“Brilliant thinkers are very comfortable with ambiguity -- they welcome it. Routine thinkers like clarity and simplicity.
There is a tendency to reduce complex issues down to simple issues with obviously clear solutions … The brilliant thinker is wary of simple nostrums. He or she knows that complex issues usually involve many causes and these may need many different and even conflicting solutions.
Routine thinkers are often dogmatic. They see a clear route forward and they want to follow it. The advantage of this is that they can make decisive and effective executives -- up to a point.
The downside is that they will likely follow the most obvious idea and not consider creative, complex or controversial choices. The exceptional thinker can see many possibilities and relishes reviewing both sides of any argument.
Albert Einstein was able to conceive his theory of relativity because he thought that time and space might not be immutable. Neils Bohr made breakthroughs in physics because he was able to think of light as both a stream of particles and as a wave … Picasso could paint classical portraits and yet conceive cubist representations of people.
Cognitive dissonance is the concept of holding two very different ideas in your mind at the same time … When you mull over the interaction of two opposing ideas in your mind, then the creative possibilities are legion.”