Advertising
Advertising

7 Things Only Visual Thinkers Will Understand

7 Things Only Visual Thinkers Will Understand

One day, when I was in the fifth grade, a stranger came into our classroom and passed out a sheet of paper to each of us. On it was nothing but rows of circles. We were asked to draw as many things as possible using as many circles as possible, in 10 minutes. Students around me happily began to draw suns, happy faces, regular faces, cartoon faces, while I sat for a few minutes, pencil in hand, drawing nothing. I was looking at the entire page and trying to figure out how I could make one large drawing using all of those circles. I couldn’t, so I settled for combinations of circles instead. I drew a pair of eyeglasses and a bicycle. I connected several with strings to make a balloon grouping. I made a caterpillar with his little legs coming out of each segment with shoes on, and a head with antennae at one end. When the 10 minutes were up, I had not used nearly as many circles as those around me, and I wondered if I had somehow “failed” the test.

A few weeks later, I was called from class, and the same stranger met me in the office. He had more “tests” to give me, because he said I had demonstrated so much creativity with the circle exercise. He explained that he was a college student who was studying “visual thinkers,” and he thought I was one of them. He also told me that I was probably not getting grades as high as some other students, because most teachers don’t teach for visual learners.

That was the first time someone had tried to explain to me why I had difficulty learning. Later on it led me to explore just what a visual thinker is – I fit the definition pretty handily! So, here’s a list of 7 things that all of us visual thinkers will understand, and most others probably won’t.

1. We plan our projects and tasks in a different way

Visual Thinker Flowchart

    While others make lists of things and create great Excel files that speak to the tasks to be completed, we need a big flow chart, with the entire project divided up in a visual representation. When others use project management tools that utilize lists and files, we become frustrated and less productive.

    Advertising

    If this sounds like you, get another tool. One that I recommend is Casual. This is cloud-based software that lets you draw an entire project, like a large mind map. You can see the whole thing at once and monitor the details of task completion with one large visual flow chart. It’s like this piece of software had our names on it when it was developed!

     2. We have huge imagination

    imagination_by_thebluspicy-d78xbv2

      We look at a cloud formation and immediately visualize all sorts of scenarios with that shape. While others are busy with their to-do lists, we are seen as lacking in focus, as daydreamers.

      In reality, we are seeing past images and imagining new ones, so “do not disturb”, please! And if you ask us to come up with solutions, you need to let us be, as our visualizations may just result in the best one.

      Advertising

      We are great with group math modeling and optimization projects, and if you ask us to help decorate a room for a party, we can “see” the finished product pretty quickly in our “mind’s eye.”

       3. We do not write notes, we draw them

      notes

        If we are listening to a lecture, we don’t write what we hear, we draw it. Our handwriting is usually not that good, but we can draw pictures, charts and other images that will allow us to remember what was said.

        When we need to give directions to someone, we have to draw them; when we need to explain anything, that explanation will be in the form of a picture. While others are making outlines for their essays and papers in school, we are drawing graphic organizers that make sense to us.

        Advertising

        If we need to remember to pick up items at the store, we will not make a list – we will draw pictures of the items instead. Because we have a visual picture of the store in our minds, we know just where to go to make “quick work” of that shopping trip. And we don’t memorize the spelling of words phonetically. We can tell if a word is spelled correctly by looking at it.

         4. We have the aptitude to invent

        Thomas Edison and Einstein were failures in school – labelled mentally deficient. But they “saw” things that others could not and changed our lives forever because of it. While we visual thinkers will not all be as inventive as that, we do come up with some pretty good ideas.

        Let’s say someone, many years ago, was at a restaurant eating hamburgers. When he turned the ketchup bottle upside down to slather his burger, he had to shake it to bring the ketchup down to the spout. He shared his vision for a new bottle design – a wide cap that could balance the bottle upside down, so that the ketchup was always at the spout when opened. He even wrote a letter to one of the companies suggesting it. A few years later, out came the first ketchup bottle just as he had envisioned it, soon to be followed by several other items – mustard, jelly, mayonnaise, etc. Now, someone at the ketchup company may have come up with the final product, but this wonderful little convenience was actually born in that restaurant.

