By Brian Tracy
Geniuses throughout the ages have been found to possess three special characteristics.
First, all geniuses seem to have developed the ability to concentrate single mindedly on one question, problem or goal at a time, and to exclude all other diversions or distractions. The more intensely you concentrate your thoughts and attention, and the more intensely you are emotionally involved with a problem or goal, the more likely it is that your mind will respond with the kind of creative ideas that you need.
And the good news is that concentration comes from practicing the process of concentrating whenever you have something you want to accomplish. One of the best ways to develop this habit of concentration is to define your goal or problem clearly, in writing, at the top of a piece of paper. Then, write down every single detail that you can think of that pertains to that goal or problem. Write every fact, figure and piece of information that you have. The more you write, the more likely it is that you will come up with exactly the idea that you need to solve the problem or difficulty that is currently holding you back.
The second quality of geniuses is that they have developed a systematic approach to solving problems. Usually, they write them down clearly on paper in advance. Accurate problem definition leads to a solution in fully 50% of cases. Most of the time, when you have a problem or series of problems that is causing you worry or concern, it is because you have not yet sat down and clearly defined exactly what the problem is.
Most people who are unhappy in life have no goals. The very act of sitting down and writing out a list of goals will change your perspective completely. When you take your list of goals, organize it by priority and then make written plans to achieve your most important goals, your mind will start to sparkle with ideas that will help you. Your negativity and pessimism will vanish. You will experience a surge of energy and enthusiasm and you will want to get up and get going immediately on whatever it is you have written down.
One of the key parts of approaching your problems or goals systematically is the importance of validating the information that you have. As the humorist Josh Billings once wrote, “It isn’t what a man knows that hurts him. He what he knows that isn’t true.”
There are an enormous number of things that you think you “know” about your life and situation that are simply not true. One of the best ways to manage your creativity is to carefully check and double check your facts and figures to be sure that they are accurate.
The third characteristic of genius is that they invariably have open minds. They are curious, friendly, even playful. They refuse to jump to conclusions or to cut off any line of thinking or train of thought. They continually ask questions, especially, “What if?”
“What if?” questioning is one of the hallmarks of developing and managing your creativity. For example, what if everything that you are doing in your current job or situation to achieve your goal or to solve your major problem was completely wrong? What if there was a better way? What if you were operating on the basis of false information or wrong assumptions? What if what you were attempting to do was actually impossible and that is why you are having such problems with it.
I have known many people who have been in bad jobs. They were constantly coming up with ideas to make their jobs more acceptable. Finally, they realized that the boss was always going to be negative, the company was always going to be bureaucratic and the marketplace was always going to be ruthless. So instead of trying to find a solution to their current job, they changed jobs and turned out later to be very happy and much better paid. Could this apply to you?