Advertising
Advertising

The Key to Einstein’s Genius

The Key to Einstein’s Genius

The key to Einstein’s genius is to learn how to stay with a question longer. Albert Einstein famously remarked,

If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask for once I know the proper question I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.

Einstein also stated,

It’s not that I’m so smart but I stay with the questions much longer.

To stay with our questions longer, DSRP Thinkquiry Questions is a good way.

Advertising

What is DSRP Thinkquiry?

DRSP Thinkquiry is developed by Derek and Laura Cabrera – professors at Cornell University. It is a systems thinking approach to structure information and questions in a systematic way.[1] This approach applies simple rules underlying systems thinking. These simple rules are Distinctions – Systems – Relationships – Perspectives (DSRP).

DSRP ThinkQuiry Questions are the building blocks of cognition and are required to deconstruct a problem or issue. You can learn more about this approach and even use it online at www.thinkquiry.us. Furthermore, I encourage you to read more about Derek and Laura Cabrera’s work and two of their outstanding books – Systems Thinking Made Simple and Thinking at Every Desk.

Beyond the Socratic Method

    In Thinking at Every Desk, the Cabrera’s inform us that we should think of DSRP as guiding questions and as a new form of Socratic questioning for the 21st century. They found that the Socratic method of questioning leads students to a black and white view of the world, where DSRP questions lead students to see the infinite shades of gray that actually exist in the world.

    With DSRP Thinkquiry the Cabrera’s sought to provide us with a new way to ask different questions. Here is what they had to say. [2]

    Advertising

    “We wanted to get people asking different kinds of questions. Questions that lead to new insights and answers but also more questions. Structural questions that can be mixed and matched to form even more complex questions that get at the essence of the wicked problems and complex systems around us.”

    Let’s now dive into DSRP Thinkquiry using a personal example of mine. I write extensively on the foster care system and have published numerous articles and a few books. Books such as Succeeding as a Foster Child a Workbook. I recently published an article on the Different Perspectives of the Foster Care System where I surveyed 243 individuals in order to identify their perspectives of the foster care system using DSRP as a framework and a guide to build better questions for the study.

    Additionally, I used the newest tool created by the Cabrera’s to finish the study – a powerful and free application located at https://kingfisher.link. It is essentially a virtual systems thinking whiteboard.

    Building Better Questions

    Starting with distinctions, let’s see how I was able to ask better questions using the foster care example.

    Distinctions

    Advertising

      Guiding Questions:

      1. What is Foster Care?
      2. What is-not Foster Care?
      3. How would you distinguish between Foster Care and a similar thing – such as Adoption?
      4. Can you compare and contrast Foster Care and Adoption?

      Systems

        Guiding Questions:

        1. What are the parts of Foster Care?
        2. What is Foster Care a part of?
        3. Can you name some of the parts of the parts of Foster Care?
        4. What are the parts of the relationship between Foster Care and Adoption?
        5. What are the parts of Foster Care when looked at from the viewpoint of a Foster Parent?

        Relationships

          Guiding Questions:

          Advertising

          1. What ideas are related to Foster Care and what ideas are related by Foster Care?
          2. What idea relates Foster Care and Adoption?
          3. How are the parts of Foster Care related?
          4. How are the parts of Foster Care related to the parts of Adoption?
          5. What are the relationships among Foster Care and Adoption and other things?

          Perspectives

            Here I will use perspectives uncovered during my survey discussed earlier.

            Guiding Questions:

            1. What are the parts of the viewpoint Foster Care when looking at challenges in foster care from multiple perspectives.
            2. How are Foster Care and Adoption related when looking at them from a new perspective – from the perspective of a Foster Child.
            3. Can you think of Foster Care from multiple perspectives?
            4. What are the parts of Foster Care when looked at from multiple viewpoints?

              The Cabrera’s have provided us an improved way to ask better questions. They have provided us, not only a way to stay with a question longer, but also a better way to build questions. I have personally found that by simply using DSRP Thinkquiry Questions, I am able to uncover new ideas that were not previously held in my mind. In fact, I call their systems thinking approach my “aha” or epiphany generator!

              To me, it’s as if the questions are Lego blocks in a random pile. DSRP Thinkquiry Questions are a way to see each block as a different question, where our job is to simply connect them.

              Reference

              More by this author

              Dr. Jamie Schwandt

              Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt & Red Team Critical Thinker

              How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits 5 Proven Memorization Techniques to Make the Most of Your Memory 10 Hacks to Increase Your Brain IQ, Focus and Creativity 9 Game Changing Tips on How to Write Goals (and Reach Them!) Creative Brain Test: 10 Best Ways To Test Your Creative Intelligence

              Trending in Smartcut

              1 How to Break Bad Habits: I Broke 3 Bad Habits in Less Than 2 Months 2 How Long Does It Take to Break a Habit? Science Will Tell You 3 How to Reprogram Your Brain Like a Computer And Hack Your Habits 4 How to Make Changes in Life by Changing Your Habits 5 7 Clever Goal Tracker Apps to Make the Most of Your Business in 2019

              Read Next

              Advertising
              Advertising
              Advertising

              Last Updated on February 19, 2019

              How to Break Bad Habits: I Broke 3 Bad Habits in Less Than 2 Months

              How to Break Bad Habits: I Broke 3 Bad Habits in Less Than 2 Months

              The cycle of bad habits is what keeps us living small and stops us from reaching our true potential. Breaking a bad habit isn’t as hard as it seems; despite being a CEO of a company and raising two children, I still managed to break 3 bad habits I had within 2 months. Yes, that’s quitting one habit in less than 21 days.

              I took steps to eliminate them one at a time. Habits such as drinking Coke every day, slouching when sitting and not having a consistent exercise routine.

