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Five Steps to Crystal Clear Thinking

https://hackernoon.com/five-steps-to-crystal-clear-thinking-6e94372789af

hackernoon.com

Five Steps to Crystal Clear Thinking
I recently asked my friends and fans what they wanted me to write about. One question came up a bunch of times: How do you think better? At first that surprised me. Isn't it obvious how to think? Then I realized no, it's not. We're not taught how to think anymore, only what to think.

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Self Reliance

Self Reliance

If you’re waiting for someone to give you the right training to change your job or do something radically different in life you will wait forever. 

It’s up to you to train yourself. It’s the only way to learn anything. So make the time for it.

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Learning to Learn

Learning to Learn

Learning is not a rigidly formal system of precisely labeled steps.

Learning is messy. It’s trial and error. It’s failing and then failing again and then slowly figuring it out.

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Give Up Magical Beliefs

Give Up Magical Beliefs

You can’t borrow someone’s motivation. No matter how many books you read or chants you do you won’t become more motivated.

Motivation comes from inside. It comes from you and nowhere else.

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Critical Thinking

Critical Thinking

It is the objective analysis and evaluation of an issue in order to form a judgment.

Question everything. You have to figure out the truth for yourself. If you were taught something was true, ask yourself why. How do you know? How can you prove it to yourself?

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Step Into Someone Else’s Shoes

Step Into Someone Else’s Shoes

When you become absolutely fixed with your opinions or beliefs, you’re essentially frozen.

The smartest people know how little they know. They’re open to change.

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Write For Just Fifteen Minutes

Professional writers rarely write for more than five or so hours a day because writing is mentally exhausting. This means you can get a lot done in a short amount of time.

You might not have five hours to write, but almost everyone has fifteen minutes. To keep yourself focused as you write, consider writing with a timer.

Stop Checking Email

Many use email as a to-do list, which leaves them reacting to life instead of living it according to goals.

It’s difficult to write when you’re checking email every five minutes. Don’t check emails during your daily writing time.

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Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Challenge Unhelpful Thoughts

Listen to your thoughts — but don’t necessarily believe them.

They're suggestions, possibilities. But they’re not gospel. You can’t control what thoughts pop up, but y...

Identifying Unhelpful Thoughts

  • Black and White Thinking: There are heaping piles of nuance to most things.
  • Unrealistic Expectations: Cynicism is bad, but a little skepticism is essential.
  • Selective Attention: If your brain is always looking for the negative, you’re gonna find it.
  • Disqualifying the Positive: Sometimes we go into problem-solving mode and focus only on what is broken.
  • Predicting the Future: “This will never work” or “They’re going to think I’m stupid.” You don’t know the future. So don’t act like it.
  • “Should” thoughts: It’s usually just an insistence that the world bends to your will and is a great way to amplify frustration.

Do More Stuff

Doing little positive things is better for happiness than occasionally bagging an elephant:

  • Enjoyable stuff
  • Achievement stuff: Defeat your goals in single combat and feel like a conquering hero
  • Meaningful stuff: Do volunteer work or just help someone
  • Physical stuff: Exercise. Not only keeps you alive, but it’s like miracle grow for your brain
  • Social stuff.

Thinking is not IQ

We often make the mistake of thinking that people with high IQs think better. But it's not true. That's not the type of knowledge or brainpower that makes you better at life, happier, or more succe...

Principles for seeking wisdom

  • Go to bed smarter than when you woke up.
  • "I’m not smart enough to figure everything out myself, so I want to master the best of what other people have already figured out."

If you want to think better...

  • Become better at probing other people’s thinking. Ask questions. Simple ones are better. “Why” is the best.
  • Slow down. Make sure you give yourself time to think.
  • Probe yourself. Try and understand if you’re talking about something you really know something about or if you’re just regurgitating something you heard.