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February 6, 2024

Boost Your Success: The Essential Art of Effective Thinking

by Chris Griffiths posted in Proactive Thinking.

Ayoa | Boost Your Success: The Essential Art of Effective Thinking
We live in an age of constant change where we need to be fighting fit if we’re to maintain a standing in our market or profession. New knowledge, competition and technological developments are assailing us at every level, so it’s becoming virtually impossible to remain on our feet. And as new situations arise, we come face to face with problems, opportunities and challenges that require increasingly novel solutions.

What worked in the past no longer fits the bill so we’re being forced to ‘up our game’ with a new arsenal of creative insights and approaches to stand the best chance of succeeding. In the heat of it all, there’s little hope or choice for us other than through continued growth, adaptation, creativity, productivity and innovation

The majority of us have already made a keen start on becoming more creatively productive and we’ve come to depend on any number of accessible tools and skills to help us. From the latest brainstorming software to the ‘hottest’ new management techniques, we’ve embraced anything we believe will provide an effective answer to the multiple challenges we face. We’ve even gone as far as to adopt different business models to shake up the way we work and help us get ahead.

Yet even the most self-aware among us will easily overlook the one primary resource which has the capacity to unleash unparalleled creativity and transformation – the human mind. The climate for successful innovation and productivity doesn’t begin with the newest management theory or technological fad, it begins with our thinking. How can we expect to promote serious creative growth without understanding where it comes from in the first place?

Thinking about thinking

Meta-cognition: Thinking about Thinking

There’s nothing more important in your life than your thinking. Whether you’re looking to start a new venture, attract more customers or just reorganise your workload, the greatest advantage you can have is the ability to think in the correct way. This may appear to be a bold statement but consider it for a moment…

If you could come up with that one killer idea, that one moment of brilliance, what would it be worth to you?

My guess is that it would be worth a huge deal to your future, and you wouldn’t be alone in that regard. Anyone who aspires to excellence in business knows that the generation of ideas – especially creative, high quality ideas – is not only beneficial to their success; it’s a vital ‘make or break’ factor. The killer ideas and solutions that drive yourself or your business forward don’t just simply fall from the sky. They come from using the power of your mind – your thinking.

One killer idea

Thinking is at the heart of everything we do. It encompasses all of the mental activities associated with concept-formation, problem solving, intellectual functioning, creativity, learning memory, symbolic processing and so on. In other words, it’s the starting place for every possible pursuit or task. So doesn’t it correspond that the more effectively we use our thinking, the more successful we’ll be in what we’re doing?

Unfortunately, most of us never stop to think about how we think. At an intellectual level, we can recognise that our thinking is important, but we seldom take the time to understand it or learn how to handle it effectively. However, just as we manage our workload, our staff and our personal lives, we also need to manage our minds. By taking charge of our thinking, we remove the ambiguity out of making decisions and can move forward to tread new paths clearly and confidently. Good thinking practices also make it much easier to ‘see’ the most innovative solutions to our pressing challenges and everyday problems – it’s akin to working in bright daylight instead of fumbling around in the dark.

Being able to go beyond conventional thinking is particularly crucial if we’re to cope in this new ‘creative age’ full of AI and automation, where the ability to source and process information is no longer a competitive advantage. As Deborah Gough, a prominent educator and researcher on thinking skills, points out, “Specific knowledge will not be as important to tomorrow’s citizens as the ability to learn and make sense of new information”.

Chat GPT Mobile

Innovation requires that you use information differently to create unique ideas and convert them quickly into action. If you consider that all successful endeavours in the fields of engineering, medicine, architecture and business began as just a thought in someone’s head, then creativity involves little more than the capacity to apply your mind. The most innovative and useful ideas are the result of good, intentional thinking – the type of thinking that forces you to find opportunities and make things happen.

The way you think can therefore propel you to success, or hold you back. Naturally the ‘winners’ in life are those of us who learn to take charge of and use our thinking so that it serves us in the right ways.

There are countless tools, techniques and systems we could apply to encourage everyday innovation and creative problem solving. But it’s only once we’ve developed a real awareness of our thinking that the introduction of new tools, techniques and systems will make any practical sense. If you understand something, you’re better able to control it instead of allowing it to control you. Once you know how to think, you can promptly set up an organised approach for identifying problems and opportunities, generating ideas and solutions, evaluating alternatives and deciding on courses of action; and you can guarantee that it will be the most appropriate one for your needs.

How, then, can we understand our thinking? How can we help ourselves and others to practice better thinking and problem solving on a regular basis?…The answer is simple. You must explore all avenues of how can improve your natural cognitive abilities. I have spent the last 20 years researching and more importantly, applying, processes and strategies that help people think better.

Chris Griffiths

Chris Griffiths, is a bestselling author with decades of experience in the areas of creativity, metacognition and innovation. His books have been published in over 20 languages and his previous title ‘The Creative Thinking Handbook’ was selected by Forbes as one of the best books to “get your creative juices flowing” and named the #1 business book for inspiring innovation by CEO Today. He is an advocate of using technology to improve thinking, and his latest app, Ayoa.com, is used by millions worldwide.

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