimes they think faster, sometimes they are more persistent, and sometimes they just have different habits of thought, like thinking "Outside the box!"

Want to learn more and be smarter? Follow these steps and you're well on your way!

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 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.

3. Whenever you are confronted with a problem, try to think of many different ways to solve it. Don't rule out the improbable or impractical, especially at first, and especially if you are looking for creative answers. When you first begin a problem-solving process or creative endeavor, just generate as many ideas as you can, as fast as you can jot them down. Even if it takes thinking of 100 ideas to generate one good one, you still end up with one good idea.

4. Always pay attention to small details. They can be incredibly important.

5. Rephrase the problem or question. Make sure you understand it, then put it into your own words, then see if you can put a different light on the issue. Many times, the problem itself needs to be better defined than what somebody has handed you.

6. Ask lots of "what-if" questions. Try to think of the most wildly improbable situations to test your ideas.

7. Ask lots of questions in general, even if you don't have answers yet.

8. Ask other people for input. Everyone sees the world a little differently, and other people might have useful ideas or insights that you never even thought of, or their comments may prompt you to think of something new. Think of the problem (or simply look at the world) from different points of view. What would this look like from the perspective of an ant? An airplane? A child?

9. Never give up on a problem by calling it "unsolvable." Very, very few things are truly impossible. Just because no solution has been found does not mean that none exists.

10. Also try using your less dominant side of your body times to times, like using your left hand if your right handed, or vise versa. Left handed people have been shown to be more creative, and right handed people have been shown to be more visual.

11. 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.

12. Embrace change, uncertainty, and doubt. It is on these edges of knowledge that innovation and discovery happen.

13. Question conventional wisdom. If everybody believes something is one way, ask why. What evidence is there for this belief? What evidence might there be to the contrary. Many great discoveries began by looking at conventional wisdom differently.

14. 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. Think of mistakes as ways to learn how not to do something. As you learn something, you will make mistakes. Don't let them shake your confidence or dampen your persistence.

15. Experiment. If you're not sure how something will work, try it and see.

16. 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, or how not to do something, you will learn something.

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.

Read about geniuses, especially in the field(s) that interest you. What made Richard Feynman great? What about Frida Kahlo?

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.

Allan W Janssen is the author of the book The Plain Truth About God (What the mainstream religions don't want you to know!) and is available at the web site www.God-101.com

Visit the blog "Perspective" at http://God-101.blogspot.com

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