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What Do the Best Thinkers Have in Common?

What Do the Best Thinkers Have in Common?

The best thinkers share a lot of common traits. Beyond just a high IQ, however, they have a number of attitudes and philosophies in common that propel them to have some of the strongest thinking skills in the world. Here are eight of the most popular traits of the best thinkers.

1. The Best Thinkers Are Curious, Like Albert Einstein

The people with the strongest thinking skills are the ones who regularly ask, “What if … ?” Albert Einstein said, “Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.” He recognized how important it is to constantly be questioning the world around you. Do you?

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2. The Best Thinkers Are Adventurous, Like Jeff Bezos

People with great thinking skills are the type to take a unique kind of action. Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, has ventured into completely alien industries like mass shipping, groceries, e-books, phones and tablets, all for a business that started out as just an online bookseller. Keep in mind that those with great thinking skills aren’t content with sticking to the status quo.

3. The Best Thinkers Look to Clarify, Like Steve Jobs

Simple is better. That’s an almost universal rule. Something you can sum up in a sentence is generally far superior than something you need a paragraph to explain. Steve Jobs understood this, and his thinking skills allowed Apple to become a major player in the tech world. His focus on simplicity in design was a major factor in selling products like the Mac, iPod, iPhone and iPad and making operating systems like iOS and OS X such a success.

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4. The Best Thinkers Are Strategic, Like Mark Zuckerberg

Mark Zuckerberg, love him or hate him, redefined the social media industry with Facebook. Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and all the other social networks that followed Facebook benefited greatly from the path he carved. His strategic implementation of the groundwork for current day social media should be admired or even envied.

5. The Best Thinkers Don’t Back Down, Like Galileo

The people with the most impressive thinking skills don’t give up even when everyone or everything is against them. Sixteenth-century scientist Galileo was imprisoned for his insistence that Earth is not the center of the universe. How far will you go to stand up for your beliefs?

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6. The Best Thinkers Are Self-Aware, Like Amy Schumer

Comedian Amy Schumer regularly plays with the perceptions other people have of her. In her stand-up and on her sketch show Inside Amy Schumer, she comments on her appearance and attitude with a level of self-awareness that few can achieve. Her thinking skills are impressive because she can recognize how others see her, and plays with that perception for the sake of comedy.

7. The Best Thinkers Are Reflective, Like Warren Buffett

The best thinking skills come from the types of people who look at the past to try to predict the future. Warren Buffett, an investor renowned for his smart business sense and thinking skills, regularly studies companies that were on top years ago and tracks them to the present. That way he can identify trends, see how industry changes affect certain businesses and find out why some companies remain successful while others falter. The past is a wonderful cheat sheet for the future, and people with great thinking skills like Warren Buffett know to study up.

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8. The Best Thinkers Diversify, Like Donald Glover

People with great thinking skills recognize that to accomplish something meaningful, they have to have a finger in many pies. If they constrain themselves to one activity they’re greatly limiting their potential. Donald Glover began his career as a writer for the sitcom 30 Rock, but he didn’t want to be confined to one art form, so he went on to take a prominent role in the TV show Community and have a successful career as rapper Childish Gambino. If you have good thinking skills you probably recognize that not reaching to new heights will keep you stuck on the ground floor.

Featured photo credit: Billy Hathorn via en.wikipedia.org

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Matt OKeefe

Matt is a marketer and writer who shares about lifestyle and productivity tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on March 31, 2020

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How To Break the Procrastination Cycle

How often do you find yourself procrastinating? Do you wish you could procrastinate less? We all know how debilitating procrastination can make us feel, and it seems to be a challenge we all share. Procrastination is one of the biggest hindrances to moving forward and doing the things that we want to in life.

There are many reasons why you might be procrastinating, and sometimes, it is really difficult to pinpoint why. You might be procrastinating because of something related to the past, present, or future (they are all intertwined), or it could be as simple as biological factors. Whatever the reason, most of us follow a cycle when we procrastinate, from the moment we decide to do something to actually getting it done, or in this case, not getting it done.

The Vicious Procrastination Cycle

For some reason, it helps to understand that we all go through the same thing, even though we often feel like the only person in the world who struggles with this. Do you resonate with the cycle below?

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it!

2. Apprehension Starts to Come Up

The beginning stages of optimism are starting to fade. There is still time, but you haven’t done anything yet, and you start to feel uneasy. You realize that you actually have to do something to get it done, and that good intentions are not enough.

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3. Still No Action

More time has passed. You still haven’t taken any action and probably have a lot of excuses why. You start to panic a little and wish you had started sooner. Your panic starts to turn into frustration and perhaps even irritability.

4. Flicker of Hope Left

You can still make it; there is a little time left and you ponder how you are going to get it done. The rush you get from leaving your task until the last minute gives you a flicker of hope. There is still time; you can do this!

5. Fading Quickly

Your hope starts to quickly fade as you try desperately to understand why you just can’t do this. You may feel desperate and have thoughts like, “What is wrong with me?” and “Why do I ALWAYS do this?” You feel discouraged, or perhaps angry and resentful at yourself.

6. Vow to Yourself

Once the feeling of anger or disappointment disappears, you most likely swear to yourself that this will never happen again; that this was the last time and next time will be different.

Does this sound like you? Is the next time different? I understand the devastating effect that procrastination has on many lives, and for some, it is a really serious problem. You also have, on the other hand, those who procrastinate but it doesn’t affect them in any way. You know whether it is affecting you or not and whether it undermines your results.

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How to Break the Procrastination Cycle

Unless you break the cycle, you will keep reinforcing it!

To break the cycle, you need to change the sequence of events. Here is my suggestion on how you can effectively break the vicious cycle you are in!

1. Feeling Eager and Energized

This is when you commit to taking a new action or getting something done. You are feeling confident and optimistic that, this time round, you will do it! The first stage is always the same.

2. Plan

Thinking alone will not help; you need to plan your actions. I always put my deadlines one or two days in advance because you know Murphy’s Law! Take into consideration everything that you need to do, how long it will take you, and what you will need to get it done, then plan the individual steps.

3. Resistance

Just because you planned doesn’t mean that this time is guaranteed to be different. You will most likely still feel the resistance so expect this. This stage is key to identifying why you are procrastinating, so when you feel the resistance, try to identify it immediately.

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What is causing you to hesitate in this moment? What do you feel?  Write them down if it helps.

4. Confront Those Feelings

Once you have identified what could possibly be holding you back, for example, fear of failure, lack of motivation, etc. You need to work on lessening the resistance.

Ask yourself, “What do I need to do to move forward? What would make it easier?” If you find that you fear something, overcoming that fear is not something that will happen overnight — keep this in mind.

5. Put Results Before Comfort

You need to keep moving forward and put results before comfort. Take action, even if it is only for 10 minutes. The key is to break the cycle and not reinforce it. You have more control that you think.

6. Repeat

Repeat steps 3-5 until you achieve what you first set out to do.

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Final Thoughts

Change doesn’t happen overnight, and if you have some deeper underlying reasons why you procrastinate, it may take longer to finally break the cycle.

If procrastination is holding you back in life, it is better to deal with it now than to deal with the negative consequences later on. It is not a question of comfort anymore; it is a question of results. What is more important to you?

Learn more about how to stop procrastinating here: What Is Procrastination and How to Stop It (The Complete Guide)

Featured photo credit: Luke Chesser via unsplash.com

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