Below are my personal notes of The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking. These highlights were what I used to write my personal development book, Wiser Next Week, a condensation of many different self improvement books.
Growing Your Thinking:
Master the Basics:
- Exercise 1:
- Spend 5 minutes writing down the basic components of the skill or subject
- Pick one from the list and spend 30 minutes improving it.
- To learn any subject well and to create ideas beyond those that have existed before, return to the basics repeatedly
- Exercise 2: What Do You Know?
- Without outside sources, write a detailed outline of the fundamentals
- Compare your work with an external source
- When you discover the weakness in the basics, take action. Methodically learn the fundamentals
- Repeat as you learn more advanced aspects of the subject
- Isolate what is essential in the subject matter, then build upon it
Igniting Insights Through Mistakes:
Failing Productively Involves:
- Creating the mistake
- Exploiting the mistake
- Making the error overt makes the needed corrections overt as well (like a 1st draft)
- Incrementally making mistakes and learning from them make the next attempt closer to right
- Understand that you may not know how to do things right, but you can certainly do it wrong
- Generating useful mistakes involves tackling the issue at hand and quickly constructing the best solution you can
- After making the mistake:
- Ask whether the mistake is a correct answer to a different question
- Let the mistake lead you to a better attempt
- When you’re stuck and don’t know what to do, don’t do nothing, fail.
- Problems that require truly creative solutions are problems that you simply do not yet know how to solve
Creating Questions out of Thin Air
- The right questions clarify your understanding and focus your attention on features that matter.
Seeing the Flow of Ideas
- Essentially every important, brilliant idea can easily be seen to be the result of someone’s understanding what was already known and taking a small step to reveal the next idea, another variation on understanding simple things deeply
- “I start where the last man left off” Thomas Edison
- The newcomer didn’t see nor experience the toil, trials, failures and hard won small steps of their predecessor. They see the issue in its solved condition as just the way the world is.
- See each advance as putting us on the lower slope of a much higher peak that has yet to be scaled
- Good progress is often the herald of great progress
- Accept that we are all prejudiced, and that the beliefs we hold today may not align with the general consensus of future generations
- Learning the flow of any subject makes each part far more stable and meaningful
- Memorizing a smaller number of isolated facts is harder
- If you want to think of new ideas, don’t sit and wait for inspiration. Apply strategies of transformative thinking such as making mistakes, asking questions and following the flow of ideas.
- Remember that learning is a life long journey, thus each of us remains a work in progress, always evolving, ever changing.
- Think in terms of what kind of knowledge or skill or strategy would make the task an easier one.
If these brief notes, peaked your interest in The 5 Elements of Effective Thinking , you can check it out on Amazon here.
And be sure to check out my book, Wiser Next Week.
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