Steps to Think Like a Genius
At this very moment, you are holding unbound potential. You hold within your possession the most powerful learning and creative problem-solving system known to man, far superior to any supercomputer ever invented. It is your brain.
There are 100 billion neurons in your 3-pound brain.
By its very design, the human brain stores vast potential for memory, learning, and creativity. However, your capacity for learning and achievement must be unlocked. Although everyone holds this incredible power, the brain does not give of its powers away freely.
Geniuses of this world have successfully tapped into this unlimited power, including Einstein, Galileo, Newton, and Mozart.
Within the rest of this article, we will turn to these same revolutionary minds in order to unlock the genius that is hiding in the tapestry of our own minds.
God didn’t give us formal instruction manuals for our brain. Therefore, we must explore the power of thought on our own. Let this article be your guide.
1. The first step is to expand your consciousness as well as your perspectives.
The genius mind will look at a problem from many different perspectives. They are literally able to place themselves completely in someone else’s shoes in order to experience a new way of looking at things. By doing this, they expand their knowledge and consciousness of the world around them.
Look at problems from a variety of different perspectives. Most people only rely on their own perspective, and therefore always have a very narrow view of the world. Leonardo da Vinci believed that, to gain knowledge about the form of a problem, you must begin by learning how to restructure it in many different ways. He believed that the first way you look at a problem is entirely too biased. You are only seeing the problem from one perspective: yours.
You can find new solutions to the problem by looking at it from a variety of different perspectives. According to Einstein, “You cannot solve a problem with the same type of thinking that is creating it.” Einstein insisted that the secret of his genius was his ability to look at problems in a childlike, imaginative way.
To expand his view of the world, Einstein developed a mastermind group that he called the Olympiad. This group held intensive discussions on topics ranging from mathematics and physics to philosophy and literature. These forums provided the stimulus needed for higher-level thinking and were often combine with camping trips involving hiking, swimming, and a good dose of humor.
The genius lives at a high level of consciousness about the world around them. They are receptive to new ideas, which provide them with even greater opportunity. The person who clings to their comfort zone is living in a low level of consciousness. Their experiences each day are often a repetition of the previous day.
You reach a higher level of consciousness when you reach new levels of understanding, experience a major growth experience, or embrace new ways of thinking.
When you were eight years old, you had a different view of the world than you do today. This is because you are now living in a higher consciousness/awareness of the world around you. You must constantly seek to expand your awareness if you want to grow. Your consciousness determines how you experience life. To expand your awareness, you must consistently seek opportunities for growth. Look for new relationships. Expand your knowledge. Step out of your comfort zone. Experience life to the fullest.
2. Once you have begun seeking your greatest aims in life, you must also persist…
The most successful people in life are the ones who are the most persistent. Interestingly, enough the most successful people in life are also the ones who have experienced the most failure.
The rest are too afraid to try and therefore never experience success or failure.
In fact, I would argue that failure is the quickest path to success. The greatest success is always preceded by a long list of failures.
Think of Thomas Edison, who after 10,000 attempts at creating the electric lightbulb, said, “I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”
Failure is a prerequisite for success; embrace it as a learning experience that brings you one step closer to your ultimate goal.
To truly be great, you must not be afraid of failing. The leaders in life don’t fear failure. Like most, you probably learned in elementary school about the accomplishments of Christopher Columbus. However, you probably don’t know that the likely result of his journey was humiliation, financial ruin, or even death. He was making a journey, which most people believed would cause him to fall off the edge of the Earth.
All previous efforts to cross the Atlantic had been made by sailors who clung to the European coast in order to ensure a means of return. Columbus, however, sailed perpendicular to the shoreline. He was venturing into the unknown, without knowing what, if anything, lay ahead.
In the end, it turned out that Columbus, was, in fact, a visionary genius.
Even after six weeks at sea with no sight of land, he maintained unwavering belief in his goal. Most people would have given up at this point, but Columbus kept going. This was one of the most important factors in determining his success.
Most of what people refer to as failure is simply a lack of persistence.
