Tuesday, 19 March 2013

Ogunmupe: How To Cultivate Good Thinking



Leonid-Hurwicz
IT is good to embrace good thinking as a lifestyle for your level of thinking determines your level of progress in life. For you to change your life, you must change your way of thinking. Your life today is the result of your past thinking. Your tomorrow is determined by how you think today.
If you change your thinking, you can change your feeling. Through changing your feelings, you change your actions. And new actions based on good thinking can change your life. Many educators would have us believe that good education leads to a better life and the more formal education you have, the more successful you will be.      Unfortunately, education cannot always deliver on such promises. The bulk of the world’s great achievers are school dropouts —- Bill Gates, Thomas Edison and Steve Jobs are examples.
Two delusions about higher education are that what is taught is what is learned and that this will pay off in money. But the problem is that schools teach people what to think not how to think. But knowledge alone is not power. Knowledge has value only in the hands of a good thinker. You must learn to think creatively to achieve your dreams. What you think determines what you become.
Here are three ways to cultivate creative thinking. One, creative thinking creates good results. The quality of your thinking determines the quality of your results. Poor thinking produces poor results. Average thinking results in failure. Creative thinking produces progress. Great thinking produces great results. The reason people fail is that they desire success without changing their thinking. You need to visualize success before you can succeed. Successful business people have succeeded through their thinking. Their hands were helpers to their brains.
As your thinking shapes your life, it follows that your success is determined by your creativity. As you think creatively, you will discover that thinking for a change does not tell you what to think; it teaches you how to think. As you get acquainted with the skill of creative thinking, you will find that in certain circumstances, you think well, but in others you don’t. Learn to develop creative thinking and you will become a better thinker.
Learn all that you can -- including the process of shared thinking, which compensates for your weak areas and your life will change for the better. I once read that the battle for the control of the world has always been waged most effectively at the idea level. An idea, whether right or wrong, that captures the minds of a nation’s youth will soon work its way into every area of society. In our multimedia age, ideas determine consequences.
Achieving your potentials comes from good thinking. That was certainly true of Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart. He explains: “In all my years, what I heard more often than anything was: ‘a town of less than 50, 000 in population cannot support a discount store for very long.’” But Walton did not think along the line of his competitors. And for that reason, he struck a greater potential, while others followed popular thinking, Walton thought creatively. That paid up in a remarkable way. Today, Wal-Mart is the world’s largest retailer, employing more than one million people and achieving annual sales in excess of $191 billion.
Every week, over 100 million customers visit Wal-Mart store. No wonder, Jack Welch, former chairman of US General Electric, said, “The hero is the one with Ideas.” The greatest detriment to your success tomorrow is your jaded thinking today.     Achievements come from the habit of good thinking. The more good thinking you gain, more good thoughts you create. It is like creating a never-ending army of ideas capable of achieving almost anything. As French playwright, Victor Hugo, asserted: “An invasion of armies can be resisted, but not an invasion of ideas.” How was the typewriter able to resist the desktop computer?
Our champion for today is Leonid Hurwicz, the polish American economist and mathematician of Jewish descent who won the 2007 Nobel Memorial Prize for economics for having laid the foundation of mechanism design theory. He originated incentive compatibility, which shows how desired outcomes are achieved in economics, social science and political science. Interaction of individuals and institutions, markets and trade are analyzed and understood today using the models Hurwicz developed. Leonid Hurwicz is the oldest Nobel Laureate, having received the prize at the age of 90.
Born in Moscow in August 1917. Hurwicz died in June 2008. He was encouraged by his father to study law; in 1938 Hurwicz received his LLM from the University of Warsaw where he found his future vocation in the economics class. He then studied economics at the London school of Economics, leaving without a degree. He also studied at the Graduate Institute of International Studies In Geneva.
After moving to the United State, he continued his Studies at Harvard and the University of Chicago. He had no degree in economics, saying in 2007: “Whatever economics I learned, I learned by listening and learning. In 1941 Hurwicz was a research assistant at M.I.T, and in 1945 he received a Guggenheim Fellowship becoming associate professor of economics at Iowa State College. In 1951 he became a research professor of economics at the University of Illinois.
Named for Hurwicz was the Hurwicz Criterion in the area of decision making called “under uncertainty”
There is also the Leonid Hurwicz Distinguished Lecture delivered yearly at Minnesota Economic Association. Finally was the Nobel Prize in Economics  which he shared with Eric Maskin and Roger Myerson. When asked which of all the applications of mechanism design he was most pleased to see, Hurwicz said welfare economics. He applied games theory to discover the best and most efficient means to reach a desired outcome, taking into consideration the individual’s knowledge and self interest. Owing to his old age, the prize was delivered to him in the U.S.A, in company of Evelyn, his spouse of 60 years.

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