When you’re trying to achieve something, thinking about the opposite of what you want is what we call ‘inversion thinking’ – a skill that author James Clear believes is crucial.
Research suggests that people who make vision boards and constantly think about what life will be like once they’ve achieved their goals are less likely to achieve them. For many people, success fantasies can make them complacent and even lazy.
James Clear tells us”Success is overvalued. Avoiding failure matters more.” Inversion thinking makes you think about what could go wrong then helps you succeed by feeling less worried about failing and planning how to cope with negative outcomes.
“Great thinkers, icons, and innovators think forward and backward. Occasionally, they drive their brain in reverse.”
“When I first learned of [inversion thinking], I didn’t realise how powerful it could be. As I have studied it more, I have begun to realise that inversion is a rare and crucial skill that nearly all great thinkers use to their advantage.”
How could we use that at work?
“Leaders can ask themselves, “What would someone do each day if they were a terrible manager?” Good leaders would likely avoid those things.
And every marketing department wants to attract new business, but it might be useful to ask, “What would alienate our core customer?” A different point of view can reveal surprising insights.”
Read James Clear’s article: