Geniuses practice learnable habits of thinking that allow them to see the world differently. Here are five practical habits to choose to become more successful in life.
- Understand Deeply
Don’t face complex issues head-on; first understand simple ideas deeply. Clear the clutter and expose what is really important. Be brutally honest about what you know and don’t know. Then see what’s missing, identify the gaps, and fill them in. Let go of bias, prejudice, and preconceived notions. There are degrees to understanding (it’s not just a yes-or-no proposition) and you can always heighten yours.
- Make Mistakes
Fail to succeed. Intentionally get it wrong to inevitably get it even more right. Mistakes are great teachers, they highlight unforeseen opportunities and holes in your understanding. They also show you which way to turn next, and they ignite your imagination.
- Raise Questions
Constantly create questions to clarify and extend your understanding. What’s the real question? Working on the wrong questions can waste a lifetime. Ideas are everywhere and the right questions will bring them out and help you see connections that otherwise would have been invisible.
- Follow the Flow of Ideas
Look back to see where ideas came from and then look ahead to discover where those ideas may lead. A new idea is a beginning, not an end.
The unchanging element is change. By mastering the first four elements, you can change the way you think and learn. You can always improve, grow, and extract more out of your education, yourself, and the way you live your life. Change is the universal constant that allows you to get the most out of living and learning.