When you think of the mind of a genius, what do you think of? Someone with lightning quick thoughts who can come to accurate conclusions instantaneously?

Actually, Michael Michalko is the author of a book called "Cracking Creativity," and he says that the difference between the so-called "genius" and "ordinary person" is that the genius simply knows HOW to think, instead of WHAT to think. This means that the genius has time to create new concepts that are entirely innovative, and they can tell themselves that anything is possible -- because in their minds, it is.

In short, geniuses look at problems in a different way than most people do. They combine thoughts, images and ideas in different ways, and they can recognize patterns that occur in the world and that most of us don't see. They can make connections between objects that most of us wouldn't think of connecting. For example, Leonardo da Vinci connected a bell ringing to a flat stone hitting the water and causing waves. This conclusion led him to think that sound, like water, also traveled in "waves."

The genius can also think in opposites that most of us might not think of. For example, in 1928 Danish physicist Niel Bohr told people light should be imagined as both waves and particles, but not simultaneously.

Geniuses can also think in metaphors. This is also considered to be a sign of genius. The great philosopher Aristotle thought that if a person could compare two disparate areas of existence and find a relationship between them, that person was indeed gifted.

Someone who has these types of exceptional abilities can also analyze how "accidental" creativity happens. The question to ask is not "why" it happened, but what did it do?

Many who are considered geniuses are very productive. For example, Thomas Edison was the owner of over a thousand patents. Michalko, in his book, "Cracking Creativity," says that geniuses create so many ideas because their thoughts are so fluent. Their minds are always going, always busy. They literally think all the time. Michalko also states that most of us can develop these characteristics as well. We have to train our brains to be more fluent, like that of the genius.

Buckminster Fuller says that everyone is actually born a genius. It is society that takes this ability away from them. Others believe that genius simply appears, spontaneously, and that so-called "higher education" introduces a kind of conditioned thinking that can actually take away from this innate genius. Just because one has a lot of knowledge doesn't necessarily mean that one is a genius. Excellent memory, true, but genius, not necessarily. What's good to know, though, is that you don't have to be a genius to be creative. We are all capable of not just creative thought, but in fact true genius, such as we may not have dreamed. Charles Baudelaire called genius "no more than childhood recaptured at will."

How can you become a genius? It's a matter of retraining yourself to think as a genius would. You can do so by following the above tips. Start to think about the world around you in a different way. Think in metaphors, think in opposites, and, simply, "think" more. If an idea doesn't come out exactly the way you thought it would, don't ask yourself why it failed. Ask yourself instead what you accomplished and proved.

If you want to think like an inventor does, look at designs as they exist around you and think about how you might change them. Max Planck is the father of quantum theory, and he believed that scientists had to have "a vivid intuitive imagination, for new ideas are not generated by deduction, but by artistically creative imagination." Einstein as well was clear on the fact that his theories came as a result of "free invention of the imagination."

Ezra Pound said, "Genius is the capacity to see 10 things where the ordinary man sees one, and where the man of talent sees two or three, plus the ability to register that multiple perception in the material of his art."

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