How to Develop Your Powers of Thought.
Developing your thinking power is imperative if you are to truly succeed in life, most people never think, and this is only down to the fact that most people have never been taught "how to" think properly. You see like many things, thinking is a skill and there are many tips and techniques you can learn to develop your thinking powers. This article therefore contains some valuable processes and techniques you can use to help you with this important skill. Adding good thinking time to your daily activities can help you progress in almost every area of your life.
To become a "thinker" you have to start thinking, really thinking. As with any other skill, the process begins with "getting started". Think of like this, no-one ever became proficient at public speaking until they began speaking in public, so you will never become a thinker unless you make a start. Discipline and persistence will then lead you to proficiency. What will be outlined in the following are some tips that will help you to avoid certain errors. Earl Nightingale famously said "You become what you think about". So to learn how to develop your powers of thought COULD BE THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL you will ever learn in your life. So read on.............
The first thing to do is to identify some quality thinking time. The best time to do this in my opinion (this is when I do it, based on the advice of Earl Nightingale) is first thing in the morning. Set aside some time (10 mins will do at first, but as you develop your thinking, build this up to at least 1 hour) make sure you have a pen and some paper, grab a cup of coffee and simply write down your thoughts.
Another great method of improving your thinking is to become a bit of a bookworm. It doesn't matter what you read either, any reading matter can provide you with material to start you thinking. As you read, challenge. That is one of the secrets of initiating thought. Never,never,never, accept passively what you read. Always ask: "is this statement true, or maybe only partially"? How does it compare with what you already know, or what you may have experienced. Pause frequently and think about what you are reading, the enemies of thought are impatience and haste. Better to read one paragraph and allow it to impact your thought processes. When you think over a sentence or paragraph, it becomes part of your experience, and you remember it.
Another method you can use to ignite your creative thinking is to challenge some statements you have heard or read by asking: How? When? Why? Where? What? and then try to answer them. Joining a local discussion group and engaging in serious conversation is also a fantastic way of provoking thought.
Processes of thought which cannot be trusted and which lead to invalid or incorrect conclusions, are known commonly as "fallacies". Some fallacies consist of taking for granted something which has yet to be proved. This appears in many forms, but probably the most common one is giving something a name, and imagining that because we have done so we have fully explained it. A good example of this could be if a child asks a question of his father, such as: "Why can I see through glass" and his father reply's with "because it is transparent".
The making of false generalisations is yet another example of fallacious thought. Lets not forget that we all love to make sweeping statements based on nothing but our sometimes very limited experiences. The following sentence could be a good example of this. A man is travelling to Australia and his flight stops off in Singapore on his way, so he spends an hour in the airport where he meets a few Singaporean locals, who are nice to him and he therefore likes them, but this is really only a snapshot and doesn't really give an honest representation. However the fallacious thinker would now airily say to people in conversation that "Singaporean people are an extremely charming people". Now of course, I am not saying here that they are not charming people, this is purely an example of the thought processes of the fallacious thinking person.
To draw conclusions like this from a few instances is what's known as "arguing from the particular to the general" The reverse process can also lead to error. What is true of a great many things and as a general rule, is not necessarily true of every case. Perhaps the greatest enemy of clear and concise thinking, is emotion. When we are emotionally involved in a subject, or feel deeply about an issue, it becomes increasingly difficult to be rational and impartial, therefore unconsciously or otherwise, we tend to distort the truth by highlighting, distorting and exaggerating some of the facts.
Thinking is FREE:
Three centuries ago William Camden said "Thoughts are free from toll". That is still true today. A recent advertisement echoes Camden's words "To think is not expensive. It needs no apparatus, no personnel and no premises. The only equipment required is your head, the gears and pinions of the brain, and the lever that sets them turning. Everyone can be a thinker".
Now despite that wonderful possibility and the inexpensiveness of thought, very few people actually indulge in serious thought. It is avoided as being boring and non-productive. But the fact of the matter is this, if you want to improve your mind, and are determined to do so, you must do lots of it. If you do this, your knowledge and understanding of life and the universe will enable you to live at a much deeper level, will enable you to increase your earnings dramatically, and will help you to achieve your life's dreams and goals.
Have a question for jon? Ask or leave a comment below!