Inversion: an essential thinking skill

Philosophy is in vogue now, because there is a lot we can learn. Everyone needs to make better decisions and to evaluate what happens in their lives. For this, we need to learn how to think, and philosophy can do just that. Let’s talk about a skill that will help you recognize the obstacles in your path. It’s a rare ability called inversion.

What is inversion? It is the ability to think backward and look at things from a different angle. For example, the ancient Stoics would think about the worst possible scenarios to stretch their minds and feel comfortable with the idea of losing something valuable.

You can get original results by thinking differently, by changing the usual way or turning it upside down. Inversion is about changing what came before and exposing the other side of the problem that people rarely see.

Inversion is not too difficult to practice either, something unusual for a skill that is so rare. It involves finding a way to turn your question around. You could ask yourself questions that point you in the right direction.

If you want to make your business more profitable, ask yourself how you can make it less profitable. If you want to make yourself more productive, try and figure out how to become less productive. What could you do to get even less accomplished?

The goal is not to implement these anti-solutions. But they can often point you to new ideas. You can discover the truth of the matter through taking a surprising, unexpected point of view. It will identify obstacles and mistakes to look out for. If you wonder what makes you less productive, it can showcase all the things you may be doing that are hurting your productivity.

This is not meant to be a gotcha. Approach the question calmly and try to answer it from a genuine place. Then examine the answer and see what insights it brings.

Inversion is a valuable skill because it offers solutions to problems you wouldn’t have discovered in other ways. It sets your mind in other directions and allows you to reach novel perspectives and solutions quicker.

This is a skill that will be valuable in any workplace and in your personal life. It can earn you the chance of solving each issue you face more creatively and come up with ideas you would not consider otherwise.