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In this chapter the author suggests the strategy which is called “Thinking Fluently” aimed at learning to break out usual patterns of thinking in order to start producing new ideas and developing creative solutions. People have some established thinking patterns in their mind for everyday activities which allow them to handle routine tasks easily and efficiently. However, this “robotic” pattering makes people unable to look at some familiar issues from a different perspective. The worse thing about having such standard templates for solving particular issues is that facing some unforeseen problems a person finds them impossible to overcome, since he is not able to change the way he is thinking to adjust to a new situation and come up with some creative solutions.
The author proposes five essential steps to accomplish the goal of fluent thinking. The first one is based on the idea of avoidance deferred judgments. People tend to criticize and reject an idea immediately after it has been proposed. Because of the way people were taught to think, processes of generating and judging ideas are happening simultaneously in the human mind. This is actually one of the biggest obstacles on the way towards the process of generating new ideas and solutions because creativity can be killed very quickly by analytical thinking. So when a person is looking for some ideas it is very important to avoid critical evaluation and judging.
The second step involves intensive generating of all possible ideas concerning some particular issue or “brainstorming” in other words. Usually people stop thinking about solutions as soon as they come up with two or three of them. This is completely wrong because these first ideas that come to our mind are simple firstborn associations. In order to find a creative solution or generate an innovative idea, people have to go beyond the frames of habitual thinking. This step leads us to the idea that all thoughts have to be written down in order to remember them which turns out to be the third step. Listing the ideas also help to stay focused on the subject matter and speed up thinking.
The fourth step suggests constant elaboration or improvement of already existent ideas by adding details, insight, and dimension. The author emphasizes the fact that even small changes can result in a totally new and grandiose idea. In order to succeed in this step, it is recommended to apply nine creative-thinking principles: substitute, combine, adapt, magnify, modify, put to other users, eliminate, rearrange, and reverse.
Finally, people have to allow their subconscious mind to generate ideas by isolating the subject. The process when a new idea appears after some incubation period of time is called “mind mopping.” Sometimes it can be very difficult to generate a new idea after we have been thinking of it for a long time because we become too fixated. So when a person stops thinking about work the effect of fixation becomes weaker which activates our subconscious mind and enables it to create new ideas and solutions.
I believe that nothing genial comes to our mind for no particular reason. Indeed it requires a lot of work and efforts to stimulate human brain so that it starts generating new ideas. Time and patience are needed in order to succeed in accomplishing the “Thinking Fluently” goal. Before starting doing something, at first we have to prepare our mind for perception of new information, then analyze it carefully, make personal conclusions, and only after all these steps have been done we can come up with new ideas. Of course some of us need more time than others to learn how to use own subconscious mind.