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The Creativity Post | How Geniuses Think

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.

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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

9

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.

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.

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.