Most of the people we encounter refuse to change their minds during a discussion or debate, even when provided with hard facts that contradict their stand. As most of us have learnt the hard way in the last few years, it is extremely difficult to persuade anyone with strong beliefs or ideologies.
It is human nature due to ‘motivated reasoning’, which leads to many kinds of biases, as the reasoning process of our mind is akin to a lawyer defending a client.
As most of us have preexisting mental models, it is hard to change one’s mind and completely eliminate the various cognitive biases.
We all possess the ability to develop self-control.
Instead of immediately responding to impulses, we can plan and evaluate our actions beforehand.
Figure out your “why.” Consider these questions.
No matter what you want to learn or accomplish, there’s someone in the world that has already achieved what you want.
You have access nowadays to endless resources in the form of biographies, books, videos, online classes and so on. You just have to search.
There are no shortcuts.
The 10,000 hour rule is still under debate, but it doesn’t defeat the fact that immersion through repetition of the task at hand is the only way to achieve mastery.
Seek an outside perspective as soon as possible.
We try to learn everything ourselves, without seeking the feedback of others, only to realize that we were way off-course.
Since our focus is limited, we can maximize our results is to eliminate what doesn’t work.
The easiest way to do this is to use Pareto’s principle to your task: almost every time, there are a few important tasks that give you the majority of your desired results.
Don’t quit just because you’re not getting the results you desire in this moment.
If you have a clear vision, someone to model, and embrace massive experimentation, there’s no reason not to give up.
Many of us are practising all-or-nothing thinking, believing that the world is in absolute terms, and assuming that something that is not completely black or white has negative connotations or is murky and confusing.
The often-resisted gray areas, where the answers are not certain, quick or clear, are paradoxically the very places that one can start to experience peace and contentment, and minimize anxiety.
Thinking in absolute terms is preferred as it appears certain, simple and less taxing on the brain. There is a certain cockiness in thinking in binary terms, as it gives us an illusion that we have everything figured out, and provides us with a false sense of confidence.
Simplicity and insight comes with the understanding that reality is never black or white, but is some shade of gray.
Understanding and embracing the gray area has many benefits:
People with a Growth Mindset believe they can grow, develop, and master whatever skills and abilities they wish in life.
They enjoy learning and overcoming challenges, working outside the comfort zone and growing.
It includes the ideas we have about ourselves and the world around us.
These beliefs come from our innate dispositions, childhood experience and/or cultural/societal influence and are often entrenched.
If you believe you can’t learn new skills or change the way you work, look at the evidence that supports both your negative and positive beliefs.
This may not necessarily lead to a modification of those beliefs, but is an important start. You can use belief monitoring to keep track of your thinking.
Look at the costs and benefits of your current way of perceiving yourself and the world around you. Is it worth shifting to Growth Mindset?
List both the advantages and disadvantages. It will help you see how many great opportunities you let go of because you don’t believe in your capabilities.
Fake it until you make it. Even if you don’t fully buy into the new mindset, try acting as if you were.
Don’t believe you can learn a new language? Enroll in the language classes and participate, like everyone else. Watch how your confidence and your perception of your capabilities change.
After you’ve experimented a little with the growth mindset way of thinking, ask people from your close circle to comment on how your interactions with the world have changed.
Ask if they’ve noticed how this has affected your level of happiness, fulfillment or whatever it is you’re pursuing.
A Polymath is defined as one who is specialized in at least two unrelated fields or domains while having a passive interest in other domains too. They are individualists that hold a holistic view of the world.
Polymaths have an interest in many different phenomena and are curious and adventurous by nature, looking to experience and uncover new facts.
When polymaths become interested in something, they don't care which domain or sphere it leads them. Some qualities of a Polymath person:
Genetic and environmental factors, along with curiosity and self-awareness, make polymaths complex personalities.
They have historically been rebels, as society has always encouraged individuals to specialize in a particular field.
The idea of "A jack of all trades, master of none" falls flat when we study the polymath.
Pursuing multiple interests can fuel creativity and productivity, creating connections between domains, leading to cross-pollination.
Polymathy leads to creativity, as one domain can inspire something new in a different domain.
For example: Having knowledge of geometry can help in painting, or knowing to play the piano, one can apply more creativity in a domain like mechanical engineering, by forming connections.
What we can learn from polymaths: we can be better and more productive at our jobs if we keep switching between different skills or subjects, changing our environment, the company we keep and our interests. This is also an excellent tool to solve problems.
In the early 20th century, original work entered the world of commerce. Chemical, pharmaceutical and electrical companies hired large numbers of academically trained scientists, believing that innovation was vital to commercial success and that science belonged in commercial organisations.
Companies such as General Electric and Eastman Kodak didn't think creative and productive work had anything to do with hiring awkward geniuses but with finding the organisational forms that allowed ordinary people to achieve extraordinary things.
The military was a key factor in creativity's Cold War history, particularly American history.
A psychologist wrote: 'In the presence of threat, creativity could no longer be left to the chance occurrence of genius; neither could it be left in the realm of the wholly mysterious and the untouchable. Men had to be able to do something about it; creativity had to be a property in many men; it had to be something identifiable; it had to be subject to efforts to gain more of it.'
In 1950, a leading psychologist lamented that only a small proportion of professional literature was concerned with creativity.
Within a decade, a 'creativity movement' developed. Seminars on 'creative engineering' were held, asking what creativity is, why it's important, what factors influence it, how it should be developed. There was never a consensus about whether particular definitions were right, but sentiment settled around a substantive link between creativity and the idea of divergent thinking. People were thought to be creative if they could branch out and imagine a range of possible solutions.
By its nature, creativity is individual, eccentric, and antagonistic to attempts to plan to organise it. An effort to manage creative people might result in only getting the appearance of creativity.
The categories of being creative, or a creative person, transitioned over time from the sacred power to a secular ability. From the 1950s onward, creativity has been established as something desirable and essential, a value that was the source of many other values.
Marketing expert Theodore Levitt published an essay in 1963, 'Creativity is not enough.' Levitt stated that creativity might be a source of new ideas, but it is not ideal for good business outcomes. There is no short supply of new ideas.
Creativity is having a new idea, while innovation is the realisation of an idea in a specific outcome. It is innovation that really matters. Creative people tend to be irresponsible and detached from the processes of achieving results.
The rise of creativity has continued since the Cold War. Many expert practices have been incorporated into the everyday life of organisations committed to producing useful novelty.
The specific language of creativity has become normalized just as new and useful making has become normalized. Producing new and useful things is not less important than it once was, but creativity has become so invested with value that the meaning and practices of real creativity are at risk of being lost.