Cognitive psychologist Gary Klein, author of Seeing What Others Don’t: The Remarkable Ways We Gain Insights, outlines five ways to cultivate insights.
These epiphanies and flashes of sudden clarity tend to come at the most unexpected moments. So do we have any control over these insights, and is there a way to train the brain to become more attuned to them? Insights may be unexpected, but we can actually teach ourselves to see connections that others may never notice.
“An insight is an unexpected shift in the way we understand things,” says Klein. “It comes without warning. It’s not something that we think is going to happen and that’s why it’s unexpected. It feels like a gift and in fact it is.”
On his list: curiosity, daydreaming, leveraging contradictions and coincidences and acting on insights. All dimensions of mindfulness, being in the present with boundless awareness. A must for anyone engaged in design as core to what they’re about.