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A new way of looking at insights

  • Contradiction Path

In a nutshell: In this path, we notice an inconsistency that doesn’t align with our previous beliefs or assumptions.

This path is often a result of anomalies and contradictions, which usually start with us thinking, “This doesn’t make any sense,” and that leads us to re-think the situation.

How to use it: Be willing to explore contradictions and inconsistencies that don’t fit with your current beliefs.

A contradiction can often influence you to look at a situation from another perspective before it starts making sense. Klein sometimes calls this the “Tilt Reflex.”

Bonus point: At this point, what really helps, is, first of all, having, and then, maintaining a "Sherlock Holmes" state, a state that makes your curiosity the main perspective of looking at the world. In a nutshell, what this means, is being able to perceive information while you observe and deduce it from the outer world.

  • Connections Path

In a nutshell: In this path, we notice a connection between 2 things that are seemingly unrelated.

This path is often a result of coincidences and curiosities, which usually start with us thinking, “Hm, that’s funny. What’s going on here?”.

How to use it: Be willing to expose yourself to new things on a regular basis. When you think outside your current discipline and expertise, you can often draw insights from other unexpected places.

The connection path thrives on having lots of ideas swirling around and increasing the chance of accidental associations. This is sometimes known as the “Swirl Effect.” (as described in Steven Johnson’s Where Good Ideas Come From).

  • Creative Desperation Path

In a nutshell: In this path, we are often driven to be creative and insightful out of pure desperation.

How to use it: The creative desperation path doesn’t have to be a “life or death” situation. You can spur your own creativity and insight by purposely adding constraints and time limitations to your creative process. For example, a musician may try to find new ways of playing an instrument by forcing himself to create a whole album using just one instrument (a planned “constraint” that forces you to think a new way).

Triple Path model of insight