Is there any way to improve the level of seeing things and problems?
Of course there are. This method, I call it “cognitive upgrade”, that is, to overthrow the old cognition and build a new cognition in an all-round way.
In middle school, everyone took political lessons. In class, philosophy will be divided into idealism and materialism, and materialism is divided into natural materialism, mechanical materialism, and dialectical materialism.
For a while, I always thought that philosophy is really like this. So much so that I often think about it: Why from ancient Greece, the thoughts of the West for two or three thousand years look so simple and rough?
Until later read “Sophie’s World”. This book has been criticized by many philosophers, saying that it is too “folk philosopher”, and the content is quite rigorous. But for me at that time, it was tantamount to opening a whole new world for me.
After “Sophie’s World”, I continued to nibble Solomon’s “The Big Question”, “Oxford General Reader” (Philosophy Part), and Tilly’s “History of Western Philosophy”-this book is quite difficult Understand, because it quotes a lot of philosophers ’original texts, it took me three to four years to read it from junior high school to high school.
From then on I learned that Western philosophy is not like what the political book says. Instead, he turned out a philosopher casually, his thoughts are a treasure trove of radiance.
This experience helped me immensely. Not only did I rebuild the knowledge framework for the entire history of philosophy, but it also allowed me to learn many ways of thinking and seeing problems from the philosophers’ minds.
For me, this is a comprehensive cognitive upgrade.
Give another example.
When I used to study, I always pursued speed and quantity. I have read a lot of books and made many notes, but I always feel that what I really eat is very limited. Until one day of the sophomore year, Suddenly empowered: Why should I pursue other people’s things, why not focus on building my own framework?
Since then, the way I read has undergone a qualitative change-in the past I could read dozens of books in a summer vacation, and since I understood this truth, the number of books I have read has been greatly reduced, but the scope of my involvement has expanded. In my sophomore and junior years, I almost went through the humanities and social sciences library of the school library.
I no longer pursue “what I have remembered” and “how much I have read”, but let my knowledge system grow, extend, overlap, and build my own knowledge graph.
I give these two examples to show that the most important thing for people to achieve growth in this life is to upgrade their cognition.
Being at a level, your thinking, perspective and way of looking at problems will be confined to this level. No matter how high it is raised, it is impossible to go beyond this level of restraint.
Cognitive upgrading is to make your thinking go beyond the current level and reach a higher level.
Once this leap is completed, you will find that the familiar things in the past show a completely different aspect in your eyes. Your brain is like opening a gate, and infinite fresh and energetic thoughts flow out.
There is a theory that all cells in the human body will be replaced every seven years on average to remove old cells and produce new ones. Although this is pseudo-science, it is true at the level of thinking.
If a person’s thinking and cognition have gone through five or ten years and have not yet achieved an upgrade or leap, then his thinking has actually entered the “old age”. Every day, he is just repeating his past life.
Human thought is actually the aggregation of all the information that I have come into contact with. All the information you subtly receive will construct your thinking framework. Your way of thinking and analysis process are all built in this thinking framework.
In short, everything you learn constitutes your brain.
Therefore, if you want to make the formed thinking frame closer to the reality and more forward-looking, you need to overthrow, break, repair, and rebuild it every once in a while. This is a cognitive upgrade.
The process between the two cognitive upgrades is also the process of subjecting one’s own thinking to grinding, denial, and overthrow, which I call “self-iteration”.
To achieve cognitive upgrading through self-iteration is the essence of a person’s growth.
There is a problem in the knowledge: what is poor thinking? What is the fundamental difference between the poor and the rich in thinking?
My answer is: the poor and the rich, the biggest gap lies in vision. Family background, growing environment, will tightly constrain the poor person’s vision, so that he can not see the prospect, become short-sighted, and delay the immediate satisfaction.
Some parents do not see the necessity of letting their children go to school. They prefer to let their children do farming and work at home. Even those children who can stand out from the countryside and complete their studies in big cities will be affected by the lack of information in childhood, and this effect will be with them for life.
