Intelligence is a mechanism to solve problems (especially the ones related to survival). It includes the ability to gather knowledge, to learn, to be creative, to form strategies, or think critically.
It manifests itself in a huge variety of behaviors.
We can think of intelligence as a flexible set of skills: a toolbox. And the most basic tools in the intelligence toolbox are:
These tools enable creatures that appear to be stupid to act in surprisingly intelligent ways.
Information is the basis of action for all living things.
Without it, we are not able to control and predict our surroundings, or to react appropriately and flexibly to them.
Information is much more powerful if we can keep it and save it. This is where memory enters.
Memory is the ability to save and recall information so we don't have to go back to square one every time we perceive something as important.
Learning is the process of putting together a sequence of thoughts and actions.
It is a series of repeatable behaviors that can be diversified and adapted.
Being creative translates into building something new and valuable from apparently unrelated things. In the context of intelligence, this means making new and unusual connections: pairing input with memories and skills, to come up with a unique solution to a problem.
Another aspect of creativity is applying a new tool/resource to a task.
Gathering materials for later use is connected to an advanced dimension of problem-solving: planning.
Planning means considering activities required for the desired goal and putting them together in a plan. When unexpected conditions and new possibilities arise, they need to be evaluated according to whether they match the plan or not.
Because we as humans are able to work together and share knowledge across generations, we can overcome challenges beyond any single individual's ability. This allowed us to shape the planet on our liking.
We also created new problems in the process: tax forms, but also climate change and antibiotic resistance, for example. To solve these, we need to look past short-term survival and think about the distant future.
Children are naturally inquisitive, but as they turn into adults, the frequency of asking questions slowly diminishes. They crystallize their understanding of the world and let things be as they are, not disturbing the status quo.
The lost art of asking good, challenging questions is essential in this world. Some questions are innocuous and simple, but there are other types of queries asked by curious minds which may not be appropriate to many people.
Asking fresh questions is essential to critical thinking, and for solving problems that appear unsolvable to rigid minds.
Thinking outside the box, a well-known cliché involves asking uncomfortable or unheard of questions that may sound ridiculous to some.
The world is full of mystery and wonder, but closed minds cannot fathom that their worldview and presumptions can be re-examined by inquisitive minds.
If they reflect upon the same, they might begin to realize that such inquiries are simply the product of fresh thinking and need to be seen with tolerance.
Divide your paper into three sections: a 2.5” margin to the left, a 2” summary section on the bottom, and a main 6” section.
The advantages of this method are notes that are neatly organized and summarized.
The page is organized by topic. While in class, start with the main topic. Branch off and write a heading for each of the subtopics. Add important notes underneath each subtopic.
This method is useful for visual learners. It helps you understand the relationships between topics.
Use headings and bullet points with supporting facts.
This method is useful when a topic includes a lot of detail.
Divide the page into 3 columns and label each column by category. Fill the details of each category in the rows below.
This method is useful for lessons that cover a lot of facts or relationships between topics.
This method involves jotting down important information on each topic. Each line on the page is a separate topic. Use headings for each main topic.
Genius is tied up with precocity. We think brilliance requires youth and energy and freshness. Mozart wrote his breakthrough Piano Concerto No. 9 in E-Flat-Major at the age of twenty-one. T.S. Eliot wrote "The Love Song of J.Alfred Prufrock" at the age of twenty-three
Economist David Galenson decided to find out whether the assumption is true that creativity, when discovered early, burns brightly, and then die out at an early age. He found that is what not so. Some are late bloomers. Mark Twain published "Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" at forty-nine. Daniel Defoe wrote "Robinson Crusoe" at fifty-eight.
Prodigies like Picasso, who created a masterpiece at age twenty, tend to be "conceptual" in the sense that they start with a clear idea of where they want to go, and then accomplish it. Picasso once said that he could hardly understand the importance given to the word 'research.'
But late bloomers tend to work the other way around. Their goals are imprecise and their procedure experimental. They build their skills gradually throughout their careers, improving slowly over long periods.
