Archive for the ‘Analytical Thought’ Category

Reason obeys itself; ignorance submits to whatever is dictated to it.

— Thomas Paine (1792, by Laurent Dabos; Public Domain)

Read Full Post »

Know how to listen, and you will profit even from those who talk badly.



…Way too often, as we are listening to others speak, we are so focused on how we will respond that we miss the message being sent; and quite often, that message is something very different than what was actually said.

Intuitive listening is a skill, and developing that skill can reap great rewards. As part of my profession, I have one of the three major financial networks on for ten straight hours each business day. One side benefit of this has been the ability to gauge what “experts” say against what really happens six months or a year down the road, and how these same speakers respond after the fact. Sadly, so much of what they say is tainted by their own belief system, either subconsciously or, in some instances, purposefully.

Develop the ability to listen critically to others with an open mind. Don’t accept what you hear as fact; rather, try to understand their motives and the belief system behind their words. Once you develop this ability, you will actually be able to predict what someone is going to say before the words leave their mouth. And that keen insight can be a powerful tool for you to have as you move forward towards your own objectives in life.

MSH, Penn Wealth

Read Full Post »

If a man’s wit be wandering, let him study the mathematics.

Bacon, Francis

—Francis Bacon (Public domain)

…By my God-given nature, I am a “right-brain” person. According to cognitive psychology, the right brain controls creativity, intuition, and human emotion. As a visual learner, I gravitate towards graphs, charts, and illustrations.

I know other people who are left-brain dominant. They naturally gravitate toward the sciences, mathematics, and linear thinking. I often marvel at the ease with which they tackle complicated equations, yet I have seen these individuals fumble awkwardly through simple social interactions.

There are two trains of thought with respect to embracing and accepting which side of your brain dominates your life. Do you “play to your strengths,” making the most of what God has blessed you with, or do you relentlessly tackle your weaknesses in order to strengthen your skills in new arenas. The answer lies somewhere in the middle.

While ruminating over a challenging business decision I had to make a few years back, my wandering eyes made their way to a book on mathematical equations sitting in a dusty corner of my bookshelf. Needing a mental break, and deciding it was too early to crack a beer, I pulled out the book, along with my notepad and pencil, and delved into some equations. After about ninety minutes of getting lost in the analytical world of math, something drew my attention back to the pressing business challenge. Quite suddenly, new ideas for and answers to the challenge were coming to mind. It wasn’t simply that I took a break from my problem, it was the fact that I had engaged the other side of my brain during that break!

I have successfully used this method numerous times since my “breakthrough,” and then I came upon this wonderfully simple quote by Francis Bacon, one of the brilliant minds which helped to form the Age of Reason. Francis Bacon, much like his relative contemporary Benjamin Franklin, excelled in both the left-brain scientific realm as well as the right-brain political and social arenas. Perhaps it was their willingness to bounce between diverse subjects that helped them excel in multiple fields.

So, continue to develop and use your natural talents to move forward in life, but don’t be afraid to tackle something outside of your comfort zone. It may lead to unexpected results.

MSH, Penn Wealth

Read Full Post »


Good luck and bad luck is a synonym, in the great majority of instances, for good and bad judgment.

Fork in the road. The choice between the desert and meadows.

—John Chatfield

Read Full Post »

The older I get, the more wisdom I find in the ancient rule of taking first things first: a process which often reduces the most complex human problem to a manageable proportion.

Eisenhower, Dwight

—Dwight D. Eisenhower

What fantastic advice.  This, truly, is the secret to solving virtually any challenge in your life.  Stop brooding and losing sleep over a problem.  Take a piece of paper or a digital journal and write the “big picture” issue at the top.  Now, begin breaking apart the problem into the most rudimentary little pieces.  Make sure the pieces are in the correct order, and start tackling each, one by one!  Record your progress by crossing through each manageable task as you go.  This system can—and should—be used for virtually every area of your life!


Read Full Post »

There are horrible people who, instead of solving a problem, tangle it up and make it harder to solve for anyone who wants to deal with it. Whoever does not know how to hit the nail on the head should be asked not to hit it at all.


—Friedrich Nietzsche

Read Full Post »