Similarly, many migrant workers at the bottom of society have one thing in common: they lack a strong desire to “change the status quo.” They feel that the life right now is not good enough, but they are okay. It is difficult for them to imagine what a “better life” is like, and it is even harder to imagine that they can be connected to that kind of life. After they save a sum of money, they will either spend it on enjoying sex (such as eating a good meal, buying an iPhone), or going back to their hometown to build a house for the next generation to get married, and so on.
This is the vicious circle of poverty. Poverty leads to a lack of information, and the lack of information makes it impossible to get out of trouble, which in turn leads to poverty for the next generation. Repeatedly, life and death.
How can we get out of this dilemma? The answer is that by overthrowing and rebuilding cognition, iterating on itself will break this closed loop into a gap.
A person who grows up in a traditional environment can become very old-fashioned, obscure, and stubborn. Is this his fault? Actually it is not, he is just a victim of this kind of thinking field.
If you want to integrate into a higher-level circle, you must iterate on yourself, break the shackles of old thoughts, and establish a new understanding of the world.
Self-iteration has nothing to do with right or wrong, nor values. Its essence is the liberation of the mind-from not accepting to accepting, from impossible to possible, from unimaginable to imaginable.
Each self-iteration is a difficult process. It needs to experience setbacks, shocks, luck, confusion, and denial of itself, and often has to experience many encounters.
But after each self-iteration, you will find that you have achieved a reborn growth.
So, how can one achieve cognitive upgrading through self-iteration?
1. Cultivate habits: reflection, doubt and overthrow.
When a person’s thinking framework is questioned and challenged, what is his first reaction? It is habitual self-defense.
This self-defense is precisely the enemy of self-iteration. Every question and challenge may be a seed of cognitive upgrade, but unfortunately it is strangled by your defense mechanism in the cradle.
So, if you hit a wall while thinking about a problem, or feel that you are getting into a horn, you might as well jump out and look at yourself from a higher angle: What are the concepts that I think are self-evident and absolutely correct? What if you do n’t consider these ideas? What will happen if you stand against these ideas?
Cultivating such thinking habits can help us get rid of the influence of wrong ideas, absorb new information, and complete the reconstruction of the thinking framework.
You must always let your heart be impacted and tempered by two contradictory ideas, and constantly reflect on and review yourself in the process. In this way, the growth of the mind can be truly achieved.
2. Extensive coverage: contact multiple disciplines and understand their basic principles.
Charlie Munger said that his wisdom comes from his “thinking grid”.
What is a “thought grid”? The grille is the fence. In this, each vertical wooden board can be regarded as a domain of knowledge; and each horizontal wooden board is the connection between the domains of knowledge, which connects two different domains.
What use is it for us to build such thinking? You will find that there are certain commonalities among different fields in this world. These commonalities are the most basic “underlying principles”.
Many times, you don’t need to understand the details of a field. You only need to master these basic principles to grasp its context and view these fields from a higher level.
The interaction between different fields can make our thinking more three-dimensional, and at the same time, it can also expand our channels of thinking.
For a problem, we will no longer be limited to one or two fixed paths, but can think in a diversified and multi-path way to find better and higher-level solutions.
3. Establish connections: The essence of the world is concise.
At a certain moment, there will suddenly be a feeling of uneasiness. In memory, a large number of fragmented fragments, ideas, and knowledge points are connected by invisible clues to form a new and huge network. This network is self-consistent and perfect. You will feel all the doubts and confusions before. With the establishment of this network, all will disappear.
The essence of the world is concise. There must be a connection between everything. All we have to do is find this connection.
Just like in The Story of Yi Tian Tu Long, Zhang Sanfeng teaches Zhang Wuji Taiji Swordsmanship, complacent and forgetful. All moves and all isolated “points” are forms, and the true essence is always the connection between “points”.