“Creativity expert Michael Michalko recently wrote an excellent article, “How Geniuses Think” that explains what separates geniuses from the rest of the world.
Michalko points out that geniuses don’t necessarily have the highest IQs, but they simply know how to think differently.
Regular people think reproductively, he says, which is the concept of revisiting ideas and solutions that have worked in the past.
Geniuses, on the other hand, think productively, always looking at problems in new ways.
Michalko pored over research on geniuses and hashed out some ways they think differently from the rest:
They look at problems in ways no one else has.
“Leonardo da Vinci believed that to gain knowledge about the form of problems, you begin by learning how to restructure it in many different ways. With this is a deeper understanding of the problem.”
“Einstein’s theory of relativity is, in essence, a description of the interaction between different perspectives.”
They express themselves in lots of different ways.
“Einstein always found it necessary to formulate his subject in as many different ways as possible, including diagrammatically. He thought in terms of visual and spatial forms, rather than thinking along purely mathematical or verbal lines of reasoning.”
Geniuses produce, period.
“Thomas Edison held 1,093 patents, still the record. He guaranteed productivity by giving himself and his assistants idea quotas. His own personal quota was one minor invention every 10 days and a major invention every six months.”
Geniuses think in opposites and connect the unconnected.
“Physicist Niels Bohr believed that if you held opposites together, then you suspend your thought and your mind moves to a new level. Because Edison could tolerate the ambivalence between two incompatible things, he could see the relationship that led to his breakthrough.”
Read more about how geniuses think differently over at the Creativity Post ”