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?
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.
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?
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.
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