I sometimes get a little excited when I read fortunes like this. “Ooh, something interesting will happen this week,” I say. “Maybe I will finally become famous.” Then I remember that I am reading a fortune from a cookie. It did have me thinking about insight and how one develops it.
Insight is the clear or deep understanding of a situation or people. We might confuse this with knowledge or wisdom, but it is something very different. Knowledge is information, like data. Wisdom is the understanding and use of that knowledge. Insight is the greater understanding of that knowledge and the meaning it has on us and others.
Christopher Reiss has a wonderful analogy on Quora…
Everyone has insight; it just takes a little practice to develop it. Some important factors in developing insight are:
We all have biases and they can affect the choices we make or how we act. We need to put our biases aside and think more clearly.
Discover what people need or want. Find out what they are going through in their lives. Empathy can bring you closer to a greater understanding.
Understanding Cause and Effect:
Realize that some actions can cause reactions. Look at situations beyond what happens and investigate how it happens. This will help you prepare for all possible outcomes.
Everything is connected in our lives, in one way or another. The actions we take can affect others that we didn’t even consider because our view was too focused. We need to broaden our view and look at how far reaching our impact can be.
Creativity can help with insight. If we use our imagination we can visualize the situation and run it through some paces. Albert Einstein did this when working on the Theory of Relativity. In fact, many great scientists use this technique.
Imagine that we skip a stone across a pond and count the number of skips. Take a step further and watch the ripples on the surface from each skip grow and travel outward. Now go another step further and think about what happens to the stone. It sinks below the water and a fish evades being hit by swimming around the stone as it sinks to the bottom. Where does it land? Now envision the number of people that skip stones in that same place and how many landed in the same spot. Maybe there is a pile down there somewhere under the water. Maybe some aquatic creature has made it their home.
Could we use our new insight to help the fish? It’s possible that all those stones displaced in the pond cause major changes in water quality and we choose not to skip stones anymore. This is just an example, and no animals were harmed in the creation of this insight. That’s the point of insight, to guide us in making informed, well-thought-out decisions.
Is this fortune going to come true? I honestly don’t know but it broadened my focus and made me feel good and I wanted to share that with you. Perhaps you will feel good reading this post and share it with someone else. Perhaps enough people will read it and enjoy what I have to say about fortunes each Friday. Maybe I will become famous after all.