How many times do we hug the coastline in our own lives, latching onto the familiar? Growth is always preceded by change. For us to improve and grow, we must embrace change and constantly step out of our old familiar comfort zones. When we do, we will find that we begin to live a life full of adventure and increased opportunity.
3. The third step to thinking like a genius is to Visualize!
Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Disney, Nikola Tesla, and even Mozart all ascribed their creative genius to their ability to visualize.
Einstein said that all of his most important and productive thinking was done by “combinatory play” with “images” in his mind. Einstein used images, visual patterns and associations to discover more about the world around him.
Einstein believed that the spirit of learning and creative thought were lost in strict rote learning. Instead, he turned to his own imagination and visualization.Visualization is an incredibly powerful tool in solving problems. Often times much more powerful that simply using words or numbers.
Visual thinking is done in the right side of the brain, presenting new problem solving and big-picture thinking. Visualization goes hand in hand with our next genius principle…
Einstein was well acquainted with the childlike sense of play, possibility, and humor. His ability to remain in a childlike state of wonder and curiosity is the essence of his genius.
Dr. Jacques Hadmard spent much of his life studying the thought processes of great scientists and mathematicians. He found that their thinking process was characterized not by words or standard mathematical symbols, but instead by visual imagery.
The same was true for Einstein, who said, “The words of the language, as they are written or spoken, do not seem to play any role in my mechanisms of thought.”
He also wrote that his thought processes instead “rely, more or less, on clear images of a visual and some of a muscular type.”
These few sentences give us a rare insight into one of the greatest minds. Einstein teaches us the importance of thinking visually.
Dr. Marian Diamond and her colleagues at the University of California at Berkeley published a paper entitled “On the Brain of a Scientist: Albert Einstein.” Their research showed that Einstein’s brain contained 400 percent more “glial” cells per neuron than average. They also found that his brain was especially well developed in the area of the brain used for association.
However, we will never know whether Einstein’s brain was highly developed as a result of his thought processes and stimulating environment or from an extraordinary neuro-anatomical gift?
Much of our brainpower is due to the interconnection between brain cells. We know now that these interconnections - glial cells, dendrites, axons, and synapses - can continue to increase in number throughout the course of an individual’s life.
Dr. Diamond’s research suggests that combinatory play and a stimulus-rich environment are two of the keys to increasing the minds to make these internal connections within the mind from which genius is born.
Much of Einstein’s creativity was found in his ability to make unfamiliar and unexpected relationships.
Einstein coined the term, “combinatory play”. Although it had always existed, Einstein used this powerful way of thinking in his daily thought processes.
According to Einstein, combinatory play is sifting through data, perceptions, and materials to come up with combinations that are new and useful.
Einstein himself believed that you could stimulate ingenious thought by allowing the imagination to run freely, forming associations at will.
Einstein also performed what’s referred to as thought experiments. As a young man, Einstein imagined himself running alongside a beam of light. He then asked himself what it would look like. This was one of his first thought experiments. A thought experiment is carried out in the mind. It requires you to ask yourself a question. You then visualize a situation and perform some kind of experimental action and see what happens. These types of thought experiments provide a method for understanding nature without performing a direct experiment on it.
Try this out in your own life by asking yourself the following questions:
What would happen if we found a way to use 100% of our brain potential?
What our the possible solutions to world hunger?
How would Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, or Newton approach this problem? What if I could hold infinity in the palm of my hand? (This has been a popular thought question among poets as well as quantum physicists.)
5. The next key, and one of the most important elements, to genius thinking is that of curiosity: the courage to ask questions.
Why do kids ask so many questions? They are naturally curious about the world around them. They discover the world through questioning others as well as themselves. In the process, they are creating neuro-associations that will guide their futures.
As we grow older, however, we become passive to the world around us. We stop asking questions, lose our much of our curiosity, and the learning comes to a screeching halt.
Without questions, we cannot grow.
Albert Einstein once said, “The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing. One cannot help but be in awe when he contemplates the mysteries of eternity, of life, of the marvelous structure of reality. It is enough if one tries merely to comprehend a little of the mystery every day. Never lose a holy curiosity.”
