14 Jul Learn to think like a genius

Yolande A. shares her thoughts about learning to think like a Genius.

We are all born with an ability to be creative. However, something happens to us when we start school: we’re taught to think productively. But geniuses don’t do that; they think creative productivity among other ways.

There are many means to classify a genius. If you look at the historical figures whom most people would consider geniuses such as Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci and Beethoven, you can see what they all share in common: they were all able to think in a way different to the mainstream.

So how does the average person think like a genius? According to Thomas Alva Edison “Genius is ninety nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration”. You can use the same strategies as Aristotle and Einstein to harness the power of your creative mind and better manage your future.

Strategy 1 – Look at problems in different ways and find new perspectives.

Leonardo da Vinci believed that the first way he looked at a problem was too biased. Often, when the problem itself is reconstructed, it becomes a new one and there will be a clearer solution for it.


Strategy 2 – Visualise!
Geniuses make their thoughts visible. When Einstein thought through a problem, he always found it necessary to formulate his subject in as many different ways as possible, including using diagrams. He visualized solutions.

Strategy 3 – Produce! A distinguishing characteristic of genius is creative productivity.
Thomas Edison held 1,093 patents. He guaranteed productivity by giving himself and his assistants idea quotas. In a study of 2,036 scientists throughout history, Dean Keith Simonton of the University of California at Davis found that the most respected scientists produced not only great works, but also many “bad” ones. They weren’t afraid to fail in order to arrive at excellence.

Strategy 4 – Make novel combinations. Combine ideas, images and thoughts into different combinations. Trevor Baylis put together a hand brace, an electric motor and a small radio to invent the windup radio, Fred Smith started FedEx by blending the transportation of goods with the way banks moved money, and Bill Gates merged the computer with the idea of a person’s everyday desktop and founded Microsoft.


Strategy 5 – Make connections between dissimilar subjects.
Geniuses force relationships: if one thing stands out about genius, it is that ability to make juxtapositions between dissimilar subjects. To connect the unconnected enables them to see things others do not. Da Vinci forced a relationship between the sound of a bell and a stone hitting water; This enabled him to make the connection that sound travels in waves. Samuel Morse invented relay stations for telegraphic signals when observing relay stations for horses.

Strategy 6 – Think in opposites.
Physicist Niels Bohr believed that if you held opposites together, then you suspend your thoughts and your mind moves to a new level. This led to his conception of the principle of complementarity. Suspending logical thinking may allow your mind to create a new form.

Strategy 7 – Think metaphorically.
Aristotle considered metaphor a sign of genius and believed that the individual who had the capacity to perceive resemblances between two separate areas of existence and link them together was a person of special gifts.

Strategy 8 – Failure! Learning from your mistakes is one example of using failure. Whenever we attempt to do something and fail, we try doing something else. That is the first principle of creative accident. Do not ask the question “Why have I failed?” but rather “What have I done?”


And here are some practical tips on becoming a genius;

  1. Love learning. Geniuses are passionate about the things they do. If you want to think like a genius, find what you love and go for it wholeheartedly.
  1. Figure out what your learning style is and make use of it. The major types are; auditory, visual-spatial, verbal-linguistic and kinesthetic. Experiment with different techniques for absorbing information and stick with what works best for you.
  1. Learn how to self-educateThere are lots of Mobile Learning resources available through Eton Institute such as Virtual Learning, Self-Study Programs, Apps and Gamification that can put all sorts of exciting information at your fingertips.
  1. Be pro-active and ask questionsThere are people you meet every day that know all sorts of things and have a variety of valuable skills to share. As a genius, be interested in the potential in everything.


  1. Start ambitious projects and see them through from start to finish. Genius ideas have often occurred in the pursuit of something that many contemporaries thought it to be crazy. Create opportunities for yourself to discover new things by embarking on journeys on which no one has yet embarked.
  1. Embrace change, uncertainty, and doubt. It is on the edges of knowledge that innovation and discovery happen. Don’t be afraid to question conventional wisdom, geniuses are often the ones who rewrite current conventions.
  1. Be prolific. Geniuses produce. A distinguishing characteristic of genius is immense productivity. Thomas Edison held 1093 patents, still the record. Mozart produced more than 600 pieces of music. Einstein is best known for his paper on relativity, but he published 248 other papers.
  1. Think differently. You are different. Every kind of genius is different. And every kind of opinion has something true and something you can learn from. Remember that different ideas have not historically been accepted well, and yours may not be either. Geniuses throughout history have not let this deter them; neither should you.

Finally, if you learn a lot and express your knowledge to everyone, don’t show off. Genius people think of themselves as if they know a little. They try to think like this and keep learning. That’s why they become successful.


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