One trick of the mind that helps boost creativity and innovation is synergistic thinking. Synergistic thinking brings together a person’s various influences to help build towards personal accomplishment. Everyone has multiple interests, discerning how they fit together and managing to incorporate one’s interests into their future pursuits helps lay the path towards successful innovation, invention or the ability to specialize in more than one talent.
The starting point is to recognize each person’s individual talents and interests. For instance, if a child is particularly interested in art, make a list of the types of art they do well and are interested in pursuing further. It could be that the child is more of a visual artist than a performing artist, but offering the child the chance to think about the different types of art they might pursue opens the door for their personal integration of visual and performing arts.
Taking it a step further, though, to develop synergistic thinking a second list should be made. The second list can detail the other interests, potential areas of study, types of jobs, travel, or learning opportunities that also sparks interests and fosters a connection with the original source of interest, art, for the child. It could be that a child who is a good drawer can become more interested in a subject like geometry when they realize the direct implications for design and how their knowledge of geometry can make them a better artist.
By combining these two lists, you now have a guide to finding the types of learning opportunities that will most benefit and best suit a child. The point is that the synergistic thinking is best fostered early, it is developed through years of well-chosen influences. A child may not love every class, hobby or possible opportunity, but working together to find those which spark natural interest is the key to establishing synergistic thinking for a child.
Synergistic thinking does not happen alone; tapping into resources at the schools, teachers a child relates well with, and researching local community resources adds edge to the opportunities available. Parents hope that the attention to academics and extracurriculars will benefit their child’s future; the best way to do so is to ensure that there is synergy for the child between their school learning and the learning they want to do.
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