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The most undervalued skill? Lateral thinking.

Learning to Think Laterally

  • Be aware of how your brain processes information and how it identifies patterns.
  • Don't shut out all the outside stimuli and allow some form of randomness into your day. This could expose you to new insights.
  • Consider alternative approaches and solutions to problems, even if you think you found the apparently suitable one.
  • Deliberately alternate available options (do the opposite of an implied direction, reverse processes, etc.) This could expose you to new insights and tools to create solutions with.

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The most undervalued skill? Lateral thinking.

The most undervalued skill? Lateral thinking.

https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/lateral-thinking

bigthink.com

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Key Ideas

Traditional vs Lateral Thinking

  • Traditional thinking: is vertical and the process flows in a logical manner toward a conclusion, based on available information.
  • Lateral thinking: is horizontal and the process is centered on generating many ideas while de-emphasizing the details of how those ideas could be implemented.

These 2 ways of thinking are complementary.

2 Stages of Thinking

  1. The perceived stage, where the brain focuses on identifying a certain pattern (a way in which the brain frames the environment).
  2. The second stage uses that pattern and builds upon it to reach a conclusion. 

But to get better at identifying patterns and prevent errors in the first stage, we need to develop our lateral thinking.

Learning to Think Laterally

  • Be aware of how your brain processes information and how it identifies patterns.
  • Don't shut out all the outside stimuli and allow some form of randomness into your day. This could expose you to new insights.
  • Consider alternative approaches and solutions to problems, even if you think you found the apparently suitable one.
  • Deliberately alternate available options (do the opposite of an implied direction, reverse processes, etc.) This could expose you to new insights and tools to create solutions with.

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Lateral thinking
Lateral thinking

Lateral thinking refers to a person's capacity to address problems by developing original answers to difficult questions.

This is the essence of creativity. All organiz...

The value of lateral thinking

Lateral thinking can bear huge dividends in certain parts of a business.

  • In finance, there are seldom new approaches to fundraising being considered as part of business continuity planning. However, there are many opportunities to think outside the box and solve problems.
  • People management is another area. The question to consider in HR is how to build talent pools for the future, and how to help people learn quickly and well.

The critical point is this: it does not matter where you work or what you do, the ability to problem-solve and think critically is an increasingly in-demand skill, especially in times of change or crisis.

Pick a transitional object for inspiration

A transitional object is someone or something with certain characteristics or qualities you can use as inspiration for new ideas.

For example, "What would Bruce Lee do?" He taught the importance of using the energy of your attacker. How might this inform your strategy?

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Improvement with learning

From the moment we are born, we are always learning new skills. We see it in formal capacities in school or on the job, and informally, like learning from you buddy how to grill a steak.

Tony Robbins
Tony Robbins

“One skill you want to master in this day and age we live in, if you want to have an extraordinary life, is the ability to learn rapidly.”

Select your skill carefully

Be very selective in the skill you're trying to masker to avoid sabotaging your success:

  • Make sure it's applicable: The perfect skill either solves a problem you have or scratches an itch you have.
  • Be very specific: Specific goals are easier to pursue than vague counterparts. To set yourself up, narrow your skill down as much as possible. Ask what specific problem are you trying to solve, and find out what aspects you find most fascinating.
  • Make sure you love the process, not just the outcome: Pick a skill where the road is as exciting as the outcome. Then plan out celebration points along the way.

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The Way We See The World

Each of us looks at things differently, and it's largely based on our thinking patterns, education levels, inherent bias, self-identity, and real, first-hand experiences.

Higher Mind Vs Primitive Mind

Human beings tend to have two kinds of conflicting mindsets:

  • The Higher Mind, the conscious truth-seeking mind, has made human beings an advanced civilization.
  • The Primitive Mind is our hardwired, thousands-of-years-old survivalist part, the one that's still stuck in the dark ages.
The Psych Spectrum

Our Higher Mind and the Primitive Mind always have a tug-of-war like conflict. The degree of the conflict can be placed in a spectrum, which is called a Psych Spectrum.

If the Higher mind is in control, we are placed higher in the Psych Spectrum and have the Primitive Mind under check. If we are placed at a lower degree in the Psych Spectrum, then the Primitive Mind is under control.

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