How to Train Your Brain to Think Like a Genius

Jul 20, 2011

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You don't have to be an actual genius to think like one. There are a number of strategies that you can employ to make your mind sharper and more productive. This article provides a list of ways that you can train your brain to think like the greatest minds in history.

Brain

#1 Visualize and Realize

Albert Einstein, one of the most famous geniuses of all time, wasn't able to solve problems with words and numbers alone. He needed to visualize a problem before he could determine a solution. Einstein created a library of charts, diagrams and drawings to accomplish his objectives. If you're a visual genius like he was, this method might turn out to be your key to success.

#2 Connect the Dots

Some of the world's most notable geniuses made their mark by combining ideas and making connections between dissimilar concepts. Scientist Gregor Johann Mendel (the father of genetics) combined math and biology to make a new science. Inventor Samuel Morse came up with the idea for telegraphic relay stations after seeing relay stations for horses. These geniuses are responsible for groundbreaking discoveries and inventions because they were able to combine and modify existing components.

#3 Master Lucid Dreaming

Also known as a conscious dream, a lucid dream occurs when the dreamer is aware that she or he is dreaming but is able to stay with the dream. Some of the greatest writers, scientists and inventors in history have employed lucid dreaming (either on purpose or by accident) to solve problems and make new discoveries. Friedrich August Kekule von Stradonitz used it to discover the true nature of carbon, Elias Howe used it to invent the sewing machine, and Robert Louis Stevenson used it to conceive ideas for his classic novel, The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Although lucid dreaming can take time to master, it is well worth the effort.

#4 Forget the Facts

Geniuses don't think better--they think differently. Notable geniuses like Leonardo da Vinci and Niels Bohr believed that you could accomplish more by looking at things from different perspectives versus the traditional perspectives. If you can do what they did and forget the facts, there is no telling what you might come up with.

#5 Read, Read, Read

What makes a genius a genius? Above all, it is the ability to think critically. This ability isn't something you are born with, it is something you acquire. You don't need years of schooling or expensive training. All you need is a few good books. Reading is proven to be one of the best exercises for your brain and one of the best ways to teach your brain to think critically. So pick up a book and get going. You'll get smarter by the minute.

#6 Write Your Ideas Down

Like reading, writing is great exercise for the brain. It can also serve as a springboard for creation. Writing an idea down is the equivalent of throwing a switch in your brain. Your mind will have no choice but to work with the idea until it becomes something more substantial.

#7 Employ Bloom's Taxonomy

Educational psychologist Benjamin Bloom identified six levels of thinking that can be used to control intellectual outcomes. The six levels are Knowledge (knowing a fact), Application (knowing how to use a fact), Comprehension (understanding a fact), Analysis (analyzing a fact), Synthesis (using a fact to create something new), and Evaluation (evaluating the merits of a fact). Employing Bloom's Taxonomy will help you work through topics efficiently and effectively.

#8 Use Your Subconscious

Geniuses from Nikola Tesla to Leonardo Da Vinci have used their subconscious to come up with innovative inventions and answers to life's greatest questions. Some dabbled in self-hypnosis; others simply stared at a wall until they were in a trance. One genius, the famous financier J. P. Morgan, played solitaire to encourage his subconscious to come up with solutions to various problems. Intense concentration on the card game ensured that his conscious mind wouldn't interfere with his genius. If you find you're stuck on a problem, pick up a deck of cards and see what happens.

#9 Don't Give Up

Thomas Edison was once quoted as saying, 'Genius is ninety-nine percent perspiration and one percent inspiration.' In other words, there are no shortcuts--even geniuses need to work hard to get where they're going. If you have a goal or a problem that you want to solve, attack it from every direction possible. When you're done doing that, consider different perspectives. Whatever you do, don't give up. Persistence is the key to harnessing your mind and creative energies.

#10 Forget about Failing

When you're a genius, there is no such thing as failing. Every experiment takes you one step closer to your goal and every thought leads you further down the path in pursuit of knowledge. So, forget about failing. The concept doesn't apply to you--you're a genius now.