The 4 B’s of Insight

Sep 18, 2014 | Better Writing

My writing partner, Jeff Senne, compared writing a book to getting a PhD. That’s overstating the case, but writing a book should be a great learning process. You can improve your learning and insight if you use all of the following four B’s

Your Brain

Your brain is amazing. It’s nature’s connection-making engine. Give it enough sleep. Feed it with reading and conversation. Let it have time for reflection. Then let your brain do its magic.

Your Buddies (People)

Guess what? You can increase your insight by borrowing other people’s brains. Have conversations with people who may know things you want to know. Take notes. The knowledge in people’s heads isn’t indexed.

Bytes (Digital Sources)

We live in a digital world. There’s all kinds of information online and in digital databases. The good news is that it’s easy to find. The bad news is that the quality is, to put it gently, wildly uneven. It’s tempting to think you can do it all online, but you can’t.

Books (Printed Sources)

There’s gold in them thar pages! Make a special effort to consult printed sources created between 1970 and 1985. There’s a wealth of knowledge there, and most of it hasn’t been digitized.

Better Together: The Fifth B

Learning is an iterative process. Use what you learn from each B to get ideas about what you might find in the others.