The Power of Multiple Minds
Think for Yourself, but not By Yourself
We have all been told that we should think for ourselves. From the time we are little, our parents told us that we should think for ourselves and not follow the crowd. That mindset has stuck with us throughout our lives, and when we get older we keep it going. It’s good advice, but often it gets twisted to a way that is highly unproductive.
After our formative years are behind us, and we enter into our careers, we continue to only think for ourselves. When problems arise, we think them through (hopefully). When we are working on projects, we consult our training and education. We think by ourselves so that we can discover the outcome for ourselves. We have this sense that we shouldn’t need other people.
Let’s put aside that thinking, and start joining our minds.
Thomas Edison; Inventor, Thinker, Team Member
When you picture Thomas Edison working on the light bulb, how do you picture him? If you’re like most people you imagine him working in a basement, or back room, or perhaps a garden shed. You picture him hunched over his experiments tinkering away until he has his light bulb moment.
But the man who holds over 1,000 US patents wasn’t stupid. And he knew the power of multiple minds. He employed hundreds of people to help with his ideas where they tinkered away 6 days a week on a 34 acre research and development complex.
The famed inventor wasn’t someone that went it alone. He embraced the power of multiple minds.
A Cord of Three Strands
In Ecclesiastes 4:12 the Bible tells as that a cord of three strands is not easily broken. It can be seen time and again in a variety of situations. It applies to physical feats, as well as mental feats.
There’s a proverb that tells us, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.” When you join forces with others, you are much more powerful than the three of you alone. It’s the concept of synergy.
If I can create 1 unit on my own, and you can create 1 unit on your own, logic would say that together we can create 2 units. However, if we combine our powers, we can do more; we can create 3 units. That is how synergy works. Yet most people fail to apply it to thinking.
Harness the Power of Others’ Thinking
Anecdotes are great, but how do they apply to real life? Here’s a simple way you can get started harnessing the power of multiple minds.
In your job, do you ever have to solve problems? How often do you go to your tried and true methods? This week, lay out the problem and your go-to solution, and then take it to a colleague. Ask him or her how they would tackle the problem to see if there is an approach you didn’t consider.
At home, do you ever get bored? Do you ever feel like you’re stuck in a rut of work, eat, sleep, repeat? Sit down with some friends and ask what they do to keep life exciting. It could be the start of new adventures together.
Do you have a hobby where you seem to have hit a plateau? Branch out and ask others what they think; even those that aren’t experienced in that particular hobby may have some ideas that can get your brain thinking in a new direction.
Embrace the Power of Multiple Minds
Don’t confuse thinking for yourself with thinking by yourself. There are 7 billion minds on this planet, and each one functions in a slightly different way. When we put our minds together, we can accomplish great things that we never would be able to on our own.