Improving your ability to think on the spot

edited July 2011 in Life
I was thinking about this subject earlier, as I keep surprising myself with random actions which I sometimes take. For example, I'll often go into autopilot and just do things without even thinking about it - something which is often really smart or interesting, and then later reflect on the situation and be impressed with myself.

Thinking on the spot is really great, and can really save your ass sometimes. I love it when it happens and works well, but is there a way you can fine tune this ability? It's kinda hard to practice something which involves thinking without thinking :D

Comments

  • LethargicaLethargica Regular
    edited May 2011
    What I do..Is just be more attentive with your surroundings. The easiest way to do this..is try to find a connection between what you love doing and things that are not directly related to your passions. It can be objects or feelings. I guess you can say this is a holistic approach. It's just training your mind to connect with as much things as possible..so you when someone says or does something..you can connect that idea or thing..to your personal philosophy...

    I dunno! just have a formula..It's hard to talk about nitty gritty things

    Example:



    What i see in this video: The road to success is perilous. There will be things that will try to distract you and keep you from getting to success. Eventually there will be no road..because once you get high up there..no one can follow your footsteps at that point..everyone is different on how they reach their success...but the key point in reaching there..is SPEED..the more you hesitate, the more you doubt yourself..

    it may sound lame and that was a very short overview..but it's good practice
  • MayberryMayberry Regular
    edited May 2011
    trx100 wrote: »
    It's kinda hard to practice something which involves thinking without thinking :D

    You just gotta build it up. Here's a rough guideline to start:
    1. Start thinking about past situations. Come up with all the possible courses of action and play them through in your mind.
    2. Make up situations and do the same.
    3. When these kinds of situations arise, you'll be able to more easily make a decision.
    4. Critique yourself on how you handled it. Rinse and repeat.

    While you aren't practising thinking without thinking, it is an exercise that gets your mind to come up with actions. This improves decision speed and when confronted with novel situations, it will be that much easier to choose the best action on the spot.

    l'esprit de l'escalier - The feeling you get after leaving a conversation, when you think of the things you should have said.
  • High-PhenatedHigh-Phenated New Arrival
    edited May 2011
  • RaptafairiousRaptafairious Semo-Regulars
    edited May 2011
    Amphetamines.

    Or just smoke weed.
  • PsychoDelicPsychoDelic Regular
    edited May 2011
    Or just smoke weed.

    Weed makes me a lot slower, often my speaking turns to retarded mumbles.
    I find amphetamines do help me come up with quick, clever and understandable thoughts. They get a bit excessive though.
  • LethargicaLethargica Regular
    edited May 2011
    That may be true..but hes not going to be on amphetamines or on weed every time he greets his friends..might as well learn by practicing:o
  • edited May 2011
    If you have a friend you kind of just talk about random shit with, try and engage him in some convo where you both disagree; when you pit yourself against others in either debate or argument it helps you think on your feet like a mawfucka... Provided it's not emotionally heated where it becomes reduced to a shouting match or ad hominem attacks..

    that's the only idea I can really bring to this table.
  • PlebertPlebert Regular
    edited July 2011
    Most 'on the spot' thinking is reactive and spontaneous intelligence,which you really can't 'train' yourself to be better at,it's more or less your ability to flick through the archives and pick the best option based on prior experience.You're best bet is to shift your thinking to the more 'organised' form,wherein you have more time to evaluate possible outcomes.

    For the context you wish to apply this, you're probably going to want to practice evaluating outcomes day-to-day
    =>ingraining increased observation
    =>subconsciously being more aware.

