Visual Thinking as a Conversation Tool
Once you start moving through the process of visual thinkingand begin integrating it into your life, you will come to understand that visual thinking is nothing more than the idea of bringing your thoughts out of your head and into the physical world.
The process of thinking about stuff in our own heads may seem complex at first. However, it’s often quite straightforward — only seems complex because we haven’t undertaken the task of conceptualizing our thoughts by bringing them forth into physical reality.
Let’s look at the thought-process in a little more detail.
The Components that Make Up a Thought
Our thoughts are made up from a set of components or ingredients. In fact, every thought you have can be broken down into a series of ingredients that essentially create the thought you experience in your head. And what visual thinking tries to do is simply take these thought-ingredients and put them into a physical form.
What are these thought-ingredients?
The thought-ingredients that create our inner world, our inner experience and our imaginations are most simply made up of the following:
- Asking questions
- Answering questions
- Still images
- Moving pictures
- Colors, Shapes, Lines, etc.
Every day we go about our lives and literally have a conversation with ourselves about our environment, other people and the events and circumstances we find ourselves in.
All these things influence our emotions, beliefs, values and a variety of other elements that make up our psychology. However, when it comes to the process of thinking, there are actually four questions we tend to unconsciously ask ourselves throughout the day in response to events and circumstances. They are:
The process of asking and answering these questions generates images, pictures, colors, shapes, lines, etc, in our minds. These elements are however fuzzy and scattered because the thought-process is trying to tie things together in order to make sense of the world by creating relevant associations and connections.
Another drawback is that the conscious brain can only hold a small portion of this information within its short-term memory storage banks. This means that we never entirely see the BIG picture overview of the thought-process, and therefore fail to identify all relevant associations, connections and essential components.
This is a rather ineffective means of processing information because we are only able to manage small snippets of relevant information at the one time. However, the moment we begin taking these thoughts out of our heads and piecing them together in the physical world, — using visual thinking methods — is the eureka moment when concepts become reality, and fuzzy thoughts become intriguing ideas and opportunities for innovation.
Visual Thinking is an Open Conversation
Visual thinking is therefore an open conversation you have with yourself about your world and circumstances.
You are laying things out on the table in physical form by asking questions, creating visuals, making connections, forming associations and subsequently generating ideas that have suddenly become real and tangible. You no longer need to fall prey to the short-term memory traps, and can crystallize concepts and ideas from both a macro and micro level of understanding. Moreover, the process of visual thinking allows you to shift, sort, change, transform and shape these concepts and ideas any-which-way you wish. The only limitation is your own imagination.
This open conversation you have with yourself also has two huge advantages that will help you boost your levels of creative intelligence — improving your focus and forcing you to REALLY think about the visual components you’ve laid out. Unfortunately these are two things that most people don’t like to do. 🙁
Visual Thinking Helps Improve Focus
When you see (visualize) and involve yourself in doing things physically (playing and interacting with the material) , this helps you focus on the task at hand so-much-so that you become completely enveloped in the “doing” that you block everything else out and direct all your attention to the task at hand. During moments such as these, time seems to fly and the task seems effortless because your focus is not scattered or redirected on other areas.
Information and ideas flow where your focus goes. And the more you focus and direct your attention on the thoughts you are bringing into physical form using visual thinking techniques, the more thoughts you will tend to generate that will add even further elements and components to your ideas. In other words, visual thinking forces you to think in ever deeper ways about the elements that are being shaped in front of your eyes.
Visual Thinking Forces You to Think
Visual Thinking forces you to think things through in surprising ways. The more connections, associations, groups and other components you organize, transform, arrange and sort through accordingly, the more pieces of the puzzle start to come together in seemingly unexpected ways.
Visual thinking frees your mind from the limiting constraints of the thought-process and opens your perspective to new possibilities by helping you to expand your understanding of concepts, elements and ideas from a variety of unexpected angles. It forces you to think because there are no longer any short-term memory limitations — you are now free to think broadly and flexibly away from the constraints of your mind.
Finally, putting your thoughts down on paper is much like watching a movie of your thoughts from a third person’s perspective. As a result you see things somewhat differently by looking IN and AT the movie of your thoughts, instead of looking OUT from within your thoughts — as seen from a first person’s perspective. Both perspectives are vital, but only one perspective is truly limitless and flexible.
Are you ready to free your mind from its limiting constraints and perspectives? Begin thinking visually…
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