People often believe that geniuses are a rare breed and that they are born, not made.
They appear so rarely that you can make a safe guess that only one or two appear in a million people.
But did you know that there are actually exercises which help you build up the genius in you?
Yes, you can build your mental genius muscles and you can become a certified Einstein.
Roberta B. Ness, MD, MPH, dean at the School of Public Health, and vice president of innovation at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, talked about her findings in her book, Genius Unmasked.
Ness talked about systematic tools that Marie Curie and even Einstein used to make their scientific discoveries.
To start of, geniuses always ask the right questions. They base off their hypothesis on past theories while observing their environment.
For example, American engineer Paul Baran related a “web of computers” to “neurological pathways”.
They also try to work on different points of view, as per Ness, stating that Darwin once imagined himself as a plant while Einstein was visualizing traveling at the speed of light.
If you’re looking for exercises to help you think like a genius, here’s a few things you can do to think like one:
Think of doing still life drawing without looking at your own paper.
It’s going to help you be more observant of what you’re doing and forces you to be careful before each stroke.
Create “out of this world” ideas
Geniuses suggest that creating ideas off of a problem and making each more absurd than the other enable people to think outside the box.
Think of a problem, create ideas for a crazy solution, then make crazier ideas. Then think of what makes that idea work and use it to formulate a more practical solution.
Think from all the angles
There isn’t only one way to get to an answer.
People created knives to slice and cut, but never for the purpose of spreading butter on bread. Always think of all the angles to help yourself formulate a solution.
Think out of the box
Engineers have this talent naturally, so it’s good to hone it more.
As the saying goes, to get something you never had, you have to do something you’ve never done.
So, sometimes thinking crazy gets results, after all, most inventions in our world today came from crazy ideas.
Take Niel Bohr’s response of the nuclear physics community to Wolfgang Pauli’s 1958 presentation: “We are all agreed that your theory is crazy. The question that divides us is whether it is crazy enough to have a chance of being correct.”
According to Ness, Goodman and Dickerson in Creativity in the Sciences, they suggest these:
#1 Create a list of crazy ideas about a problem, then making the next idea more absurd than the one before.
#2 Choose one of these crazy ideas.
#3 Then take the basic premise of the idea – what makes this idea stand out?
#4 Next, list down the component parts or features of that particular idea.
#5 Then take one of the component parts of that idea and use it to create a practical idea.”
Geniuses make use of different cognitive tools to make their incredible discoveries.
Thankfully, we can harness these tools for our own creations as well.