The answer is maddeningly simple. Read books! Read as much and often as possible. Spend at least a couple of hours a day reading, and you will be surprised how much you can learn even in one month. Read books on different topics and by different authors. Don't get hung up on one thing. Happy reading)
To learn to "think for yourself", you need to ask yourself questions more often and try not to leave them unanswered. And also broaden your horizons and look at the issue from different angles. TQ in this sense is a great tool, thanks to it I sometimes ask myself the right questions and find MY answer to them :)
Come up with new ideas constantly. Never read passively. Take notes, models, think and analyze as you read, even when you think you are reading the preliminary / introductory material. This way, you will always strive to understand things at a level of detail that allows you to be creative / creative.
Learn to learn quickly. One of the most important talents in the 21st century is the ability to learn almost anything instantly (very quickly), so develop / hone this talent. Be capable of rapid prototyping / creating real world ideas. Learn how your brain works. (I often need 20 minutes sleep after loading a lot of information into my brain, followed by half a cup of coffee. Understanding how my brain works allows me to use it better.)
Try to move from your goal. Or else, you may never reach it. If you are moving towards a goal, you may or may not invent something perfect. If you are moving on the basis of a goal, then at least you will direct your efforts towards something important to you.
The idea is as follows: you need to clearly understand the ultimate goal and make plans to achieve it, starting from this. An example from the comments to the article.
Goal: Find out if there is life on Mars.
First subgoal: What tests can detect life on Mars?
Second subgoal: What equipment do you need to perform these tests?
Third subgoal: How to get this equipment to Mars?
You should always have a long-term plan ... Even if you change it every day. The procedure for creating such a plan is valuable in itself. And even if you revise this plan often, you are guaranteed to get / learn something for yourself.
Create dependency maps. Draw all the things you need to do on a large piece of paper and map / find what depends on what. Then find those things that don't depend on anything, but the rest of the things depend on them and do them first.
Work together - collaborate with others.
Make your mistakes quickly. You can mess things up the first time, but do it quickly and then move on. Write down what caused the error to avoid it in the future and move on. Take mistakes out of your way. As Shakespeare said: "Our doubts are our traitors. They make us lose what we could possibly have won if we were not afraid to try."
When acquiring / developing skills / abilities - write "best- practices "notes. That way, when you go back to something you once did, you can do it as usual using "best-practices" notes.
Document everything. If you haven't recorded something, it may never have an impact on the world. By and large, creativity is about seeing things right. Most of the most important / surprising scientific discoveries have been made by accident. But if you don't document and record dailyevery observation and do not believe your eyes, then you will not know when you saw something important / amazing.
Be simple. If something looks like something complicated, then it probably is. If you can spend 2 days thinking about how to make it 10x easier, do it. It will work better, be more reliable, and have a greater impact on the world. And study what has been done before you. As they said in the old days: "Six months in the laboratory will save half a day in the library." The original phrase reads like this: "Six months in the lab can save an afternoon in the library". The point is really: "By spending half a day in the library, you can avoid six months in the lab."