              So how did I break these habits? I used the Control Alternate Delete Method (Ctrl Alt Del).

              What is this method and why is it so effective? Read on to find out how to break bad habits with this unique method.

              How to break bad habits with the Control Alternate Delete Method

                We all notice on some level what our bad habits are. A lot of the time we choose to ignore the negative ways these impact us.

                For me, I was sitting most of the day in front of my computer at work in a slouching position. I drank Coke every single day in an attempt to stay awake. I put off any kind of exercise regime because I felt that it was better to just relax and have fun after a whole day of work. As a result, I was leading a really unhealthy lifestyle suffering from weight gain and back pain.

                Advertising

                I needed to make a change.

                I started to read books about building habits such as The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg, The One Thing by Gary W. Keller and Jay Papasan, and The Now Habit by Neil Fiore. After reading all these books, I’ve come up with my own method to quit bad habits — The Ctrl Alt Del Method.

                I started by focusing on just one bad habit, the first one being the sheer amount of Coke I was consuming each day.

                Every day I applied the Ctrl Alt Del Method and after two weeks, not only did I stop drinking Coke every day (I only drank one can in 2 weeks), but I started the better habit of drinking 8 glasses of water every day instead.

                After eliminating one bad habit, I moved on to the other two with this same method and a month later I was:

                • Hitting the gym twice a week.
                • Improving my sitting posture, not only at the office but also at home and everywhere else, improving my back pain.
                • Gaining core muscle which improved my back pain as well.
                • Losing fat around my waist which went from 36″ (considered obese level) to 32″ (normal level).

                If I can improve my life using this method, then so can you. Using this structure to eliminate your bad habits will increase your success and replace your bad habits with more positive ones.

                Control: Master your desire

                  Identify your triggers

                  Bad habits such as drinking alcohol, smoking and snacking too much trigger the release of dopamine, a feel-good chemical in the brain.[1] Although you might not like the end result, they give you a positive outcome in the moment. This is pure psychology.

                  Advertising

                  It’s important to identify what is triggering you to continually act out your bad habit. This isn’t always an easy step because our habits have been built up over a long period of time.

                  If you need help in identifying your triggers, here’s a list of common bad habits and their triggers: 13 Bad Habits You Need to Quit Right Away

                  Self-reflect

                  To help you work out your triggers, do a bit of self-reflection. Ask yourself questions such as:

                  • What comfort are you getting from this habit?
                  • Why do you need comfort?

                  For example, I chose to drink coke because it tasted good and it made me feel good when I was stressed. I slouched only when I sat for too long working on my desk and started to feel tired. I skipped exercises because every day after work I felt I already did enough works and didn’t want to work out.

                  If you choose to eat fast food every night, you’re probably telling yourself you’re too busy to cook. But ask yourself why? What are your priorities?

                  Maybe you have a lack of self-worth that means you don’t have the self-love to want to look after your health. Perhaps it’s a sign you’re not making enough time for important routines like shopping and creating a healthy meal yourself. Maybe you’ve always had a belief that you’re a bad cook.

                  Write a diary

                  Write down your thoughts and feelings around this bad habit. Writing things down forces the brain to think harder.[2] This helps you to find the source to your stress or limiting negative beliefs.

                  Advertising

                  Alternate: Find a replacement

                    Find a positive alternative habit

                    Once you think you’ve discovered your trigger, try to find a similar but healthy option. This is where I replaced Coke with lemon water; slouching with simply taking a walk and stretching my back every hour; and chilling at home after work with workout exercises that I actually found fun.

                    You could decide to walk to the office instead of driving or getting off the bus earlier to walk. You could switch to a healthier breakfast cereal instead of grabbing a sugary snack when you head out of the door.

                    By doing this, you aren’t getting rid of the act altogether like you would if you completely gave something up with nothing to fill that void. This helps your brain accept the improved habit more.

                    Create a defence plan

                    Everyone has moments of weakness and that want to revert back to the bad habit will rear its ugly head. This is where a plan can help counteract these moments.

                    Think of things you can do when the temptations come. For example, if you want to check your phone less, ask your friend or partner to keep it for you or switch it off and read a book. If you’re a starter for an exercise routine, like me, get someone to do it with you to keep you accountable.

                    Decide on something you will do once you feel triggered to go back to your old habit. Repeating these positive alternative habits consistently will help wire your brain to see them as your normal new habit over time.

                    Delete: Remove temptations

                      Remove stuff that reminds you of the bad habit

                      Getting rid of anything that reminds you of your bad habit is essential. For example, I got rid of coke in my office and at home and replaced my usual office chair with an exercise ball. It makes it much easier to stop slipping back in a weak moment.

                      Advertising

                      Avoid all kinds of temptations

                      In the same vein, avoid places or people that you know will tempt you back into that bad habit. Don’t go to the supermarket on an empty stomach to avoid the temptation to buy trashy snacks, don’t drive past that fast food joint but find an alternative route instead, say no more often to the friend you know will get you drunk again this weekend.

                      It’s all about not putting yourself in the situation where you’re in danger of relapsing.

                      Conclusion

                      The Control Alternate Delete Method uses the right steps you need to overcome your need to indulge in your bad habits. Working with your core psychology, emotions and feelings behind your actions is what makes this method effective and easy to apply to all bad habits you have.

                      Bad habits are easy to form and making changes can seem difficult but remember that it’s all about consistency and repetition.

                      Start using the Control Alternate Delete Method today and you can stop a bad habit permanently.

                      What bad habit do you want to put a stop to once and for all? You must set aside time and pick one bad habit to focus on. Start using the steps to increase and maintain more positivity in your life moving forward.

                      More Resources About Changing Habits

                      Featured photo credit: Picjumbo via picjumbo.com

                      Reference

                      Read Next