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Designing the Superior Man: 15 Powerful Qualities (Part 2)

Designing the Superior Man: 15 Powerful Qualities (Part 2)

This is Part Two (of Three) describing 15 qualities of superior men. Each part will discuss 5 key qualities to embrace in order to design the superior man.

Read Part One here (Part 1).

To become an elite and powerful man, you must disregard trying to be in the top 1%. Instead, strive to join the 0.000001%.

We have been taught that it is a sin to achieve wealth. When we think about a man with a large amount of money, we think he must surely be evil. We have been brainwashed to believe that the highest virtue is to live for other people and to give, to relieve other people’s suffering. It is noble to assist others; however, we must be able to have something to give.

“Men have been taught that the highest virtue is not to achieve, but to give. Yet one cannot give that which has not been created.” – Ayn Rand.

The best way to give and help others is to teach them to use their own mind. The superior man knows that he cannot think for another and that man must learn to think for himself. This is the only way to give and assist others in relieving suffering. What are we teaching another person by doing their work for them? What lessons can be taught by providing handouts without effort to earn or produce something?

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Continuing from Part One, we will use more examples from The Fountainhead and similar books with the goal of identifying key traits of superior men. Here is Part Two of the qualities of the ideal man.

1. Activate Your Mind

“To know and not to do, is not yet to know.” – Roger Hamilton

Superior men choose to activate their mind. Ayn Rand provides us a brilliant example of a simple choice we all have in life – “To think or not.” What a simple choice, yet it seems that everyone makes it so difficult. The ideal man chooses to activate his mind; he chooses to choose. The alternative is to wish for something. These men do not activate their mind, but only wish something to happen without taking the steps to achieve it.

Men who use and activate their mind move the world forward. In The Fountainhead, Howard Roark explains the following, “Man cannot survive except through his mind. His brain is his only weapon. Through the process of thought, from the simplest necessity to the highest religious abstraction, from the wheel to the skyscraper, everything we are and everything we have comes from a single attribute of man – the function of his reasoning mind.”

2. Ask Better Questions

“Minds are of three kinds: one is capable of thinking for itself; another is able to understand the thinking of others; and a third can neither think for itself nor understand the thinking of others. The first is of the highest excellence, the second is excellent, and the third is worthless.” – Niccolo Machiavelli

High performing men have found a secret in life. They found clarity in visioning a life where they are producing and living on a higher level (more on this in Part Three). In Roger Hamilton’s inspirational book Wink and Grow Rich, we are provided with phenomenal, yet simple advice. The main character is a little boy by the name of Richard. He receives the following wisdom, “Choose the level you want to play at. What you see is always what you get. Learn to see better and you will get better.” In order to see better, Richard must learn to live at a different level of clarity. In order to live on this new level, he needs to ask better questions.

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Superior men have figured this one out. If we are able to ask better questions, we can literally get anything we want. The key to asking a better question is to listen to people with full attention. By doing this, you will discover who the person is and what they are looking for. You can discover an unlimited amount of information about a person just by simply paying full attention. Another trick is to use the “5 Why” technique. Use this technique to get to the root cause of any issue. Simply keep asking “why” and ask it a minimum of 5 times. Such a simple technique, yet, for some reason we stop using it when we turn ten years of age.

Try this the next time you are in a job interview or seeking a promotion, where you are asked this type of typical, yet pointless question, “Tell me about a challenge or conflict you’ve faced at work and how you dealt with it.” Respond with, “You don’t want to ask me that question. The question you want to ask me is – How will you make this company more money? That is the real question you want to ask, and here is how I will make you more money…” – Dr. Jamie Schwandt

3. Money is Not Evil

“If you’re born poor, it’s not your mistake. But if you die poor, it’s your mistake.” – Bill Gates

I grew up extremely poor. I was always told that money is evil and people with money are evil. Guess who told me this – poor people! Money is not evil, evil people with money are evil. The key here is the use of the word “evil” because evil people are also poor.

My childhood was spent bouncing around between my biological parents, grandparents, and foster parents. I grew up in a world of drugs, alcohol, suicide, depression, and handouts. My father committed suicide when I was eighteen years old. He attempted suicide before I was born and his mother committed suicide. His first suicide attempt was during his time in the U.S. Navy. Afterwards, he was placed on full disability and received welfare checks for the remainder of his life. My mother, who attempted suicide on multiple occasions, also received handouts, and I am sure she still does.

My younger brother now lives in a world of handouts. His only interaction with me is when he is in need of money. However, I will never provide him money, only advice. He will never learn to think for himself by way of handouts. Additionally, he is addicted to drugs, so if he asks for $20… where do you think my money will go?

