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Five Steps to Crystal Clear Thinking

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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Five Steps to Crystal Clear Thinking

Five Steps to Crystal Clear Thinking

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

hackernoon.com

5

Key Ideas

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.

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.

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.

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?

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.

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Hack the 10,000 hour rule

This rule was developed by Anders Ericsson and popularized by Malcolm Gladwell and states that we need  10,000 hours of deliberate practice to succeed at anything.

This may create f...

Plus, Minus, Equal
  • Plus: Find mentors, real (maybe someone from your work) or virtual (from books).  Learn from someone with more experience than you.
  • Minus: Explain what you are learning while you are learning it. Teach someone with less experience than you.
  • Equal: Find people who love what you love and spend as much time talking about this shared area as you can.
Micro-Skills

Every skill worth learning has dozens of micro-skills.

List the micro-skills. Figure out what you are good at, what you are bad at, and how you can learn to be better at each.

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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.

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Rob Hill Sr.

“My goal is to build a life I don’t need a vacation from.”

Rob Hill Sr.
Creating the life you love

Make choices leading to the life you want to create for yourself. Don't let your past hold you back.

Your life might not seem to be the best fit for someone else, but it should a life you are happy with. Create a life you love.

How to create an authentic life

Start where you are right now.

  • Align your life with your own core values - those things that are most important to you personally.
  • Find time to do the activities you loved doing as a child. - join an activity group or take a class.

Listen to yourself and take action on what you discover.

Observe your emotions

... without judging. However you feel is fine. Emotions are attention-getting devices that the mind uses to help you observe your thoughts. 

Notice, especially, when you don’t fe...

Notice thoughts behind the emotions

Feelings are caused by thoughts. You can access these thoughts by asking “Why? I feel this way?” 

The thoughts behind the emotion can show you your mind’s misunderstandings, because any thought that causes an unpleasant emotion is likely caused by an assumption. And assumptions can be redefined.

Channel your inner toddler

Question everything. Ask yourself what you might be assuming.

Dig deeply, and look at every facet of that assumption. It might be helpful to type or write this out.

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Practical ways to use First Principles Thinking
  • If you’re starting a business, use first principles to build a product or service that’s fundamentally better than the competition.
  • If your day is too busy, first princip...
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.

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Bad behaviors cascade

That reticence to ever ask someone out on a date probably plays out in your failure to move to a new city, to take that new job or the timidity around your co-workers.

Standing out of the crowd

People don’t like it when someone changes or does something that makes them feel awkward or insecure. They will think he’s crazy, selfish, arrogant. If you want to do something incredible, you have to become comfortable with being different from the rest.

Nothing worth having comes easy

As cliche as that sounds. Most of us give up on something we’re passionate about too soon. But anyone who’s been successful has a tale of struggle and perseverance to share.

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Writing And Priorities

If you feel too overwhelmed for writing, list your goals in order of importance. Maybe writing is not your top goal and you are wasting energy thinking you should do it because you haven’t r...

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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First Principle
First Principle

Is a basic, foundational, self-evident proposition or assumption that cannot be deduced from any other proposition or assumption.

Elon Musk
Elon Musk

"… it's important to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. The normal way we conduct our lives is we reason by analogy. We are doing this because it's like something else that was done, or it is like what other people are doing. But with first principles, you boil things down to the most fundamental truths and then reason up from there."

The importance of friends

Having a weak circle of friends carries the same risk as smoking 15 cigarettes a day.

Researchers suggest that the core factors in a happy life are the number of friends, the closeness of f...

Reconnect with old friends

You have probably met a large number of friends through just a handful of people. Those are your superconnectors. Rekindle those friendships and ask them if there is anyone you should meet.

Connecting to people

Don’t be interesting. Be interested.

  • Listen to people and ask them to tell you more. 
  • When they mention something you have in common, point it out.
  • Be enthusiastic and encouraging.

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