Learn to Think Strategically in Four Easy Steps

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  • 19 Jul 2023
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Thinking strategically is tedious if you don't know how. Moving forward feels fantastic and becoming stagnant feels horrible.

This essay will teach you how to master strategic thinking so that you never have to feel bored again. First, you'll discover how to alter the way your brain works so that it works for you rather than against you. Following that, you will learn how to think strategically in order to reach your objectives.

Consider how increasing your strategic thinking skills might benefit you in your daily life. What issues do you need to address? What are your objectives? You can solve problems and achieve your goals more efficiently if you learn how to improve the way your brain operates.

Strategic thinking is described as a mental process used by a person to position oneself to efficiently attain a goal in a certain setting.

For example, you could be thinking about how to read this article all the way through without losing focus. This question is a distraction, so quit daydreaming, stay focused, and keep reading!

No, I'm kidding. Thinking strategically, on the other hand, is considering how to read this material without losing attention. You're thinking about what you can do to finish this piece as quickly as possible.

In stages 3 and 4 of this essay, I'll go over the strategic thinking process in greater detail.

1. Meditate to Get a Clear Perspective

To think strategically, you must have a clear perspective on the problem you intend to address and the techniques available to you to do so.

Meditation is a fantastic approach to getting rid of mental clutter. Developing a meditation practice will most likely increase your strategic thinking skills in the long run, but the benefits of meditation for strategic thinking are most noticeable in the near term.

I recommend that you meditate for 10 seconds to 2 hours before thinking strategically, depending on the importance of the goal/problem that you want to think about.

Mindfulness meditation, in particular, without any specific goal of attention—just resting your mind and noticing everything that comes into your consciousness as closely as possible—is the type of meditation that helps me think strategically rather than instinctively.

By consciously observing your ideas, you will become more aware of your assumptions and preconceptions about the nature of the problem and the solutions you've considered thus far.

2. Use Cognitive Enhancers to Sharpen Your Mind

Cognitive enhancers are supplements that, when used correctly, improve the user's cognitive ability. These chemicals are also known as "nootropics" or "smart drugs" in some circles.

Many people have misconceptions regarding these, claiming that they are either extremely successful and should be outlawed to prevent people from cheating with them, or that they accomplish nothing at all. Both of these assumptions are mainly incorrect.

Some nootropics can have cognitive-enhancing effects, but these are only particularly beneficial if you are already functioning poorly. Consider the stimulant caffeine. It won't increase your IQ by 40 points, but it will help you think, especially if you haven't used it in a long time.

It is critical to think strategically about using nootropics to think strategically. What aspects of your mental toolset do you wish to improve? Memory, concentration, mood, energy, or stress levels?

I work at Nootralize, a firm that teaches people about the science of nootropics. We discovered that most nootropics that individuals consume and say improve their mental function are substantially under-researched in our evaluation of more than 500 placebo-controlled trials that assessed the effects of more than 200 nootropics in healthy persons. This does not necessarily imply that these compounds are useless; rather, the necessary scientific data is unavailable.

Omega-3 fatty acids, walnuts, Bacopa Monnieri, caffeine, and sage are the five most scientifically supported nootropics. However, it is critical that you understand why you want to utilize nootropics. Caffeine, for example, will not help you reduce stress, although Bacopa Monnieri may.

There are also some nootropics that can benefit you with your meditation practice, such as cocoa and lemon balm. Meditation and nootropics are only two of many scientifically proven strategies for enhancing brain function and allowing you to think more strategically.

3. Understand the Problem You Want to Solve

A strategy is not an end in itself, but rather a means to an aim. When you have just discovered an issue, this is the trigger for you to start thinking "Aha! It's time to think strategically!"

When you've identified a problem that needs to be solved, it's time to figure out why, when, and where it's happening.

Ask yourself:

  • – Why do you want to solve this problem?
  • – When do you want this problem solved?
  • – Where (in what context) do you want this problem solved?

You may, for example, respond to these questions by answering, "I'm trying to lose 10kg by 2021 because I believe it will increase my day-to-day energy levels." It is evident from this statement that you wish to enhance your energy levels while also figuring out how to shed 10kg. It is also apparent that you want this done by the end of 2022, and that you want to modify the weight of yourself, not your sister or Donald Trump.

4. Find the Most Efficient Methods for Solving Your Problem

To identify the best answer to your problem, you must first understand what is causing it. What factors are involved in the current problem? What variables, if changed, can assist you in solving your problem?

What resources will you require to manipulate those variables? This can include people, money, time, energy, food, and information. You must discover an economical solution to your situation based on the resources you have available. To determine which method is the most efficient and cost-effective, you must compare your options.

Assume you're attempting to learn chemistry. You've specifically said that you wish to acquire the chemical formula for water in a short period of time. You now know what you want to accomplish, when you want to do it, and in what context. It's now time to figure out how to learn the chemical formula for water in the most effective way possible.

You have a drink of water, your phone with internet access, and your mother, a biologist, who is sitting next to you and eager to help.

How would you go about learning the water chemical formula? Most people would probably not even attempt to learn the chemical formula of water. But why is this so?

But, if you're going to give a speech in front of the entire country as President of the United States, you'll probably want to spend more time getting an answer that is absolutely correct.

This is an example of why you should first completely understand the context of the problem you're attempting to solve before looking at solutions. Strategic thinking assists you to comprehend the context of the situation.

Pros/cons, revenues/costs, rewards/risks, benefits/side effects—all of these phrases represent the positive and bad sides of problem-solving strategies or technologies.

In some cases, the problem is so little that it would take more time to construct a pro/con list on paper or a clear statement of why you want to fix it, which is when having a clear and sharp mind comes in helpful.

When Not to Think Strategically

In the many circumstances that arise on a daily basis where tiny problems must be solved, you can reduce the time required to select a solution to the time it takes you to consider the pros and cons of a problem.

You probably do this more or less consciously now, but becoming aware that you are solving problems can help you take a step back—perhaps meditate for 10 seconds—and examine the whole list of pros and cons of the possible solutions to a problem in front of you with a nootropic-fueled mind.

It takes time to think strategically. Strategic thinkers understand when it is unnecessary to think strategically.

You don't need to make a list of pros and drawbacks for the pair of socks you'll wear tomorrow morning, or even consider the pros and cons of the options. Sometimes acting swiftly and decisively yields the best results.

I advise you to consider the circumstances you want to consider strategically in the future now. Personally, I believe that the more essential it is to me that a problem be addressed and that the resources required to solve the problem be used efficiently, the more strategically I want to think.

I would not get a pen and paper and make a pro/con list if I had an exam next week that required me to know the chemical formula for water. It would take far too long given the gravity of the situation. I would simply act.

If I were to use a nootropic, I would do a lot of research online and in the scientific literature about its hazards and potential benefits because nootropics modify your biology, and your biology shapes your experience. Because my experience is so essential to me, I would devote more time and effort to strategic thought.


To become an expert in strategic thinking, you must understand when to think strategically and when to respond instinctively. To ascertain this, first determine the type of situation you are dealing with. When you have a thorough understanding of your problem, it is time to investigate the various solutions and select the best one for your circumstances.

Meditation and cognitive enhancers can help you execute these things flawlessly and efficiently. They can sharpen your mind to the point where thinking strategically is simple and enjoyable.

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