How to Think Differently

Zilvold Coaching & Training Blog think differently
6 min read

This article is not about the founder or products of Apple. You’ll discover here some ways to think differently so that you can find solutions to problems or questions you might have.

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Have you ever heard about Green button dialing? There is a story behind the green dial button you have on your (smart)phone.

In the last century, you had to wait for a dial tone before you could dial a number (click here if you’ve never heard a dial tone before). Engineers in both the US and Scandinavia competed with each other to first create a mobile phone. The engineers tackled most issues. They created a large “brick”-like telephone with a chip, a  battery, and a dial pad. Also, antennas were installed to make a connection with a cell phone.

In the past, people were used to waiting for a dial tone before entering a telephone number. The problem was that parts of the number were lost as the cellphone connected with a different tower.

Engineers tried to develop different solutions ranging from building more cellphone towers to asking drivers to slow down. All these solutions were not feasible.

Then a young engineer from Scandinavia suggested first entering the telephone number on the dial pad and then press ‘Send.’ From then on, this was called “green button dialing.”

The story above is from Matthew Barzun, which he told on the “A Bit of Optimism” podcast with Simon Sinek. I listened to the podcast three times. The content blew me away.

Constellation thinking

Matthew Barzun urges you to think differently, like the young engineer from Scandinavia. He suggests that we do more constellation thinking. I understand that you look for possibilities, that you choose to connect with different thoughts (or people). It is a form of thinking without attachment to a goal (like most pyramid structured organizations do). Constellation thinking is not about searching for a solution as efficiently and fast as possible but enjoying the wonderous ride where you might discover new things.

More ways to think differently:


In the book “Think Like a Rocket Scientist,” Ozan Varol offers various ways of thinking to use in work and life. One of Ozan’s techniques to think differently is to ask good questions and taking time to find an answer. He writes that research shows that incubation periods (the times of feeling stuck) boosts the ability to solve problems. What you do when feeling stuck is to relax or take a (long) walk. Richard Feynman was working hard in finding out how the Space Shuttle “Challenger” could have exploded. He discovered the answer while he was taking a shower.

As you’re relaxing, your subconsciousness starts to work. You often have to walk away from the problem (both literally and metaphorically) for the answer to arrive, writes Andrew Wiles.

Think differently at work

In the podcast mentioned above, Simon Sinek gave an interesting way to think differently at work. It is especially helpful when you (and other colleagues) hold a grudge against a colleague who does not perform well at work. Of course, you all know all the reasons why he (or she) is dysfunctional.

Make a list of things in which he or she excels I am sure this makes you more aware of the qualities such a person possesses, and it might be more helpful to focus more on the qualities than the shortcomings. It will be more pleasant and positive to work with that person if you see that person’s strengths (like a star in the constellation). And yes, do this exercise as well with people close to you if they irritate you.

How do I think differently?

A lot has to do with mindset. I recently learned that you have three ‘states’: the physical, the mental, and the emotional. Changing one ‘state’ affects the other two. The simplest way is to change your physical state. I do this by moving, stretching, exercising, walking, jogging, doing a headstand, or bouncing on the trampoline. It helps me to let go and let new ideas come to me. Other ways to elevate your mindset can be found here.

I also learn to think differently by traveling and meeting other people.

As I am writing this, many thoughts are going through my head. I focus on the joy of writing and how this article might help you to uplift yourself and to think differently. I feel the future joy.

Think in line with your WHY

This is part of my WHY (To facilitate so that you can elevate yourself and experience more joy and love).

Let your WHY fire your thinking. What happens to me is that I start to think about opportunities, chances, and possibilities. You can discover your WHY today. I can help you with that. Contact me for a FREE intake.

How do you think (differently), and how does it help you? Let me know in the comment field below. The other readers of this article and I are looking forward to reading from you!

Thank you for reading up to here & sharing this article with your colleagues, friends, or family. And please SHARE this article with your network on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn by pressing the buttons below so that they can also benefit from this article about thinking differently. You are welcome to copy parts of this blog if you state the sources.

Have you seen an error in this article? Let me know! I am grateful!

Ozan Varol, “How to Think like a Rocket Scientist”
Simon Sinek, “A Bit of Optimism” podcast, episode 33.

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