         5. We don’t get tables, but love diagrams

        Advertising

        NETWORK-DIAGRAM-AWS-Architecture-Diagrams-3-Tier-Auto-scalable-Web-Application-Architecture

          If an instructor draws a benzene ring in chemistry class, or if we can play with Punnett squares in biology, we are in “heaven.” But give us data in a table, or ask us to explain how a bill becomes a law in prose writing, and we will go nuts! Give us a picture, let us absorb and process it in our brains, and we will “have it” cemented in our memory permanently. Years later, we will still be able to visualize that picture of the legislative process.

          6. We remember things as images

          While others write or speak about their first pets, a significant event in their lives, or someone who has impacted them, we deal with pictures. Those events in our lives become movies playing in our heads as we recall them.

          Some extreme visual learners, in fact, have such vivid “movies” in their minds that they can recall even the tiniest of details about a scene. Recently, a television series, entitled “Unforgettable,” became quite a hit. The major character was a woman with such extreme visual memory that she became a huge benefit to a team of detectives, as they solved crimes. She went to each crime scene and focused on the “big picture,” but, when necessary, she could recall every detail of the place later on.

          7. We are pro-packers

          EB50522D23

            Why? Because while everyone else is trying to stuff things into a suitcase with only marginal success, we have pictured that suitcase and everything that must go in it. We have arranged and re-arranged the items in our heads, over and over, until we have the perfect pattern of placement. We then simply follow our pattern, everything fits perfectly, and we are ready to go!

            We visual thinkers are imaginative, creative, and divergent in our thinking processes. While we may frustrate others, and even ourselves at times, we are often the most valuable member a team can have!

            More by this author

            Elena Prokopets

            Elena is a passionate blogger who shares about lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

            7 Ways To Learn a New Language Faster (Backed by Science) 22 Amazing Pineapple Health Benefits (With Simple Pineapple Recipes) 15 Cool And Practical Apps For Couples 14 Things No One Tells You About Being in a Long-Distance Relationship 9 Tips to Prepare For Your First Multi Day Hike

            Trending in Communication

            1 10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life 2 How to Survive a Quarter Life Crisis (The Complete Guide) 3 What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities 4 Think Positive Mantras Help a Lot? Try Value Affirmation Instead 5 How to Survive a Midlife Crisis (The Definitive Guide for Men)

            Read Next

            Advertising
            Advertising
            Advertising

            Last Updated on May 28, 2020

            10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

            10 Success Principles for Living Your Dream Life

            Are you stressed out and overwhelmed, wishing you had more time to do the things that really matter? Are you ready to do something better, something special in your life or your career?

            You were born with a gift that no one else in the world can express like you. When you dance to your own music, you naturally develop your innate abilities and excel in work and life. You are a total rock star. But when you live someone else’s idea of who you should be, it throws off your groove.

            Many people—maybe you—stopped following their dreams way too early in life because their talents were ignored, minimized, or shamed. They didn’t have the chops to win an American Idol competition or nab an Olympic gold medal, so they stopped expressing their inborn gifts altogether.

            You don’t need to be an award winner to rock your life. Living your dream life is about discovering your superpowers and feeling vibrant and joyful when you use them. It’s about owning what makes you unique and finding like-minded people to support you.

            Here are 10 success principles to help you live a rich and rewarding life on your terms that have worked with thousands of people in my workshops and will work for you, too.

            1. Get a Hobby to Move Closer to Your Dreams

            If you never became a professional dancer or a world-renowned author, it does NOT mean you should stop dancing or writing! These activities make you come alive, even if you “only” do them as favorite pastimes.

            Engaging in a hobby is one of the most important success principles you can follow to move closer to your dreams.

