6 people to follow if you are serious about developing thinking skills

I’ve spent quite some time looking at different people active online who offer a lot of invaluable advice. You can really find amazing leaders and role models who can guide you towards better habits, personal development and quite simply becoming a better person. But only a few of them, as I discovered, focus on sharing advice on how to develop better thinking skills. I’ve been following some of them for years, while others have been recent discoveries.

These six are probably the only people who make it to my inbox with their updates and newsletters because I value their insights into thinking skills so much. Below you can find short descriptions of what I found most interesting in their work.

Scott Young

I first came across Scott’s work through this article on Twenty-five Useful Thinking Tools and he got me in the second paragraph. I found his style and advice refreshing and to the point. Then I discovered he had more on “Thinking Better” here. What a treasure trove! I have a soft spot for learning languages and Scott had some amazing challenges around this too.

Shane Parrish

Leading Farnam Street, a community for the seekers of wisdom, Shane is your ultimate anti-guru – he puts so much more emphasis on ideas than on himself. I found his newsletter “Brain Food” very insightful. He advertises it promising that your Sundays will never be the same, and he’s right. I follow him on Instagram too, for a splash of focus in my day. His famous podcast “The Knowledge Project” doesn’t quite work for me, but you may want to give it a go.

Ryan Holiday

Must be your ultimate guru, then. Initially, I was a bit hesitant because of the hype that seemed to surround him, but I grew to enjoy his Twitter a lot for making me think and question my thinking. He’s now famous for his Daily Stoic project, and I follow them on Instagram for a daily dose of reason. Ryan writes about a lot more than just how to keep your cool, so check out his articles!

Darius Foroux

Darius writes about a range of topics, but I found his book “THINK STRAIGHT: Change Your Thoughts, Change Your Life” very good when I first dived into the topic of thinking. It’s a quick read, but it made me realise that my thinking skills could be the object of… my thinking. He seems to have focused more on writing now, but I don’t mind since writing is my thinking.

Sir Ken Robinson

Sadly passed away recently. I’ve always enjoyed his various talks, appearances and articles. I still go to his website when I need to remind myself that education and thinking can really change lives. I recommend you just browse through his website.

Cal Newport

Two of Cal’s books changed my life: “So good they can’t ignore you” and “Deep work”. I couldn’t recommend them more, and I’m a lifelong follower of his blog right now. While it may not always be focused squarely on thinking, I don’t mind. Plus, Cal is an academic and used a lot of examples so close to my chosen path that I just had to become a fan.

Would you add anyone to this list to learn more about thinking skills?

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Marta Stelmaszak Rosa
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I'm a researcher, academic and writer dedicated to becoming a better thinker. Every day, I practise thinkfulness: consciously adopting a structured approach to thinking in order to understand and change the world. The world needs all of us to become better thinkers, so let's start a thinkfulness revolution together!
January 22, 2021

Interesting list, I knew some names, but some are new to me and I can’t wait to learn more about them. I would add Robert Greene.

Marta Stelmaszak Rosa
January 23, 2021

Thank you Kasia. Interesting that you mention Robert Greene, I saw “The 50th law” some time ago and got a bit suspicious about the 50 Cent involvement, maybe I should give it a go then!

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