The value of high level thinking


“The potentials of our human minds have yet to be fully fathomed by scientists and technologists. The inability to understand extra-sensory perceptions, the subconscious, the co-relation between our dream states and reality, psychokinesis and the Laws of Attraction are evidence of human’s limited ability to understand our own brain. Scientific observations are often focused on what are tangible, empiricists are more interested in experiments, philosophers are more involved in the spiritual and hedonists are more inclined towards human happiness. All these interests are disparate in nature. To  fully comprehend and unleash the powers of the human mind, high level thinking – which combines all necessary elements for insights to be gained – is required. In a way, high level thinking can be defined as a form of associative thinking, which many often misunderstood as creativity. High level thinking is less of creating something and more of combining  and using existing elements in varied ways, of which the 3M “post-it” note is a  great example. The ability to combine a compact ” tear and dispose” note sheet from a note pad with the adhesive property of Scotch Tape (which are typical products of the time) to produce “post-it” notes (which is a breakthrough) is a form of high level thinking. 

While many think that the process of high level thinking is often accidental or incidental, this is often not the case. It is true that there is no definite road map to develop and enhance one’s high level thinking. However, there are 2 elements that will facilitate one’s journey in developing high level thinking. First, always ask “why” when there is any inconsistencies or discrepancies in your daily observations. This can be an observation of human behaviour (which can give one an in-depth understanding of human nature), a product (which can spur one to create an improved one, which might take off as a business), a situation (which can expose one to varied social situations and enable one to be more adaptable, thereby increasing one’s social intelligence) or responses and elaboration from the other party  (which will enable one to understand the other party’s character, personality, reasons and intentions). There is basically no limit to the benefits of developing high level thinking but the “why” must be asked first. 

Second, one must develop “associative thinking” before high level thinking can be developed.  The ability to link unrelated elements together and used them in distinct ways is key to associative thinking. Once this skill is established, high level thinking will inadvertently emerge. The reason why associative thinking has to act as a precursor to high level thinking is because the latter requires a combination of general knowledge, expertise, life experiences, insights and creativity. Associative thinking is the crucial influencing and determining factor in coming up with ways to combine these elements. Only when curiosity and associative thinking are present will high level thinking emerge within oneself.

High level thinking is crucial to one’s success in current times, so more emphasis should be placed on it in education.”


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