Wojtek Ryrych
creative writer & web developer

How meta-thinking made me observe human progress in transportation

A few weeks ago I went for a bike ride around the town. I stopped at Alexandrowice Airport, a very popular recreation area in the vicinity of Bielsko-Biala. I sat on a bench for an hour or so and tried to find some patterns while observing some gliders and radio-controlled planes flying above as well as people walking, running or roller skating up and down the pathway. Imagine, People cycling (including electric bikes), cars driving, and me sitting somewhere in between.

Imagination is more important than knowledge —Albert Einstein

Out of a sudden, I realised that I was able to spot the huge human progress in transportation that has taken place in the last 100 years. It was like all single layers were placed on the human progress timeline. Has a similar experience ever occurred to you?

Thinking in words, images, patterns…

We all think differently. There is no one way of thinking; There is no one way of solving or doing things; and, there are no one fits all answers as many of us were taught at school.

Some people, who are extremely detail-oriented, cannot see the forest while being focused on single trees; whereas, some other individuals can spot patterns almost everywhere, in architecture, or in people’s behaviour. There are also those who feel the music, words or numbers.

There are guys who suddenly wake up late at night with a solution they have been looking for days. Nikola Tesla, for example, invented many things by using his imagination. Literally, he designed in his mind almost everything that people can use every day.

From the inside out

We think differently. We also perceive the world differently. There is no one world, you know? We experience the world around us from the inside out. Our perception is based on our interpretation of the world and our life experiences, the current and the past ones. These lenses or filters make one person say ‘the weather is terrible.’ and another one, ‘the weather is perfect for working.’ It does not matter if it is raining heavily or shining pleasantly. They just focus on two different things.

If you think you can do a thing or think you can’t do a thing, you’re right—Henry Ford

Want more examples? Ask the color-blinded if they can see the difference between red and green or ask two different people to describe something and you get two different answers.

Now, close your eyes for a while and think of the yellow colour. Then, open your eyes and tell me what you can see. Many yellow things, right? It doesn’t matter where you were: at your place, on the bus, or at school; you could suddenly notice many yellow objects.

One fits all education

Educational systems around the world have depleted many children of creativity. You may ask me why I say so. Let me explain, In real life, you don’t have to pass mock tests. In real life, you don’t care about the subject that makes you bored.

When you visit another country, the grammar tests, you were supposed to pass so many times, do not matter at all. And yeah, why the heck children have to pass dribbling tests in physical education? Shouldn’t the school, on the contrary, show you the value of sport or exercising, and let you focus on whatever discipline fits your style?

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid — Albert Einstein

You can learn something twofold. First, how to do things the right way. Second, how not to do things the right way. Unfortunately, educational systems focus more on structure, tests and competition; whereas, it is cooperation that should be of highest importance. Competition values single units; while, cooperation values a team.

Seeing forest and trees

Does it mean that some ways of thinking are better than others? Not at all. If you’re building something or creating something, it is not the single man, but the whole team that matters. What’s the use of solely meta-thinking when you cannot see small puzzles? Synergy can only be harnessed by combining different skills and talents.

I have no special talent. I am only passionately curious — Albert Einstein

Probably you have heard thousands of times that Edison, Tesla, Jobs, or any other genius, you can recall, were churning out inventions like a flick. Seriously?

These people could not put it all off without the help of others. Edison, for example, created, as we would call it now, the first R&D centre where his people and Edison himself worked hand in hand.

Make use of what you know

To build or create something. Each invention, all masterpieces, and even life have started with an intention. Don’t be trapped into thinking that everything has already been invented.

No endevour is a long-dangling fruit. Nothing can be achieved without you first seeing it. But if you can feel it in your heart, you can see it in your head. Remember that we live from the inside out? Even if the idea becomes crystal clear, do not set out on the journey alone. Find your tribe and turn the idea into something real.

All the dots will connect soon. They will make the pattern I was looking for when sitting on the bench (the other day) and watching everything moving around.