I’m Just Not a Visual Thinker?

Back in 2008 on the IQ Matrix blog I wrote an article about multi-sensory learning. Within the article I mention that there are three primary ways that people learn and absorb information on a daily basis. These include sight, sound and touch (visual, auditory and kinaesthetic learning). Moreover, each and every person has a preference for a specific learning style. Some people are naturally more visual, while others tend to learn best through listening or by physically doing something with the material they are learning.

Even though there is some truth to these preferences for learning, it’s however very strange when someone tells me that visual thinking won’t work for them because they are simply not hard-wired to think visually.

The Process of Remembering

While going through an accelerated learning course created by Brian Tracy and Colin Rose, I came across some interesting statistics. They mentioned that our learning and retention goes up in the following way:

  • We remember 20% of what we READ.
  • We remember 30% of what we HEAR.
  • We remember 40% of what we SEE.
  • We remember 50% of what we SAY.
  • We remember 60% of what we DO.
  • We remember 90% of what we Read, Hear, See, Say and Do.
  • I’m not sure of the accuracy of these statistics, however what I do know from personal experience is that when I create a picture (do), look at the picture (see), read the words that label different parts of the picture (read + say + hear), that my retention of the visual information improves dramatically. This is in essence the power of visual thinking, which allows us to not only conceptualize ideas, but also retain them in ways that would not have been possible without the use of pictures.

    In the future as we move through specific visual thinking examples, I will provide you with the groundwork you need to understand how visual thinking can be used not only for remembering key concepts and ideas, but also to assist you with problem solvingcreative thinking and decision-making.

    But I’m Just Not a Visual Person…

    If you’re still not convinced that you’re a visual person, then ask yourself the following questions:

    When I think about what I ate for lunch, do I primarily think in words, sounds, feelings or pictures?

    When I think about a monkey swinging from tree-to-tree, do I primarily think in words, sounds, feelings or pictures?

    When I’m driving a car, do I predominantly use my eyes, ears or feelings?

    When I walk into a room and sit on a chair, do I predominantly use my eyes, ears or feelings?

    I don’t mean to be stating the obvious, however I do hope you SEE where I’m going here. 😉  Even though we might very well use our ears (auditory capacity) and feelings (kinesthetic ability) to navigate the world, there is no question that our primary means of learning and interacting with the world around us comes through sight (visual thinking capacity).

    We Are Hard-wired to Think Visually

    Did you know that 80% of the brain is actually hard-wired to process information visually?

    If our primary way of learning comes through the eyes, then doesn’t it just make sense that we are all indeed hard-wired to think visually above all all else? And if we are indeed hard-wired to think visually, then why in the world should we struggle and move against the grain by doing things that are not aligned with our natural visual thinking abilities?

    The moment we all accept the fact that we are visual thinkers, is the moment we can break the shackles that are tying us down and preventing forward movement towards more freedom and flexibility in thought and action.

    There is unlimited potential within you to do incredible things, however if you don’t take the time to tap into that power, then you may struggle or find it much more difficult to achieve your goals and objectives. Visual thinking just makes things so much easier, better and could help you gain the edge you need to excel in any field of endeavor.

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