Experimental artists are perfectionists and are typically plagued by frustration in their inability to reach their goal. Their creativity proceeds through trial and error and takes a long time to come to fruition.
Late bloomers don't realize they're good at something until they're about fifty. It's not that they start late; It's that they simply aren't much good until late in their careers.
Young Cézanne had rare endowments, but he couldn't draw. Cézanne required decades of practicing before he could master his ability.
Prodigies have it easier. Their genius gets noticed from the start.
Late bloomers have it harder. On the road to great achievement, they will resemble failure. They may revise and despair and change course and slash canvases. After months or years, what they produce will look like a thing produced by the artist who will never bloom at all.
The success of the late bloomer is highly dependent on the efforts of others.
The Pareto Efficiency idea refers to situations where you can (or can't) improve something without trade-offs.
For example, consider designing a car where you aim for speed and safety. Pareto efficiency is to find a design that allows you to get more speed or safety without getting less of the other.
Taking efficiency further, one can consider lots of designs. By putting them all on a graph, we can notice that the ones inside of the frontier are inefficient choices.
Efficient frontiers will show a general pattern.
When you put all the possible working schedules, habits and systems on a graph, the graph will show all your productive possibilities.
The frontier is always a bit deceptive. Finding a new technique can suddenly let you get much more done in less time. The frontier can shift.
Guidelines to know if you are on the frontier:
Those that are far from the frontier can focus on improving each element. You can improve by reorganizing your work to get more done.
But once you are on the productive frontier, things are different. Improvement comes from making hard choices about trade-offs. Do you want a cleaner house or more time to work on your projects? You may feel guilty for investing more time on one thing while limiting time for something else important. It is best to be intentional about what you really care about and what can be downgraded.
90% of your daily decisions happen automatically, many shaped by your environment. Thus, most decisions are a habit, not a deliberate choice.
To make smarter choices, design smarter defaults. And habits can be developed by shaping the invisible defaults of your life.
Design your life like a choice architect:
Logotherapy originated in the 1930s as a counter-response to the prevalent theories of the time, and examines the physical, psychological and spiritual aspects of individuals. .
Its premise is that the strongest motivational force of an individual is to find a meaning in life and it was devised by Prof Viktor Frankl, an Austrian psychiatrist and neurologist.
Humans normally function on primal reactions like negative self-talk, emotional outbursts and irrational actions based on outside events and circumstances. The lost ‘spiritual’ dimension of meaning is brought forward by Logotherapy.
Logotherapy looks at all the three dimensions of an individual:
It is an effective therapy for PTSD, acute stress, alcohol and drug treatment, anxiety, depression and group behaviour/dynamics.
A number of studies and extensive research point out that doodling, that is scribbling or drawing in a seemingly distracted manner, is actually great for information retention in the mind and fostering of creativity.
Doodling sets the mind up for greater, more expansive creativity and gets the neurons to fire. It frees up memory and increases the attention span.
When the mind is only working in a linguistic mode, doodling provides a visual medium to support mind processing, providing it with neurological access.
The natural doodles that we can indulge to enhance our visual language:
While we listen to people talk, taking notes interferes with our understanding, but if abstract visual doodles are created, the words turn into images and the brain gets visual support for the audio information.
Knowing these and other biases is not enough. We need a framework for making decisions.
Anticipation can be described as a yearning or a desire to get something that would give you a burst of good feelings.
Anticipation precedes experience. Experience strengthens your anticipation and may set a new standard of enjoyment and expectation for future events.
Every thought has a desire behind it. It fuels the mind to divert attention from the current moment and instead focus on the spell of desire. If I receive a message from someone from work, I anticipate how I will feel reading the message. All focus is on predicting the next moment and checking if it matches the anticipated outcome.
Life gives many opportunities to build more anticipation with lots of new events happening. Daily notifications on the phone are continuously distracting us from reality. We have become a Pavlovian dog without even noticing it.
On the one end, desire cultivates anticipation. On the other, it fosters fear.
Positive outcomes build anticipation, and negative outcomes build fear from desire. In both cases, reality slips by unnoticed in the background. If we overcome desire, we eliminate anticipation and fear.