Socrates, Aristotle and Plato were some of the first great minds to develop the importance of questions. The entire Socratic method, which is a way of teaching that dates back to the Ancient Greeks, is based upon the teacher asking nothing but questions. These questions direct the students’ focus, enabling them to discover their own answers to life’s questions.
Successful people are simply those who have asked better questions. Instead of asking, “How will I ever get out of debt?” They asked themselves, “How can I learn from this experience?”
When computers were still taking up entire rooms, Bill Gates asked himself, “How can I get a computer in every household?”
When the automobile first emerged on the scene, hundreds of people started to build them, but Henry Ford asked, “How can I mass-produce them?”
As a young boy, Albert Einstein asked himself, ”What would it be like to run beside a light beam at the speed of light?”
Plato believed that skilled questions could lead not only to the discovery of geometry, science, and philosophy, but also to the realization of virtue, justice, beauty and truth.
Start to ask yourself and others empowering questions. Develop an unbound curiosity. Practice wonder.
6. You become what you think about.
Pay close attention now as we come upon the sixth principle that leads to genius. It is the Law of Attraction, which says you become what you think about.
The Law of Attraction says that what you think about, you bring about. Therefore, you become what you think about most. In addition, you also attract what you think about most.
In other words, Thoughts Become Things.
Your life is a physical manifestation of the thoughts that go on in your head.
Michael Jordan focused on perfecting every aspect of his game. This definite desire turned his weaknesses into strengths and made him one of the greatest leaders in basketball.
Wrigley concentrated his mind on the production and sale of a five-cent package of chewing gum and turned this one idea in to millions of dollars.
Edwin C. Barnes had a burning desire to go into business with Thomas Edison. He focused himself completely on this desire until it finally came to fruiting and he retired, while still a young man, with more money than he needs.
Lincoln concentrated his mind on freeing the slaves and became our greatest American President while doing it. Gillette concentrated on a safety razor, gave the entire world a “close shave” and made himself a multimillionaire.
George Eastman concentrated on the Kodak and made the idea yield him a fortune while bringing much pleasure to millions of people.
The Wright Brothers concentrated on the airplane and mastered the air.
Bill Gates concentrated on the personal computer, now a PC is found in nearly every home to help educate, entertain and enrich people’s lives.
All of these people were well adept in the Law of Attraction.
There is evidence that the law of attraction was also used by Einstein, Beethoven, and even Jesus. This same power is available to you. In fact, you are experiencing the Law of Attraction at this very moment whether you know it or not. This is because the law of attraction is always at work. Your life experience is in line with the thoughts that reside in your mind.
You create your own reality. What you think about, you bring about. What you emotionalize in thought, you bring about in reality.
Recent research is in support of this law. For example, research on optimism has shown that optimists enjoy better health, greater happiness, more success in life, and a longer life. The optimist focuses on success and minimizes their failures.
Pessimists, on the other hand, experience far more disease, depression, and a shorter life span.
What you focus on with thought and feeling is what you attract into your life.
The genius exercises this same law in their everyday life. The genius expects success and puts complete faith in their goal. They expect more out of life and therefore, they receive it.
You can do the same. Expect success and persist until you have found it.
7. The last and final step in thinking like a genius is to Have Fun!
No person has achieved massive success by doing what they hate. Pablo Picasso once said, “When I work I relax; doing nothing or entertaining visitors makes me tired.”
In addition, Dale Carnegie said, “People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.”
The most successful people in life find work that inspires and excites them.
I’ll leave you with a fitting poem Christain D. Larson:
When you work simply for yourself or for your own personal gain your mind will seldom rise above the limitations of the undeveloped personal life; but when you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break bounds; your mind transcends limitations; your consciousness expands in every direction; and you find yourself in a new world, a great world, a wonderful world; dormant powers, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a larger man by far than you ever dreamed yourself to be.” -- Christian D. Larson, Business Psychology, 1912
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