    As Mayberry said,
    Repetition will increase speed.
    Speed increases time.
    Time increases quality.
  • dorwew41dorwew41 Semo-Regulars
    edited July 2011
  • MorningsideMorningside Regular
    edited July 2011
    This is relevant, although a bit "out there" for some people...
    ORANGE MAGIC

    Charlatanry, trickery, living by one's wits and thinking fast on
    one's feet are the essence of the orange power. These mercurial
    abilities were traditionally associated with the god forms which
    acted as patrons to doctors, magicians, gamblers and thieves.
    However the profession of medicine has now partly dissociated itself
    from charlatanry since doctors discovered that antibiotics and
    hygienic surgery actually worked. Nevertheless about eighty percent
    of medications are still basically placebos, and the profession
    still retains the mercurial caduceus for its emblem. Similarly the
    profession of magic has become less dependant on charlatanry with
    the discovery of the quantum-probabilistic nature of enchantment and
    divination and the virtual abandonment of classical alchemy and
    astrology. Pure magic is now best described as an expression of the
    octarine power, having an Uranian character. Yet charlatanry still
    has its place in magic as in medicine. Let us not forget that all
    "conjuring tricks" were once part of the shamanic warm up repertoire
    in which something lost or destroyed is miraculously restored by the
    magician to get the audience in the right mood before the serious
    business of placebo healing began. In its classical form, the
    magician puts a dead rabbit in a hat before pulling out a live one.

    To the list of professions drawing heavily on the orange power one
    must now add salesman, confidence trickster, stockbroker and indeed
    any profession with an extreme heart attack rating. The motive power
    of the orange gnosis is basically fear, a species of fear which does
    not inhibit the user, but rather creates an extraordinary nervous
    speed that produces quick moves and answers in tight corners.

    The apotheosis of the Wit-self is the ability to enter that state of
    mental overdrive in which the fast response is always forthcoming.
    This ability is,, paradoxically enough, created by not thinking
    about thinking, but rather allowing anxiety to partially paralyse
    the inhibitory process themselves so that the subconscious can throw
    out a quick witted response without conscious deliberation.

    Invocations of the orange power are best delivered at frantic speed
    and gnosis can be deepened by the performance of mentally demanding
    tasks such as adding up large lists of numbers in one's head or
    ripping open envelopes containing difficult questions and answering
    them instantly; activities which should be persisted with until a
    breakthrough to the experience of thinking without deliberation is
    achieved. Varied god forms can be used to give form to the Wit-self.
    Hermes, Loki, Coyote the Trickster and the Roman Mercurius are often
    employed.

    Orange magic is usually restricted to invocations designed to
    enhance general quick wittedness in secular activities such as
    gambling, crime and intellectual pursuits. Enchantments and
    evocations performed subsequent to an invocation of the orange
    gnosis rarely seem to give results as effective as the invocation
    itself in my experience. Perhaps something should be said about
    crime and gambling for the benefit of those hotheads who may
    misunderstand what can be done with orange magic in support of such
    activities. Theft is ludicrously easy performed methodically yet the
    majority of thieves get caught after a while because they become
    addicted to anxiety, which they experience as excitement and
    start taking risks to increase it. The novice thief who, in state of
    extreme anxiety, takes something in a situation of zero risk, does
    not of course get caught and neither does the careful professional.
    However there are few careful professionals because there are far
    easier ways of making money in most societies for people with that
    kind of ability. The great majority of thieves however always manage
    to find some way of incriminating themselves because the anxiety of
    the theft itself fades, only the anxiety of punishment remains.
    Those quick witted and outwardly cool enough to thieve successfully
    can easily make more from salesmanship.

    There are three types of persistent gambler. The losers account for
    two types. Firstly there are those addicted to their own arrogance,
    who just have to prove that they can beat pure chance or the odds
    set by the organisers. Secondly there are those addicted to the
    anxiety of loosing. Even if they win, they invariably throw it away
    again soon afterwards. Then there are the winners. These people are
    not gambling at all, either because they are organising the odds and
    stakes, or because they have inside information, or because they are
    cheating. This is true orange magic. Poker is not a game of chance
    if played skilfully, and skilful play includes not playing against
    persons of equal or superior skill, or persons holding a Smith and
    Weston to your Four Aces. Most conventional forms of gambling are
    set up in such a way that the use of anything but the most extreme
    forms of psychic power will make little difference. I would not
    bother to bet on odds that I had reduced from an hundred to one to
    merely sixty to one. However certain results obtained using double
    blind prescience with horse racing show encouraging potential.
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