To say one has a mind like a steel-trap is an idiomatic way of paying a high compliment. It is claiming that a person is able to gather and process information very quickly, come to conclusions, and appreciate subtle differences and definitions. Even though some people are born with this kind of mental disposition, many of us are not. Training your mind to be able to think quickly, clearly and effectively, however, is possible for everyone, no matter what your I.Q. or status in life.
Training your mind is both a science and an art. It is a science in the same way that physical training follows certain biological laws and rules, and there is a right and a wrong way to go about it. If you work weights you can build up a bicep, and eventually become top-heavy with spindly legs – not very attractive or healthy. But if you have a personal trainer, he can guide you in how to optimize the workout to achieve your premium physical powers. The same is true of training your mind. You need some guidance from those who have gone before you, and can lead you into the world of logic and reason.
Learning to think takes practice, and that’s where the art comes in. Anyone who learns to play a musical instrument, for instance, usually does not sit down and begin playing like Chopin. The same is true in training your mind to think clearly and effectively. You must exercise your mind daily, nurture it with rational games, feed it with books, dwell on puzzles and problems. The more you work out, the stronger your mind will become, until you also are thinking at your maximum potential, clearly, effectively, rationally and like someone who has a mind like a steel-trap!