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Superior men achieve wealth because they do not care to ask someone’s permission for it. They do not care what you think of their integrity or moral compass. They understand that time is limited, once wasted, it is gone forever. We have a limited amount of time on this planet and we all need resources to succeed. Remember this – money is infinite, time is finite.

“There is no shortage of money, only a shortage of people thinking big enough.” – Grant Cardone

4. Obsessed

“Be the type of person that when your feet touch the floor in the morning, the devil says, Aww Sh*t… they’re up.” – Dwayne Johnson

Superior men are crazy, different, and 100% completely obsessed with success. These men understand that what they obsess about will get better. If you obsess about creating wealth, you will create wealth. If you obsess about writing a book, you will write a book. However, if you obsess about pleasing everyone, you will make yourself go crazy trying to create a better life for other people while your life is falling apart.

Superior men are obsessed with success. They do not mull over ideas for hours without action. They do not just think, they do. If they think about writing a book, they write the book. If they think about starting a business, they start the business. They just do it.

“Commit first, figure the rest out later.” – Grant Cardone

5. Be a Creator

“When Paris Hilton can top the bestsellers’ list, we are one more Connect Four move closer to Armageddon.” – Corey Taylor

Listen, if Paris Hilton can create her own success, then you can too. We are all capable of creating a life of success. The key is to be crazy and different. Do you know what a genius is called before they are called a genius? Crazy!

The world of quantum physics is crazy and mind-bending. Quantum physics has demonstrated that we have little understanding of the world we live in. However, it has also provided us a playground for our mind. The Double Slit Experiment (I encourage you to look it up) demonstrates that electrons exist in a state of pure potential when they are not being observed. The act of simply observing is the act of creating.

We can create our own world, our own reality through our thoughts and actions. Superior men have figured this out… so has Paris Hilton! Remember this quote:

“Your theory is crazy, but it’s not crazy enough to be true.” – Niels Bohr.

Featured photo credit: elonmusk.com via cnbc.com

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Published on November 18, 2019

How to Think Critically: 5 Powerful Techniques

How to Think Critically: 5 Powerful Techniques

Critical thinking is the art of filtering through information to reach an unbiased, logical decision that guides better thought and action. It can be learned through powerful techniques listed in this article.

Before you read further, it is important for you to know that critical thinking is a state of mind, not a tool or strategy.

If you are bogged down in the trivial day to day matters of your professional and personal life, learning skills to develop your ability to think critically can help you rise above these issues and focus your energies where they are needed – to solve problems and accomplish objectives.

It stands to reason that the better the learning techniques, the better critical thinking and reasoning will be. My experience in helping people grow means I know exactly what is needed to teach critical thinking (hint: it’s not just pondering over the problem).

There are 5 powerful techniques that form the base of critical thinking:

  1. Analytical thinking
  2. Communication
  3. Creativity
  4. Open-mindedness
  5. Problem-solving

Once you learn the techniques listed and start employing them in your daily life, you’ll quickly start to notice a change in the way you approach problems and consequently, how you resolve them too.

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1. Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking is the gathering and breaking down of information into small bites that help make sense of it.

To use it for critical thinking:

  • Be very clear on why you need the information. This is to recognize your limitations and employ foresight to overcome them.
  • Gather information from as many sources as you can: peers and experts, podcasts, relevant literature and any other place you can think of.
  • Rephrase questions multiple times to get different perspectives on data available and possibly arrive at different solutions.
  • Break down the data into factual subsets and relate each to the issue at hand.
  • Think on paper to make new connections. Write, doodle, make mind-maps or use spreadsheets. Data presented visually can help you make new connections make sense of emerging patterns.
  • Tidy up the workplace. Once data has been gathered, your workspace and your brain will both be cluttered with excess information. Neaten the physical space and clear your mind with meditation. The change in focus will help you view the information in a new light, potentially helping you reach newer, better conclusions.

Want more information and tips on adopting this powerful technique? What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success has all the information you need.

2. Communication

Communication is a key technique for critical thinking as it gives you access to the thoughts of people around you.

Data can be communicated through audio and visual means and in many cases, through careful observation of body language:

  • Ask for different points of view and seek justification for the same thing. When you invest in the matter, you will be able to explore all options to reach the best solution.
  • Listening without interrupting and only asking questions or voicing concerns once the speaker is done helps you make better connections.
  • Be 100% focused on a verbal or written discussion, you can better hear/read the opinions of the people involved.
  • Paraphrase the speaker/writer’s point of view and ask for affirmation. This enables you to pay full attention and use the input to think critically.
  • In a meeting, subtle communication cues are given by the body language of fellow attendees. An imperceptible frown, a small nod, pencil tapping etc. will all give you clues to what they are really thinking, just in case their actions are not in sync with their words!
  • Active observation, where you are watching and listening intently helps you know what to make of the information that is being passed around. It gives you clues to the general opinion about the topic under discussion and opens up new possibilities.

