The Secret Expert by Michael Mikalko is an incredibly addictive book that is really hard to come by. High-quality design, rich and boring content – this is exactly what every reader expects from the book of the author of the legendary “Rice Storm”.
The main idea of the book is to learn to think outside the box. What is non-standard? When we do not use standard thinking patterns in solving issues, but create something really new. Ideas that did not exist before. How can this be achieved?
What is an idea?
An idea is a combination of two completely different concepts into a single whole. How it works? Let’s remember how the typewriter was invented. Christopher Scholes, observing the pianist, noticed that each key of the piano produces one note. He thought, what if the same can be done for letters, making a kind of “writing machine.” No sooner said than done! Thus, combining two completely opposite concepts: piano and letters, a typewriter appeared, the legacy of which, i.e. keyboard, people all over the world use to this day.
Another interesting example. The American road services have long pondered how to make sure that drivers on certain sections of the road cease to exceed the speed limit. Standard means: road signs, cameras, mobile patrols, were of little help. Then it was decided to convene a special committee, which held a brainstorming session. What non-standard means will force drivers to slow down? One of the participants began to reflect: I usually slow down when I see something beautiful on the road. For example, a beautiful landscape or an unusual installation. After a little thought, the experts decided to do the following. They called in a 3D graffiti artist. The task was to draw a pit on the road. No sooner said than done! The pit turned out to be so similar to the real one that the drivers, seeing something dark on the road, instinctively reduced their speed. Then they realized that there was no danger, the surface was flat and drove on. In this non-standard way, the road services managed to reduce the speed on the roads by about 50%.
What will help you generate non-standard ideas?
Look at the problem from a different angle, then the solution will come much easier. Just a few minutes of thought can increase our productivity and speed of thinking. How can this be achieved? Program yourself. Scientists conducted a study in which one group was asked to focus on words associated with aging and decline. At the same time, another group was tasked with focusing on words that are associated with energy and progress. Important. People just read these words for a while, not convincing themselves that they in any way relate to them. After a while, this strange experiment ended. And here’s what surprised scientists a little. Those who concentrated on “weak” words went home much more slowly, hunched their shoulders, dragged their feet, as if they had really become old people. Those. these people literally instilled in themselves a pattern of behavior in such a short time. A completely different picture was with those who focused their attention on “strong” words.
Thus, we only need to change our perception to start looking at the world in a completely different way.
What is perception?
Perception is a subjective process that depends on the moment, the task, and your experience. Psychologists have found that our brain interprets the image between the eye and consciousness, influencing thinking. Even before we see the surrounding space, the brain already interprets it so that it is consistent with our beliefs, and blocks what we do not want to let into our consciousness. That is why many specialists do not want to see something that clearly contradicts their research, and their experiments only confirm previously put forward hypotheses. People tend to only notice what they want.
To reduce your thinking bias, always try to explore things from all angles. This leads us to create a new point of view.
What is a new point of view?
The formation of a new point of view is nothing more than a cycle of ideas and opposing objects. Which, in turn, creates completely unprecedented and unthinkable combinations. Many of which lead to the formation of new breakthrough projects. To create a new point of view, the author recommends using the reverse heuristic method, i.e. combining opposite objects. According to this logic, if an object performs one function, it can be combined with one that performs the opposite. For example, at one time, engineers combined a pencil and an eraser, a hammer with a nailer, etc.
Your product is almost ready. Now forget about him
Let’s say you think for a very long time about your project that will change the world. You have used all the techniques for generating ideas. But you are missing a few key details. What to do? Remember Mendeleev and let go. Let the cocktail of ideas and thoughts about the project sit in your head. Forget about your project for a while and do completely different things. After some time, completely unexpectedly, a secret expert will visit you. Who is it? This is your subconscious mind, which has analyzed all the data and gives you the answer to the question that has long tormented you. The solution to key questions about the table of chemical elements came to Mendeleev in a dream. Relax, the idea is already coming to you. What if there is no answer for a long time? Try to turn to your unconscious again. Give him more information. Sooner or later, when you are relaxed and your thoughts are far from the project, the answer will magically appear in your head.
What for? Weird question. Because positive thinking, like fertile soil, contributes to the formation of good, quality and strong ideas in your head. Depression, stress and anxiety will confuse the focus of self-flagellation with invention. And this, believe me, is far from conducive to creative thinking.
How to develop positive thinking in yourself? Very simple. Get rid of denials. Instead of saying “I don’t have …”, say “I have …”. Over time, you will develop a positive outlook on life and change your perspective on your work and life. Work with your thoughts and what you say. Literally, watch your language. Try not to use aggressive phrases in your speech. For example, the word “stunning” is aggressive and is best replaced by “awesome.” It sounds funny, but these words really program your behavior and attitude towards the world. By paying attention to aggressive phrases and replacing them with calm ones, we can change our view of the world and become kinder.
Make the world a better place
And the world will answer you the same. How many spontaneous good deeds do you do in a day? We are sure that you can count on the fingers of one hand. It won’t work that way! Do a spontaneous good deed, help a complete stranger. You will be surprised how after this act your view of the world will be transformed. There will be no trace of defeatist or aggressive.
Life is a fight
It’s important to come out victorious. The author gives an interesting example. Butterfly Peacock’s Eye, one of the most beautiful butterflies in the world, is very difficult to get out of the cocoon. The hole is so tiny that the butterfly has to use incredible effort and ingenuity to get out. However, if you decide to help the poor creature and widen the hole a little, then this will lead to rather tragic consequences. The butterfly will have a swollen body and shriveled wings. It will remain that way for the rest of its life and will never take off again.
Life shows us that sometimes fighting and resisting various troubles is exactly what we need to become truly alive.
Stop clutching at the past
Let’s do a little thought experiment. Imagine that you are a climber. You have to climb to the top by the end of the day by all means. This is the goal of your whole life, and there is not so much time for its implementation. And so, you spend a lot of effort, wash your hands, feet and knees in blood. Very little remains to the top. You sit down on a small ledge to rest a bit. A little later, a second climber comes up to you. Perhaps he has similar goals to me, you think. But no. The climber turns out to be a little strange. He takes the rope, ties himself, gives the other end to you and asks you to hold it for a while. Then, making sure you hold on tight, he jumps down. Almost falling with the climber, you can barely hold this rope. You shout to him to get up. But he doesn’t hear you. He only asks you to hold this rope and not let go of him. You beg, cry, pull the rope overhead, but you don’t have the strength to pull the second climber. You ask him to grab any ledge and climb down the mountain or climb back up. But he does not pay attention to your requests. He only asks to hold this damned rope. Your time is passing, and your strength becomes less and less. You understand that a little bit more and you will not have time to fulfill the goal of your whole life. Thus, you are faced with a serious dilemma: try with all your might to save the life of a strange and unfamiliar climber, or to fulfill the goal of your whole life.
In the author’s thought experiment, you drop the rope and walk to the top. Why? Because the strange climber is our past, which incessantly limits and pulls down.
Get rid of the shackles, let go of your past. And move forward with new ideas and experiences!
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