Primary components of Adaptive Thinking - Deepstash

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Adaptive Thinking: How High-Performers Think When It Matters Most | Nick Wignall

Primary components of Adaptive Thinking

Primary components of Adaptive Thinking
  • Effective planning
  • Careful monitoring of progress
  • The ability to flexibly shift thinking and behavior to accommodate circumstantial changes.

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Divergent Thinking

Is the ability to generate many ideas or solutions from a single idea or piece of information. 

It’s thought to be one of, if not the most, important factor in creativity.

Convergent Thinking

Is the ability to take many pieces of information or data and generate one solution. 

It is largely taught and encouraged in schools and workplaces.

Exercising Divergent Thinking
  1. The Many Uses Exercise: Pick an ordinary object, set a timer for 5 minutes and try to come up with as many alternative uses for a paperclip as you can.
  2. 10 New Ideas: Every day for a week, try to come up with 10 new ideas within a specific topic or category.
  3. Daily Headlines: Imagine that your day was a news story in the New York Times. What would the headline be? 
  4. Articles on Trial: Challenge the conclusion of articles you read by coming up with one question you’d like to ask the author.
  5. Start to notice your automatic thoughts and generate alternatives to them.
"Teaching" Sleep

During WWII, the U.S. military realized that if fighter pilots didn't get sleep, their poor decisions had dire consequences. Their mishaps included errors that resulted in their being shot down--or...

Combat Pilots Sleeping Hacks
  • Get into a comfortable position, wherever you are, like a bed, or a couch.
  • Close your eyes.
  • Relax your facial muscles, all of them, as it sends a signal to the brain that all is well. This makes your breathing slow and deep. 
  • Drop your shoulders, and let them completely loose. 
  • Feel your legs go limp, sinking and getting heavier, both of them, one by one.
  • Turn off your brain for 10 seconds, just like rebooting an iPhone.
  • Avoid thoughts at all costs. It is just 10 seconds, so anything from visualizing something or chanting will do. If you drift towards thoughts, you will start to activate your muscles automatically.
High-pressure moments as a (fun) challenge

Most people see "pressure situations" as threatening, and that makes them perform even less well. 

But, "when you see the ...

One of many opportunities

Is this high-pressure situation a good opportunity? Sure. Is it the only opportunity you will ever have for the rest of your life? Probably not.

Before an interview or a big meeting, give yourself a pep talk: "I will have other interviews" (or presentations or sales calls). 

Focus on the task

Instead of worrying about the outcome, worry about the task at hand.

That means developing tunnel vision. When you keep your eye on the task at hand (and only the task at hand), all you can see is the concrete steps necessary to excel.