The information you gather through such communication will be invaluable in thinking critically to arrive at a decision that is holistic and unbiased.

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3. Creativity

Critical thinking is an art, and like any art form, its lifeblood is creativity. To really learn critical thinking, you need to include elements of creativity in the process!

  • Brainstorm with your team in an all-new location or work-shadow an industry expert to step out of your comfort zone. You could be surprised by the ideas that flow at a picnic or a game of billiards!
  • Gather data and tabulate it in the form of colorful, eye-catching charts, graphs and mind maps. The simple exercise makes your mind bring data together in different ways and presents them so multiple unique conclusions can be reached, giving you the flexibility to choose the best one.
  • Play brain games such as Sudoku or chess to appreciate how different factors can be manipulated to reach a preferred outcome. These games help make connections between previously disconnected nerves, giving your brain the power to find multiple pathways to answering problems.
  • In a similar vein, you can forge new neural connections by learning a new skill, a new language or even a new recipe!

I break down creativity in my other article What is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It. If you want to be good at critical thinking, you need to adopt creativity!

4. Open-Mindedness

It’s easy to say you’re open minded but is your mind really open?

To get an idea,

  • Be brutally honest about your strengths and weaknesses, and how these will impact the matter at hand.
  • Hear an opinion that conflicts with your own without forming a response before the opinion is fully voiced.
  • Acknowledge that there may be more than one approach to solving a problem and that they may all be right in some way.
  • Consider your true feelings when you will implement any required changes.
  • Disregard your long-held beliefs and assumptions and let go of habits.
  • Imagine the decision-making factors placed on weighing scales. Are they balanced?

Open-mindedness is a powerful technique for critical thinking. New possibilities can be uncovered, helping you resolve personal and professional matters in a manner that doesn’t frustrate you or alienate the other party.

5. Problem-Solving

Critical thinking is heavily dependent on problem-solving. An effective critical thinker will be a problem solver with the foresight to anticipate roadblocks and negative outcomes, and the experience and presence of mind to resolve them quickly and move on.

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One of the most effective problem-solving methodologies is the 5 Whys Analysis. Invented by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Motors in the 1950s, it has been used successfully by the automobile giant to get to the root cause of problems.

The idea behind this is simple: start with the end problem and keep asking why until you get to the root cause of it.

The general idea is that asking why 5 times from the effect is enough to get to the cause, hence the name. However, the methodology does not limit the questions to 5, and why can be asked as many times as need to peel away the layers until a satisfactory answer is reached.

To use the 5 Whys Analysis, start off by listing the problem and writing why in front of it. The next point in the list should be answer to the first why with another why in front of it. Continue answering the question asked above followed by a why until you’ve asked the question 5 times and answered it six times. 99% of the time, the last answer will be the root cause of the problem stated in the first point.

For example, consider the a commonly given scenario where a vehicle does not start.

  1. Vehicle will not start. Why?
  2. Battery is dead. Why?
  3. The alternator is not functioning. Why?
  4. The alternator belt has broken. Why?
  5. It was old and worn out. Why?
  6. The car is not maintained according to manufacturer’s recommendation.

By this example, it is clearly demonstrated that 5 whys were asked to reach the root cause of the problem.

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The 5 techniques discussed here are important for effective critical thinking. When employed regularly they will become a habit and will definitely improve your critical thinking skills so you can get better at predicting and resolving issues that concern you and your environment.

Over the years, the 5 Whys Analysis has been adopted by millions to reach the root cause of their personal and professional problems. Industry giant Six Sigma has also incorporated the 5x Why Analysis in the Analyze phase of their DMAIC methodology.[1]

Final Thoughts

Is critical thinking a new-fangled notion? Not at all. Its history can be traced back to Socrates who questioned commonly held beliefs. This practice was carried forward by leading scholars and thinkers from different times such as Aristotle and Plato, Colet and Moore, Descartes, Galileo and Newton.[2]

Today’s world is dependent on critical thinking to resolve all sorts of issues. It is now indispensable for issues ranging from personal relationships to professional jobs and those involving the global community.

The 5 techniques discussed here are important for effective critical thinking. When employed regularly, they will become a habit and will definitely improve your critical thinking skills so you can get better at predicting and resolving issues that concern you and your environment.

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Featured photo credit: Mariya Pampova via unsplash.com

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