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Know Yourself

Optimizing Your Thinking

Man's quest for self-knowledge is timeless.

Legend tells us that the seven sages of ancient Greece inscribed "Know Thyself" at the entrance to their sacred oracle at Delpi.

Performing the key role of 'Problem Solver' comes with many cognitive pitfalls. Understanding your presumptions and how they may affect your problem-solving activities could be the key to solving your problem.

Examine Your Predispositions

Start by examining your predispositions. These are the thoughts that you are already predisposed to.

First, take a look at your intentions.

Go To Step 1 Go To Step 2

Next, see how your expectations shape your problem solving activities.

Go To Step 2 Go To Step 3

Now, find all of the assumptions (both big and small) that you've already made about your situation.

Go To Step 3 Go To Step 4

Challenging your predispositions may be the single most critical step you can take to solve a really difficult problem. Mark Twain may have said it best, "It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so."

Go To Step 4 Go To Step 5

Emotional Thinking

Separate your emotional thinking from your logical thinking.

Go To Step 3 Go To Step 6

Negative Thinking

Finally, if your problem has caused you lots negative feelings - you need to recognize and manage your negative thoughts.

Go To Step 4 Go To Next Section

Go to the next section - 'Generate Hypotheses'.

Go To Part 4