            When you try something creative for the first time or in a long while, you begin to see opportunities at work and in life that you were unaware of before. You also feel happier and more energized, according to a recent study from New Zealand.[1]

            Some of my most burned-out executive clients reinvigorated their careers by discovering a creative outlet that refueled them after the workday ended. Research at San Francisco State University shows that having a hobby lowers stress and helps you succeed at work.[2]

            So, give yourself permission to try new things and revisit old passions you gave up long ago. Setting aside just one hour a week for personal exploration can significantly change your life.

            Who knows? Your creative outlet could transform into a thriving business or lead to a new profession down the road.

            Advertising

            2. Focus on Your Strengths, Not Your Weaknesses

            Did you know that you are more likely to succeed when you develop your natural strengths rather than work on your weaknesses? The problem is that you probably don’t know where your true talents lie.

            Here are a few options to help you discover your unique strengths. You can:

            • Take the VIA Character Strengths Survey[3]
            • Try Gallup’s CliftonStrengths Assessment[4]
            • Answer a few Superpower Questions

            Once you understand what makes you tick, you can use these skills at work and your personal life to get more done in less time. If you boost your unique abilities through practice and study, you can accelerate your career and become a leader in a field that matters to you. It’s worth investing in yourself this way.

            3. Jumping off a Cliff is NOT Required

            Here’s the deal: most people are too afraid to change. When participants first come to my workshops, they tell me they have mouths to feed, bills to pay, and fear that if they follow their dreams, someone will get hurt.

            The old saying “leap and the net shall appear” does not comfort them. Because they are hesitant to plunge into the unknown, they believe their only option is to stay put where they are in life. Can you relate?

            You do not have to sacrifice the life you have now to start a new one. I was a psychology professor by day and singer by night for years before I transitioned into a full-time music career.

            Just take a little time out each week to do what enlivens you through a hobby, volunteer work, etc. Get a feel for it.

            Is it what you really want? If so, increase the time you spend doing it and make the transition when the time feels right.

            4. Give Your Inner Critic Some Love

            The main culprit that keeps you from stepping outside your comfort zone and getting the life of your dreams is KCRP or K-CRAP – the radio station that plays 24/7 in your head. The moment you try to do something interesting with your life it slaps you down with such chart-topping killer hooks as “Who do you think you are?” and “You’ll never be good enough!”.

            Have you ever noticed that KCRP’s mean-spirited DJ sounds like your parents, teachers, bosses, and other authority figures who shut you down creatively? These folks don’t need to stifle you any longer (although they often still do) because your inner critic does it for them. That keeps you stuck in a rut.

            To break free, try thinking of this DJ as a gruff old grandfather who gives you crap to keep you safe. Remember, this grumpy grandpa is woefully out of touch with the times. So, his stern opinions don’t really matter much, do they? Give him a pat on the back for his good intentions, and put your focus back on what makes you come alive.

            Advertising

            This success principle will give you the courage to venture into the unknown where you can dance to the beat of your own drummer.

            5. Embrace Your Inner Weirdo

            Many of us don’t go after our dreams because we’re afraid folks will find out how odd or strange we are. But our little eccentricities often turn out to be our greatest strengths. Yes, it’s good to be quirky.

            Odds are, you lost track of your true passions and talents before you were even old enough to know you were getting off-track. You became slowly “adulterated” by learning to:

            • Take on family roles that don’t match who you really are.
            • Spit back what teachers taught you in school rather than risk getting bad grades for being original.
            • Hide parts of yourself that don’t seem acceptable to certain social groups.

            The price for fitting in is that you may wind up leading a life that doesn’t fit you all that well. Your true calling becomes clear when you embrace what makes you different from others and allow yourself to stand out from the crowd, even if it feels awkward.

            Often, the very qualities you view as your flaws are your greatest gifts.

            6. See the Bigger Picture to Find Your True Calling

            I cannot stress the importance of this success principle enough. Your true calling is right in front of you. But you may miss it because you’re looking for it in the wrong place.

