Feeling clever today? Let’s make it even better by learning how to think like a genius!
What do I mean? I mean learning ways to make our minds and thinking processes quicker and less error-prone. This will help you in all aspects of your life, from your personal life to your career, and everything in between.
How Does A Genius Think?
Highly intelligent people, and even geniuses, have some common characteristics in their thinking:
- They are flexible and always looking for the truth. If they were wrong about something, they change their view.
- Geniuses are lifelong learners.
- They love intellectual challenges.
- To think like a genius, you must learn to control your emotions.
- They have hobbies and interests that involve thinking and learning.
- Geniuses are more interested in ideas than they are in people. They mostly disdain gossip and harmful comparisons to others.
- They are self-critical and are always looking for ways to improve themselves.
With this in mind, let’s check out some practical ways to think like a genius.
Ways to Think Like a Genius
Accept that Everything is Always Changing, and so Must You
As Andy from the Headspace meditation app says, “everything is always changing”. Another way to phrase it is to acknowledge that the only constant in life is change.
Fighting the changing nature of life is always a losing battle. Even if change is uncomfortable, there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
So embrace it! Change is a beautiful opportunity to improve every day and to make the most of life. By thinking about the positive aspects of change (like the opportunity it brings), you’ll be two steps ahead of most other people.
Read News From Different Perspectives
No person or ideology has a monopoly on truth or reason. We are all fallible and can learn from those who think differently.
That’s why it’s good to get a different perspective every once in a while, and especially when major events happen. For example, for quick news, check out both MSNBC (from the left) and Fox (from the right). See how they report the news differently and think about which is most convincing to you, or if the truth, as it often does, lies somewhere in the middle.
For a more intellectual take, you can read The New York Times and The Atlantic (which both lean left), plus National Review and Quillette (which both lean right). I try to peruse all of these publications, and often find myself agreeing with parts of all of them!
All of these are at least fairly serious in their journalism and analytical rigor, by the way. I try to stay away from other outlets that are mostly propaganda (I’m not naming names here, but we all know who they are).
Anyways, learning to constantly challenge your ideas and refine your thoughts and thought processes are great ways to start thinking like a genius. After all, if you’re stuck in your own echo chamber, then you’re not moving forward.
Develop Hobbies that Foster Learning
Or more accurately, develop pursuits. It can be pretty much anything that gets you thinking in a goal-oriented and systematic way, from interior design to grilling to stamp collecting. The idea is to work those mental muscles and deepen your skills and knowledge in one or more fields.
The opposite would be something like partying. It’s cool and I myself love it, but to develop those genius skills, you need to balance it with something that’s truly a pursuit.
Give Yourself Growth Goals
By this I mean that you set ambitious goals in your personal and professional pursuits. Your goal should not be to find a comfortable bubble and ensconce yourself there for the rest of your life. All this will do is make you stagnate and fall behind. Seek growth, not comfort.
For example, if you love tech, teach yourself a programming language; if sports are more your thing, strive to become the best in a fantasy league. If you hate your job, learn new marketable skills in your spare time. You don’t have to move at the speed of light; just move, and do it regularly.
Subscribe to an Educational YouTube Channel
It doesn’t have to be something formal. Just look for a channel that teaches you more about something you enjoy. If you love cars, find a channel that goes into them in detail. I’m into tech and stock investing and trading, so I’m always checking out MKBHD and Bear Bull Traders.
This serves at least two purposes. First, it makes you an expert on something, as you learn more and more over time. Second, a good channel will teach you about its topic in an analytical and methodical way, which in turn will make your overall thinking more analytical, methodical, and rigorous.
Reading books lets you delve deeply into subjects in a way that standalone articles cannot replicate. They also let you form a base of knowledge in a field that you can then branch out from. I admit that I did not read books outside of work for a long time, and instead read several articles each day.
Now I try to always be reading one book on my Kindle or Libby reader. Indeed, you can even get books for free from your local library, which may let you borrow them electronically.
Talk to People With Different Backgrounds and Viewpoints
You can read publications with a viewpoint very different from your own, but actually talking to people who think differently than you do makes it real. And it’s a lot of fun!
For example, I’ve had the pleasure of spending time with several people from China. I was born and raised in Puerto Rico, so that’s a completely different background to me. And I can say that I’ve been wowed by how warm, friendly, and jolly they’ve all been. I don’t know, maybe it’s something about their culture, but they’re just fun to hang out with!
Like travel, meeting people that are from different backgrounds and viewpoints broadens and enriches your mind, and brings you just a bit closer to thinking like a genius.
Regularly Read About Psychology
By learning about psychology, you learn about your own thoughts and those of others. I think it’s a crucial discipline because not only does it let you understand others better, but it gives you the tools to understand and improve yourself.
A big part of mastering anything, I believe, is to find what you’re doing wrong and fix it little by little. You get better by making thousands of tiny adjustments and improvements, which together add up to a world of difference.
You can apply this to yourself by learning about psychology, and gradually improving your thought process and even your overall well-being. For example, I know that walking in nature has been scientifically shown to relax you. So, I try to incorporate nature more into my life in order to combat my work and life stress.
The more you learn about your mind, the more you can improve it.
Watch Reality TV
No joke! People make fun of reality TV, but I find some moderate consumption quite entertaining and useful. You see, reality TV helps give you a window into social dynamics and how people think and deal with problems and challenges.
I find it educational, revealing, and just plain fun!
And That’s How You Think Like A Genius
Not that hard, right? Really, these are all just good habits that will make you more mentally nimble and open-minded. By following them, you’ll be able to see further than others and better your life in all of its aspects.
What are your favorite ways to improve your thinking?