Thinking Skills

Thinking Like A Genius

Creativity | Genius

First of all, genius is not about having a high IQ. Did you know that research has shown that beyond an IQ of 120, higher levels of IQ do not quite result in higher levels of creativity.


How do geniuses get their world-shaping ideas then? In the traditional way - working hard at the solution, and some luck. And we all know the cliche, 'fortune favors the brave.'


1. The personality of Geniuses

Geniuses for the most part are like us normal beings, complex, not easily put into boxes of this or that personality type. For example, Einstein married several times and had love affairs. Maybe, geniuses are more complex.


But, many geniuses are loners, without being anti-social. Maybe they like their deep focus on their work, always talking about this and that concept (which may appear boring to others), which also means less interactions with other people.


2. Geniuses are really interested people, and they think a lot about what interests them most.


It is their deep interest and enthusiasm for solutions that makes geniuses readily learn up on new topics and skills, so that they can have a more rounded idea of the problem they are working on.


3. Geniuses can work long hours

Not just because they are so worked up about finding a solution, but because they can really balance their working life. Many geniuses are known for working long, really long hours, and going off to sleep and have rest for a long duration (and all this while their subconscious might be mulling over the festering issues.)


4. Geniuses love, like really love their work

Why else would someone be so committed to finding solutions etc? The job has to be fun. It is not our kind of 9-6 job.


5. Geniuses are very productive people

If they are not coming up with the big solutions, they keep working at the little experiments (mental or material), reading up on latest research and so on. Edison had 1000+ patents to his name!


6. Geniuses don't try to be original, per se

They are just workaholics who like to go deep inside the problem and come up with ideas and other things. Geniuses are busy making combinations. Looking for 'Original' is the domain of patent and copyright clerks.


7. Geniuses don't care for tags such as 'expert' or 'beginner'.

They just look at a problem in as many ways as possible - as a beginner as well as an expert.


8. Geniuses don't bind themselves with the constraints and prejudices, like common people do

They don't get that much involved, knowing it might affect their ability to get more ideas. Constraints delight geniuses, giving them a challenge. Geniuses are open-minded people who have no time for the closed world of prejudices.


9. Geniuses get new experiences all the time

New experiences bring new information, in form of observations and interactions. Some geniuses have been known to deliberately take new kinds of experiences to change their current mode of thinking. This writer knows a genius friend who does all sorts of things to change his 'boring mental cycle' - once even taking a route to office that takes 3.5 hours one-way. Why? He has never seen that part of the city before. Spontaneity, that's the word. geniuses swear by it.


10. Geniuses think about their experiences more often

No experience shall go unexamined - that's the motto of geniuses perhaps. They write about it, meditate while their mind is fixed on something they observed or experienced. They talk about it with colleagues and friends. It helps them get a different perspective or some fresh information.


Doing all this, they keep the new knowledge in circulation, ready to used when needed.


11. Geniuses look for more than one solution.

They are hide-bound like the perfectionists for that 'perfect' solution. They take their time, trying to come up with more ideas/solutions.


How to think like a genius


- Rethink: Look at problems in many different ways, and find new perspectives that no one else has taken (or at least made public)

- Visualize!

- Produce! A distinguishing characteristic of genius is productivity.

- Make novel combinations. Combine, and recombine, ideas, images, and thoughts into different combinations no matter how incongruent or unusual.

- Form relationships; make connections between dissimilar subjects.

- Think in opposites.

- Think metaphorically

- Prepare yourself for chance.


(Source:‘Thinking Like a Genius: Eight strategies used by the super creative, from Aristotle and Leonardo to Einstein and Edison’ by Michael Michalko)


How to think like Leonardo Davinci


- Curiosita: An insatiably curious approach to life.

- Dimonstratzione: A commitment to test knowledge through experience.

- Sensazione: The continual refinement of the senses, especially sight, as the means to clarify experience.

- Sfumato: A willingness to embrace ambiguity, paradox, and uncertainty.

- Arte/Scienza: The development of the balance between science and art, logic and imagination ('whole-brain thinking').

- Corporalita: The cultivation of ambidexterity, fitness, and poise.

- Connessione: A recognition and appreciation for the connectedness of all things and phenomena; 'systems thinking.'


(Source: 'How to Think Like Leonardo Da Vinci' by Michael J. Gelb)


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