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The Creativity Post | How Geniuses Think

Making your thoughts visible

_Galileo Galilei revolutionized science by making his idea visible with diagrams, maps, and drawings. Einstein believed that words and numbers as they are spoken did not play a significant role in his thinking process.

Geniuses seem to develop a skill to display information in visual and spatial forms, rather than only mathematical or verbal lines.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

The Creativity Post | How Geniuses Think

The Creativity Post | How Geniuses Think

https://www.creativitypost.com/article/how_geniuses_think

creativitypost.com

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Key Ideas

Intelligence is not genius

Genius is not about having an extraordinarily high IQ, or even about being smart. It is not about finishing Mensa exercises in record time or mastering fourteen languages at the age of seven.

Geniuses think productively, not reproductively. They ask "How many different ways can I look at it?" not "What have I been taught by someone else on how to solve this?"

Geniuses and problem solving

Leonardo da Vinci believed you begin by learning how to restructure the problem by looking at it from many different angles.

In order to creatively solve a problem, the thinker should not use the usual approach that is based on past experience. Geniuses use several different perspectives to solve an existing problem and thereby also identify new ones.

Geniuses produce

One characteristic that stands out in geniuses is immense productivity. Thomas Edison held 1,903 patents. Bach wrote a cantata every week, regardless of sickness. Mozart produced over 600 pieces of music. Einstein published 249 papers.

Out of the vast quantity of work came quality.

Forming unique combinations

Geniuses form more novel combinations than talented people.

They continually combine and recombine ideas, images, and thoughts into different combinations.

Connecting the unconnected

Geniuses force relationships that enable them to see things to which others are blind.

Leonardo da Vinci forced the relationship between the sound of a bell and a stone hitting water, to make the connection that sound travels in waves.

Thinking in opposites

Geniuses can tolerate contradictory ideas, between opposites or two incompatible subjects.

Mixing opposites creates the conditions to discover a new relationship or a new point of view.

Thinking metaphorically

  • Aristotle believed that the person who could see resemblances between two separate areas of existence and link them was a genius.
  • If unlike things are really alike in some ways, perhaps, they are so in others. Underwater construction was made possible by noticing how shipworms tunnel into timber by first constructing tubes.
  • Einstein used the analogies of everyday occurrences to explain abstract principles.

Creative accidents

Whenever we attempt to do something and fail, we end up doing something else.

Instead of asking why we failed to do what we intended, the creative accident asks 'what have we done?' This produces a creative insight of the highest order.

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It means producing something novel or original, evaluating, solving problems, whether on paper, on stage, in a laboratory or even in the shower.

Knowing how to think

Geniuses know “how” to think, instead of “what” to think.

People who are more creative can simultaneously engage brain networks that don’t typically work together.

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Creativity
The creative process is the act of making new connections between old ideas or recognizing relationships between concepts.

While being creative isn't easy, nearly all great ideas follow a sim...

The 5 Step Creative Process
  1. Gather new material directly related to your task as well as learning general material by becoming fascinated with a wide range of concepts.
  2. Thoroughly work over the materials in your mind.  Examine what you have learned by looking at the facts from different angles and experimenting with fitting various ideas together.
  3. Step away from the problem. Next, you put the problem completely out of your mind and go do something else that excites you and energizes you.
  4. Let your idea return to you. After you have stopped thinking about it, your idea will come back to you with a flash of insight and renewed energy.
  5. Shape and develop your idea based on feedback. For any idea to succeed, you must release it out into the world, submit it to criticism, and adapt it as needed.
Creativity is learned

Some people are primed to be more creative than others.

However, nearly every person is born with some level of creative skill and the majority of our creative thinking abilities are trainable.

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The lone genius is a myth

All great achievements involve some measure of collaboration.

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Creativity and collaboration
The interaction between people is indeed the fundamental engine of the creative process.

We are just not so aware of it, because much of the creative exchange happens quietly to the side, and does not become part of our modern history.

Remarkable creativity from one person

There is the case of Emily Dickinson. But looking closer, it becomes clear that she was immensely interested in people and wrote hundreds of poems for particular people, and sending them to them.

The big idea is that genius partnerships are stories of dialogue. As Warren Buffett said about Charlie Munger: "Charlie does the talking, I just move my lips."

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