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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.

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    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

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      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.

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      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.

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        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

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        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

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            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!

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            Elena Prokopets

            Freelance Writer

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            Last Updated on July 18, 2019

            What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

            What Makes People Happy? 20 Secrets of “Always Happy” People

            Some people just seem to float through life with a relentless sense of happiness – through the toughest of times, they’re unfazed and aloof, stopping to smell the roses and drinking out of a glass half full.

            They may not have much to be happy about, but the simplicity behind that fact itself may make them happy.

            It’s all a matter of perspective, conscious effort and self-awareness. Listed below are a number of reasons why some people are always happy.

            1. They Manage Their Expectations

            They’re not crushed when they don’t get what they want – or misled into expecting to get the most out of every situation. They approach every situation pragmatically, hoping for the best but being prepared for the worst.

            2. They Don’t Set Unrealistic Standards

            Similar to the last point, they don’t live their lives in a constant pursuit towards impossible visions of perfection, only to always find themselves falling short of what they want.

            3. They Don’t Take Anything for Granted

            Happiness rests with feeling fulfilled – those who fail to stop and appreciate what they have every now and again will never experience true fulfillment.

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            4. They’re Not Materialistic

            There are arguing viewpoints on whether or not money can really buy happiness; if it can, then we know from experience that we can never be satisfied because there will always be something newer or better that we want. Who has ever had enough money?

            5. They Don’t Dwell

            They don’t sweat the small things or waste time worrying about things that don’t really matter at the end of the day. They don’t let negative thoughts latch onto them and drain them or distract them. Life’s too short to worry.

            6. They Care About Themselves First

            They’re independent, care for themselves and understand that they must put their needs first in order to accommodate the needs of others.

            They indulge, aim to get what they want, make time for themselves and are extremely self-reliant.

            7. They Enjoy the Little Things

            They stop to smell the roses. They’re accustomed to find serenity when it’s available, to welcome entertainment or a stimulating discussion with a stranger when it crosses their path. They don’t overlook the small things in life that can be just as important.

            8. They Can Adapt

            They’re not afraid of change and they work to make the most out of new circumstances, good or bad. They thrive under pressure, are not overwhelmed easily and always embrace a change of pace.

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            9. They Experiment

            They try new things, experience new flavors and never shy away from something they have yet to experience. They never order twice from the same menu.

            10. They Take Their Time

            They don’t unnecessarily rush through life. They work on their own schedule to the extent that they can and maneuver through life at their own relaxing pace.

            11. They Employ Different Perspectives

            They’re not stuck in one perspective; a loss can result in a new opportunity, hitting rock bottom can mean that there’s no where to go but up.

            12. They Seek to Learn

            Their constant pursuit of knowledge keeps them inspired and interested in life. They cherish information and are on a life-long quest to learn as much as they can.

            13. They Always Have a Plan

            They don’t find themselves drifting without purpose. When something doesn’t go as planned, they have a plan for every letter in the alphabet to fall back on.

            14. They Give Respect to Get It

            They are respectful and, in turn, are seen as respectable; the respect they exude earns them the respect they deserve.

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            15. They Consider Every Opportunity

            They always have their eyes open for a new road, a new avenue worth exploring. They know how to recognize opportune moments and pounce on them to make the most of every situation. Success is inevitable for them.

            16. They Always Seek to Improve

            Perpetual self-improvement is the key towards their ongoing thirst for success. Whatever it is they do, they take pride in getting better and better, from social interactions to mundane tasks. Their pursuit at being the best eventually materializes.

            17. They Don’t Take Life Too Seriously

            They’re not ones to get offended easily over-analyze or complicate matters. They laugh at their own faults and misfortunes.

            18. They Live in the Moment

            They don’t live for tomorrow or dwell on what may have happened yesterday. Every day is a new opportunity, a new chapter. They live in the now, and in doing so, get the most out of every moment.

            You can learn how to do so too: How to Live in the Moment and Stop Worrying About the Past or Future

            19. They Say Yes

            Much more often than they say no. They don’t have to be badgered to go out, don’t shy away from new opportunities or anything that may seem inconvenient.

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            20. They’re Self-Aware

            Most important, they’re wholly aware of themselves. They self-reflect and are conscious of their states of mind. If somethings bothering them, they fix it.

            We’re all susceptible to feeling down every now and again, but we are all equipped with the necessary solutions that just have to be discovered.

            Lack of confidence, inability to feel fulfilled, and susceptibility to stress are all matters that can be controlled through the way we handle our lives and perceive our circumstances.

            Learn about How Self-Reflection Gives You a Happier and More Successful Life.

            Final Thoughts

            The main philosophy employed by the happiest includes the idea that life’s simply too short: life’s too short to let things get you down, to take things for granted, to pursue absolute and unrealistic perfection.

            For some, employing these characteristics is a second nature – they do it without knowing. For others, a conscious effort must be put forth every now and again. Self-Awareness is key.

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            Featured photo credit: Charles Postiaux via unsplash.com

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