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The question that makes you smarter

Have you ever been discussing a problem with someone and hit a dead end? Neither one of you can come up with any possible solution. Then, one of you says, “You know, if we were smart we’d just (insert solution here).”

Notice the phrase “if we were smart”. Now, obviously the solution to the problem came from the person making the statement, but they don’t feel like it did. They feel like it came from outside themselves. Most of the time people stumble on answers like that, but how do you make it happen?

Here’s a question that does wonders. Just ask yourself:

What would I do in this situation if I were smarter?

This question depersonalizes your problems and removes any self-doubt you might have. The answers that come from the question are often shockingly straightforward and obvious. As if you knew the answer the whole time and were just refusing to acknowledge it.

There’s a great visualization exercise for doing this as well. Imagine that inside your head there is a deeply buried bunker with nothing it in but a computer.  This computer contains all the answers and information you need, all you have to do is sit down in front of the computer and type your question in. Seconds later, the response will appear on the screen.

If you prefer, another extension of this exercise is to depersonalize the answer even further and ask, “What would I do in this situation if I was Albert Einstein?” Not that you have to use Einstein, pick someone who you admire and who you are familiar with.

This question gives you access to abilities and resources far beyond what you think you have. In fact, it might prove once and for all that you are smarter than you think you are.

Could it be that you are already a super genius?

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