            To “see” it clearly, try widening your point of view.

            Case in point: Maria felt she needed to retire early from being a police detective, so she could travel abroad. I encouraged Maria to think of ways that she could continue to serve as a law enforcer (a career she loved) and travel overseas at the same time.

            A few months later, Maria landed a job with the United Nations in Bosnia training the local police force to understand and embrace human rights procedures.

            Like Maria, you are an everyday rock star capable of accomplishing greater things than you can imagine. Is what you’re looking for right in front of you, too? Do you have an inkling of what it may be?

            Look beyond your day-to-day activities, your current job, and even the town you live in. View your life from an eagle’s perspective and be open to new possibilities.

            Advertising

            7. Try a Little Wish-List Magic

            Pretend I’m your fairy godmother and I give you permission right now to be your most magnificent self. What kind of life would be music to your ears? It doesn’t matter whether it seems unattainable or even downright crazy. Write it down on a wish list.

            Get quiet. Be honest. Think big.

            What would you like your career, your relationships, your health, your finances, and your spiritual life to be like? Jot down enough details so that your wishes seem tangible to you. Then, look at this list every morning before you start your day and every night before you go to sleep.

            Sounds silly? It’s not. It works! Permitting yourself to daydream about a rich and fulfilling life is the first step to manifesting it.

            8. Take Breaks to Get Clues About Your Ideal Future

            Did you know that working straight through to a deadline leads to diminishing returns? Research shows that taking a break for 15 minutes every 75 to 90 minutes can help you recharge, refresh your focus, and get more done in less time.[5]

            Wait, it gets better! A Stanford study shows that walking increases your creative output increases by 60 percent. Doing repetitive activities such as walking, running, riding your bike, swimming, and sweeping allow solutions to problems to pop into your mind out of nowhere.[6]

            What does this success principle have to do with creating your dream life?

            These mini-breaks allow you to get vital clues for what to do next to attain your ideal future. Plus, you won’t waste precious time and energy getting lost in other people’s agendas.

            9. Take Action on Your Inspired Ideas

            Once an inspired thought pops into your mind, take action.

            This is one of the most powerful success principles for turning your dreams into reality; the sooner the better. Whatever it is—from calling an old friend to taking a new route home—be sure to do it!

            Pay attention to your oddball hunches. You need to go after what you want, not just dream about it. As comedian Jim Carrey warns,

            Advertising

            “You can’t just visualize and go eat a sandwich.”

            10. Count Your Rockstar Moments

            Still not sure you have what it takes to get your dream life? This final success principle is guaranteed to help.

            Make a list of everything you’ve ever accomplished. As you read back through it, put a star next to each item, and let it sink in.

            You’ll be pleasantly surprised by how good you’ll feel about yourself afterward. You’ll also see how effective you’ve been in the past at getting what you want. You’ve succeeded before, you can succeed again.

            You already rock. You just need to own it. Trust me, you’ve got this!

            Final Thoughts

            Eleanor Roosevelt said,

            “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.”

            Following these success principles will help you find the time and energy to do the things that really matter and live with clear intention.

            By spending just one hour a week doing something you love, focusing on your strengths and achievements, embracing what makes you different, and acting on inspired ideas, you can create a life that is a perfect fit for you, step-by-step.

            If you don’t have a clue about what your dream life could look like yet, don’t worry. Your heart knows. It has been “talking” to you for a long time. It’s just being muffled by KCRP, buried under a lot of “shoulds” and fear.

            This article can also help you figure out the life you truly want to live: How to Get Motivated and Be Happy Every Day When You Wake Up.

            Stand still, get quiet, and listen. It’s constantly telling you what you need to do to realize your own rockstar potential. It may be just a whisper now, but the more you pay attention to it, the louder it will get, and the easier it will be to follow.

            More About Success in Life

            Featured photo credit: Rahul Dey via unsplash.com

            Reference

            Read Next