Great Minds Think Alike

Great Minds Think Alike but Fools Seldom Differ AI

It’s strange how language works. Phrases like “great minds think alike, but fools seldom differ” are a beautiful string of words. Still, if you say that to the most imaginative creatives on this earth, children, they’ll look at you with a blank face.

They’ll be left wondering who the great mind is and who the fool is.

Let’s take a look at how this intriguing phrase can inspire you to think outside the box and rekindle your motivational spark.

Part One: Great Minds Think Alike

At the base level, you’re giving what seems like a coincidence a reason via cause and effect. And sometimes that’s very true. But it’s so much more than that.

The meaning depends on your pre-conceptual understanding of the phrase and how you use it. The majority will use it as a throwaway phrase for “same here!” but it’s actually surprisingly easy to misinterpret, so let’s break it down.

What Makes a Great Mind?

This is a question many philosophers have been asking for centuries.

That’s what we’re trying to work out here. And we’ll learn that at the end. As a result, a great mind is the end goal. As the phrase’s figurehead implies an intelligence that ultimately leads on a path to success.

So How Does a Great Mind Think Alike?

We can break this down even further.

The word “think,” in this context, is what you would expect it to mean. Using your brain to process information to produce an outcome. But the word “alike” is probably the most misinterpreted word of all. Just like in the phrase “thinking outside the box.”

Alike does not mean identical.

Alike means similar, where the majority of variables align, but not every single one. Imagine you are about to pay for some food at the supermarket.

You’re with a friend, and you’re deciding whether to pay by cash or card. Your friend says, “Why don’t you pay by cash, and then you’ve got the money on the card to pay your bills next week.” And you reply, “Great minds think alike!”

You haven’t necessarily thought in precisely the same way.

You’ve ended up at the same conclusion, but you may have reached it by a different path. Does your friend know when your rent is due? And which account it comes out of every month? Even if they did, do they know what notes you will give the cashier and in which order?

Therefore, great minds share a similar path to an end goal, but they don’t necessarily do it in the same way, nor is the end goal always the same.

It’ll become more apparent why this is so important in part two below.

Part 2: But Fools Seldom Differ

Let’s flip to the other side of the coin. To use yet another idiom.

This part is even more potent than the first half of the phrase. It’s using what’s called conjunction to oppose the notion that great minds think alike, using the word “but.” It’s often implied that to be foolish is to make mistakes. Therefore to be the same is a mistake.

Or is it?

It’s possible. Though there’s evidence suggesting that “but” is a misnomer, the original phrase was “though fools rarely differ.”. Despite a lack of evidence to directly support this, it’s well documented that many idioms traveled through generations of families and, as a result, misinterpreted.

This would change much of the sentiment of the phrase. For now, we’ll stick to what we know today.

How Do Fools Seldom Differ?

Let’s play a game of logic.

We know the word “but” implies an alternative description.


We’ve established that “alike” doesn’t equal “the same.” And the word “different” is a binary opposite. If it isn’t different, then it has to be the same.

See where this is going?

If fools seldom differ, then they more commonly think the same. And this doesn’t mean they always feel the same. Great minds don’t think the same; They think alike. They think similarly but in their own ways.

Therefore a fool is someone who doesn’t think differently. And if that person thinks differently, then they are a fool for a different reason.

Now we can relate this to hitting a wall with our work and inspiring new ideas to flow.

Part 3: If Fools Seldom Differ, Then Do Great Minds Think Alike?

Now we’ve broken it all down, let’s see if we can think outside the box and turn this into something we can make sense of.

A great mind finds inspiration and achieves goals via a similar train of thought to another person, often with the same resultsuccess.

But even a foolish person with a great mind will fail when copying others.

And that’s how writer’s block comes about-the desire to emulate previous success. So if you feel like a fool, that’s okay. Because we’ve all been there. Recharging our brains is part of human nature.

Therefore, stop trying to copy your own mind. You have a great mind. You just need to say no to the fool inside and try something new.

Now keep reading and discover the route you need to take. I’ll catch up with you later.

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