On The Path Of Winners
By Bayo Ogiunmupe
How Creative Thinking Bolsters Success
THINKING creatively is the swiftest road to success. Creative thinking is a new phenomenon in the field of entrepreneurship. The Creative Education Foundation, New York, United States discovered brainstorming as the weapon of problem solving. The best way to hasten your way to stardom is to learn to think creatively. So, if you wish to become a champion, learn to think creatively. You can learn to think better. If you want to make the true decision that will lift you to the stars, to change jobs or become a millionaire.
Through the study of creative thinking and creative problem solving online, I have achieved 80 per cent accurate decisions in my present life. My aim therefore is to provide you with up to date information on how to improve your thinking skills. For centuries, educators have assumed that all you had to do was go to school. That if you absorbed a lot of information, you would automatically learn to think. That assumption has turned out to be wrong, and the problems spawned by it are now being felt. In Nigeria, thinking is particularly rare. Which is why we are overwhelmed with problems. Despite our oil wealth, we belong to the list of the poorest nations on earth.
China, Japan and Germany are second, third and fourth in that order as the richest nations of the world though without oil wealth. Nigeria has one Nobel laureate to 170 million people whereas, it is one Nobel prizewinner to one million in Britain, Germany and Israel. Creative thinking made all of them great. So by learning to think creatively you can excel beyond your wildest dreams. Knowing how to read and learning to think are not the same.
A recent Rockefeller Foundation report recommends that training in thinking be among the basic skills taught in schools because thinking is a skill that can be learned. The habit of thinking does not grow inevitably from the accumulation of facts from reading.
Thinking isn’t an activity for the classroom or for the long hours of reading you put in at work. It is something you must do all the time. The question is whether you will do it well or poorly. Poor thinking is responsible for failure at work, failure at school, failure in marriage or failure to excel at your career. If you can improve your thinking skills, and everybody can, it will help you improve in your struggle for financial freedom.
The first problem of one who wants to think creatively is that our thinking becomes rigid. We respond to new situations with the same old ideas. Our thinking falls into a well-worn pattern – a rut. We think in clichés. Our mind has many layers, but is preeminently a pattern making system. But that is good because if our minds did not form patterns, we would be completely overwhelmed by the huge mass of information that press in upon us every hour of the day. This information has to be handled and organized. To do this our minds create patterns.
But this pattern-making properties of our minds can be applied inappropriately. They become maladaptive. But they don’t work for us anymore, instead, they work against us. That is why we think of the same things and do the same things that didn’t work before. However, creative thinking teaches us that there is another and better way of achieving the same goal. From time to time, you have probably been asked to get new ideas or think creatively, or be more open to new ideas. But there are simple exercises you can do to help you break out of your rigid patterns of thinking.
However, the way geniuses come up with their discoveries is exemplified by Markus Zusak of the United States. In 2002, Zusak sat down to write a book. Through a sypnosis, he mapped out his story from the beginning to the end. He then listed out the chapters, allocating pages to each. When he started writing out the body of the story from the perspectives of Death, it didn’t cohere in the way he wanted it. Then he rewrote it from the eyes of a protagonist in the first person. It didn’t fly. He tried the historical way. Yet it didn’t flow the way he desired it. Thereafter, he revised, changed and edited it, the 200th time, then it felt right. He titled it The Book Thief. In an interview after the book was published, Zusak said, ‘‘In three years, I must have failed over a thousand times, but each failure brought me closer to what I needed, for that I am grateful.”
The Book Thief became a bestseller. It occupies the New York Times best-seller list for over 230 weeks. It sold more than eight million copies. It has been translated into 40 languages. A few years later, Hollywood turned it into a box office buster movie. Thus, the secret of good luck is hard work and unrelenting patience. Indeed, Zusak is proof that perseverance, rewriting your work 200 times to get the grove of your ideas ensures luck coming your way.
Dreams do not come true just because you dreamed them. You have to act on them before they become reality. Brainstorming is the best way to generate ideas. Edward de Bono, the apostle of lateral thinking believes brainstorming is an extremely useful way of getting new ideas. Here are rules for a productive brainstorming session. The ideal size of the group for a session is about a dozen. Larger groups of between 15 and 20 become unwieldly with some members being overlooked and never getting chances to contribute. Smaller groups of half a dozen or less tend to break down into arguments between individuals or factions.
The session needs a chairman, a father figure being respectable owing to his experience and knowledge. The chairman is to enforce the rules of etiquette, guide the meeting not to control it. The chair’s duties are to define the problem, keep members from criticizing or even evaluating the ideas presented by others. If the question is too broad, like a solution to unsteady power supply, the discussion is likely to be diffuse to be of much value as a training in lateral-thinking. While the free flow of ideas should be encouraged, the chair has to set boundaries and keep pulling the members back to the topic.
Research has shown that review is the best way for the brain to remember new materials, so here are a review of thoughts on creative thinking. One, the mind is a pattern-making system, so try to break the pattern. Two, question every assumption, nothing is sacred. Three, you have only your experience to think with. Four, our view of the world is selective. Five, don’t be afraid to admit errors. Six, you can never change another person’s mind. Seven, in thinking, specificity is essential. Eight, the mind defends itself by shutting out unpleasantness. Nine, never underestimate your own intuition. Ten, intuition is the starting-point of great ideas, they have to be developed and tested to become real. Here are some useful tips to improve your memory and excellence. A, your memory is lousy. If you need to remember something accurately, write it down. B, everybody’s memory is lousy, if you need accurate information, rely on written or printed sources. C, know the time of day your mind is at its peak and arrange your schedule accordingly. D, don’t be afraid to consider a ridiculous idea, such ideas often lead to ingenuity. E, if you feel frustrated by a problem, sleep on it. F, when caught up with a difficult problem, talk it over with others. G, always write down your solutions as clearly as possible. H, examine motives, yours and others on why you should believe the opinions of others. K, keep in mind that every word has two definitions, a dictionary definition and an emotional definition, and in any argument, be sure you know both of them.