"Man's mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions." - Oliver Wendell Holmes
Intelligent people employ certain recurring thought patterns, or habits of mind, to tackle difficulties that come their way. They draw on a variety of mental models from their toolbox of mental abilities, including reason, social and emotional intelligence, and experience. The best mental practices produce heuristic shortcuts that enable intelligent people to operate successfully when faced with challenging problems.
Let’s explore them one by one
Not giving up is a powerful habit as perseverance can overcome the obstacles of time and inexperience.
“Energy and persistence conquer all things.” - Benjamin Franklin
2. Thoughtful communication
Clear and precise communication and thinking can be life changing. The key to communication is making sure you know what your audience needs to hear to understand based on their own perspective. Most of the best communication is in the listening and then the focus on just saying the minimum needed to get your point across. Telling people what you need from them is also crucial. It’s a skill to think clearly using logic and reason and not letting your emotions, opinions, and ego cloud your thinking.
“The most important thing in communication is to hear what isn't being said.” - Peter Drucker
3. Managing impulsiveness
One of the most crucial mental habits for success in any area of life is the capacity to say no to your own impulses and wishes in the short term in order to accomplish more desired long-term goals. Future rewards from patience, waiting, and self-control can be substantial.
4. Use all senses to gather data
Complete observation is the process of using all of your five senses to gather all available information. This means allowing information into our brains from as many senses as possible and not just a few.
Being mindful of all our sensory pathways can make us more open and alert to absorbing more information from a situation than those who don’t realize how to use their full senses. Studies are learning more about the impact of art and music on improved mental functioning. Forming clear mental images is essential in math and engineering. Other professional fields use a variety of senses to improve their work. The wider the perspective we can get in a situation from the most senses the more we will understand the different angles of a problem.
5. Social Intelligence
Listening with understanding and empathy is a form intelligence practiced in social settings. Social intelligence is a crucial mental habit that will open up networking and relationships to your life that can help exponentially in all areas of achievement and happiness in general.
“If you're reading, watching, or listening to the right things, learning is as just as much fun as being entertained.” - Matthew Kobach
Creating, imagining, and innovating is a mental edge as so many people just do what they’re told and manage what already exists for them. Creating new things is one of the most powerful mental habits you can develop.
“The ability to see order in chaos is called creativity.” - Simon Sinek
7. Flexible thinking
Thinking flexibly makes it easier to respond to events as they happen and adjust in order to best seize opportunities. A flexible thinker is always open to change and seeks out the most promising new avenues for achievement.
8. Enthusiastic responses
Responding with wonderment and awe makes people feel special and important. How we react to others sets their tone for how they feel about us and how willing they are to help us in anything we need.
Thinking about thinking is having the awareness and understanding of your own thought processes. Metacognition is the mental habit of knowing yourself, being mindful of your thoughts as they play out. It’s the practice of mindfulness or being aware of your own biases, strengths, and weaknesses. This is one of the most powerful mental habits as it gives you the higher perspective of self-awareness.
“A good mentor will teach you how to think, not what to think.” - Vala Afshar
10. Risk Management
Taking responsible risks is a crucial mental habit to stay safe mentally, emotionally, and financially. It allows learning and growing to be safely done in the context of a risk management framework.
11. Precision in action
Striving for accuracy is a mental skill that helps focus effort, energy, and time for optimal results.
Finding humor is a mental skill for both stress reduction for yourself and others.
13. Thinking in possibilities
Questioning and posing problems helps see all possible outcomes both good and bad. This can help establish good risk/reward ratios and see the best and worst cash scenarios before committing to one path of action.
14. Seeing confluences
The mental habit of viewing the larger picture is thinking interdependently on how things work together. By merging facts that are not immediately connected, this mental habit of detecting confluences can identify hidden dangers and unexpected effects as well as how to generate significant gains.
15. Using experience
applying prior knowledge to fresh circumstances the mental practice of avoids repeating mistakes and instead using experience to learn from them. applying past knowledge to current issues. Work to improve rather than repeat mistakes in each new year of experience. Don't work the same year over and over again.
16. Life-long learner
With the pace of change in business, technology, and education today, it is essential to maintain an open mind. In a world that is changing quickly, you risk falling behind if you aren't learning and developing personally.
“Many people die at twenty five and aren't buried until they are seventy five.” - Benjamin Franklin
The secret to getting the most out of the Habits of the Mind is to consistently use them in place of emotional reactions or allowing ego to influence your decision-making in order to make them your natural default thought filter. Repetition is the key to developing habits.
Thanks for reading…
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