Have you asked yourself if you are living in an “Unthinking” world? What would you consider thoughts or behaviours as “Unthinking”? Are you an “Unthinker” or a victim of “Unthinking” individuals or groups? Here is a list of characteristics that makes up an “Unthinking” world:
- Foolish opinions
- Thoughtless decisions
- Confused communication
- Destructive behaviour
- Self-absorbed thoughtless people
Haveyou asked yourself this questions:
What was I thinking? or What was the person thinking?
You are not alone and believe me it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that this is the way the world is heading with the numerous challenges and obstacles that the “Unthinking” citizens of the world are creating through their “Unthinking” thoughts & behaviours.
So what is thinking? There are several versions of it but I like to stick to this one which is more practical and realistic in this dog-eat-dog world or for those of us who are caught up in the rat race, John Chafee defines “thinking as the extraordinary process to use to solve problems, make intelligent decisions, acheive goals that give our lives purpose and connect us to the people in our world”.
Wondering why I highlighted those words? If you view thinking from an academic or business point of view – why else do we use thinking! I am not getting into the spiritual or mystical realm of thinking but am remaining in the practical zone of thinking where our day to day existence is dependent upon.
Socrates says, “The unexamined life is not worth living”. So what are we really looking at when we are suppose to examine our lives? Questions to ponder; do you explore the deeper meanings of life; what is the purpose of your life; what do you want to become; who are you?
I guess at the end of the day we all strive to become an educated thinker and hope to acquire the following:
- Expansion of the mind
- Developing your sensitivities
- Help to achieve your career goals
- Essential knowledge & skilss to adapt
- Elavate your understanding of the world
- Develop insight into you “self”
- Help others to develop
That is an extensive list from the laymen’s angle but to cultivate the skills listed we need to start off with ourselves first. So who are you? In the physical and material world, you are an original combination of unique qualities, activities that interests you, the special abilties you possess and values you consider to be most important. But that is not all, you must be working towards your goals! Yup, that’s right! We need to be working towards achieving our goals and we seem to have some common thinking errors in this area, namely:
- Neglecting to explicitly identify important goals
- Concentrating on less important goals first, leaving insufficient time to work on more important goals
- Not identifying all the steps required to achive our goals or approach them in the wrong order
- Underestimating the time each step will take and/or fail to plan the steps in our schedule
So to get out of the “Unthinking” rut we need to:
- Organise our thinking
- Give our life order & directions
- Consider courses of action
- Decide on what are the factors that influence our decisions
- Contribute meaning to our lives
- Aim for something
- Lead ourselves to a sense of accomplishment
Identifying our goals and planning to reach these goals, develop our thinking abilities. There are short-term and long-term goals where we have to devise effective plans to reach them. Long-term goals have more complex and challenging processes. Usually high-achieving people envision a detailed 3-D picture of their future. It is necessary to have a realistic, compelling concept as well as to construct a mental plan where you make adjustments as circumstances change while constantly acquiring more information to evaluate each pros and cons of each possible choice. In a nutshell, we should retain a well-defined and flexible plan using an organised approach to making decisions.
Can we mould ourselves to become educated thinkers and leave the realm of the “Unthinking” world and cross-over to a lead a thinking life and live in a thinking society?