Creativity and Bullet-Point-Proof Thinking
Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius – and a lot of courage – to move in the opposite direction.
We live in an increasingly rushed and stressful world, overwhelmed by constant challenges and demands. Notwithstanding Einstein’s idea of the relativity of time, it seems that there’s not enough time in the contemporary world. Perhaps, worrying about things and being involved with problems, we rush through life and then have trouble slowing down and reflecting on the meaning of it all.
Because of the need to make the most of limited time, many skills, interactions, and presentations are simplified and bullet-pointed. Bullets that calm the eye can master the art of comprehensive discussion. They provide convenience and the ability to skim for ideas. A bullet-point format also saves time and keeps information more structured. Presenting information in a bullet-point format has become common practice in contemporary society. The question is: would it be proactive to think in bullets to make our decision-making process faster and easier? Linear and bulleted thinking might simplify complexity and minimize jumbling of thoughts, but would it make our ideas valuable?
Bullet thinking may comfort the mind. However, current bullet-point thinking requires a consistent style, a questioning attitude, and interactive images. It also demands reasoning, critical thinking, and feedback. Moreover, Bullet-Point-Proof thinking requires a complex vision, fluent processing, and flexible judgment. Otherwise, it may turn into filtering of potentially useful thoughts and the inclusion of unrelated thoughts without practical use. In other words, it can become a pointless combination of isolated ideas. By leaving out the story between different opinions, we may fail to grasp the reasoning and dynamic. As a result, we can end up creating useless mental models. We may also leave critical relationships un-examined.
Original thinking – bulleted or not – matters, but to turn a creative spark into a fruitful decision, it is essential to recognize the value of sophisticated complexity and organization. The tendency to come up with short-sighted ideas with no relevant background information or context will succeed neither in bullet points nor in narratives. Any great idea should be formed, elaborated, and followed through.
Our thoughts often race ahead of our ability to express and organize them. A flash of insight should therefore be followed by reflection, systematic construction, critical thinking, and implementation. Instead of replacing your comprehensive thinking process with bullets, make the bullets a tool for problem-solving. Use them as schematics, headings, or a form of emphasis. Your bullet-point ideas should stimulate your mind to analyze, plan, and implement. Each bullet will require elaboration and logical incorporation into the process.
A step-by-step bullet-point thinking process can be as follows.
What is the situation?
Find more information about any part of the problem you don’t understand.
Identify the primary issue and formulate it as an opportunity.
Ask the question: “What can be done to improve the situation?” and generate a response.
Evaluate the cost – pros and cons – for your first response.
Raise new questions and find new possibilities.
Push through the roadblocks and pick the best solution.
Life changes such as the death of a friend or family member, loss of stability, illness, divorce, a child leaving home, or threats to safety cause grief as a response to loss. When dealing with grief, it’s vital to cope with problems and control painful emotions, but the grieving process diminishes your ability to solve problems when you need it the most. Below is an example of bullet-point thinking when dealing with grief.
- The bullet: Understanding a way to heal your grief is your first critical step. The promise: A clearer understanding of your grief is possible as you move away from grieving and start healing.
- The bullet: Decisive thinking, attitude, and skill are must-have qualities to master happiness. The promise: You will develop psychological and emotional empowerment by practicing specific and consistent actions.
- The bullet: Rescue yourself from floundering in your painful past. The promise: By concentrating on the new you and new conditions, you can begin your life anew.
- The bullet: Wanting to heal is not enough, but persuasive desires can give you vital healing clarity. The promise: As you hunger and thirst to overcome your grief and loss, a clearer path will appear.
- The bullet: Wanting your old situation back is counterproductive; embracing your new condition will lead to empowerment. The promise: New possibilities are within your reach as you seek them.
- The bullet: Everyone’s grief clock keeps its own time. Your grief healing clock is correct; follow that time. The promise: Be kind to your feelings. Allowing a short period of time for your sorrow is all right; it will bring you clarity and resolve.
- The bullet: Because of your vulnerable condition, you may experience uncertainty, but you can find joy again. The promise: You can also revel in hopelessness, indecision, impossibilities, even anger; however, finding new positive thought is possible.
- The bullet: You can’t expect to see your problem solved and your sorrow abated if you do nothing. Action brings reconciliation. The promise: Happiness and hope are the results of your actions.
- The bullet: You are not alone. Others have suffered through their grief and found joy; you can, too. The promise: You can find personal strength in the many examples of reconciling grief and finding joy again.
- The bullet: Reinforce your capacity to direct your attention toward your goal. The promise: You can guide yourself more effectively toward healing your grief and loss.
Take each bullet point as a starting point. As you walk yourself through these phases of your thinking process, elaborate each step, analyze it, and make logical connections among all stages. See how all bullets intersect. You can use the following tips:
Try to think of your problem in a short, concise form. Make sure the problem is well defined. Name the known factors and try to question and learn as much as you can about the unknown issues. Ask yourself: “What is the right answer in this situation?” Don’t make excuses. Be aware of your biases and emotions. Compromise on the benefits of your idea. Add a spark of originality to each step, tempering it with realistic expectations. Make sure that your points are built with fluency and flexibility. Don’t jump to conclusions. Be positive and open to novelty. And remember what Albert Einstein said: “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”