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How To Use Second Level Thinking To Get Ahead Of Others In Life


Want to be above average? Want to get ahead of others in life? Do you think it is possible to do so while doing what everybody else is doing?

There is one thing that you are doing like everyone else – First level thinking. Extraordinary people are second level thinkers.

So what is first level and second level of thinking?

In his book The Most Important Thing , Howard Mark explains first level of thinking as ‘simplistic and superficial’ , something that everyone can do.  First level thinkers just need an opinion about the future like ” Team X has been playing good this season, it will win the finals. ” First level thinkers simply look for things that are easily defendable and simple.

Second level thinking is defined as “complex, deep and convoluted”. Second level thinkers think about many things like what are the alternatives to what I am thinking,  what are the other  possibilities,  how likely am I to be wrong etc.  They don’t  accept first conclusions without a grain of salt.

But you don’t  only need to be different,  you also need to be right.  Being a second level thinker just for the sake of diverging from others’ opinion will not take you anywhere.  Second level thinking  sets you apart by making you a more critical  thinker.

To start this practice, simply start asking yourself what is the basis of any particular  opinion  you have,  start putting  yourself on the other side of argument you engage in.  These small critical thinking  habits will definitely  set you apart from others.