I MAY BE OLD BUT AM I WISE is a question we should ask ourselves. Do we learn as we go or do we make a stubborn stand against the new ideas in the world? Yes, I am going down this road of thought in an openminded manner and hopefully all of us will search our minds for either agreement or disagreement.
To begin this journey, I want to start at a young age of thinking and see if we can relate to the snags and pitfalls we find ourselves during our youth and how it either matures or petrifies our method of thinking. I have always been an independent thinker and this independency offered opportunities as well as pitfalls.
Independent Thinkers are analytical and witty persons. They are normally self-confident and do not let themselves get worked up by conflicts and criticism. They are very much aware of their own strengths and have no doubts about their abilities.
Independent thinkers are refreshing. They use their own lens to filter information and inform their thoughts. Independent thinkers don’t allow other people’s thinking to become their thinking. They don’t adopt information “as is.”
It takes courage to have your own thoughts. Saying something different from the majority or the loud minority can make you vulnerable to attack. An urge to remain silent to feel safe is what makes people vulnerable to groupthink, which can discourage originality or accountability.
Leaders do not look for safety in numbers. They follow the route that allows them to remain true to themselves and that garners credibility and respect. Advocate for yourself, and demonstrate your leadership. Here are five ways you can become (or remain) an independent thinker:
Reading other people’s words exposes you to their thoughts. Expand your mind by listening to what other individuals have to say. Intentionally seek out articles or books that you might otherwise avoid. Leaders challenge their own views by listening to others.
2. Identify the other argument.
Play devil’s advocate, and challenge your views. Ask yourself, “What if the opposite was true, as well?” Leaders recognize that other people’s perspectives can be right, too.
3. Interact with people who are different than you.
Put yourself out there, and interact with people who may not hold the same views as you. Consider engaging with people of a different age, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, political affiliation or socioeconomic level.
If you know of an individual that has different opinions, ask them to coffee. Make the meeting brief and informal. Don’t feel the need to hash out the issues or iron out your differences in your first conversation. First, get to know the person. You may find commonalities that you were unaware of and to which you can relate. This may help you to be more open to their views and be less attached to your original thinking.
Open your mind to different cultures and experiences, and enhance your life experience. Go to different parts of your country, as well as foreign countries. Connect with people. Stay in locally owned hotels. Take public transportation. Go to a local market. Travel like a local. Live, even if it is brief, like someone else. Open your eyes to another world.
5. Focus on respect.
If you want to be liked, you risk following what other people do or think. Strive for respect. Leaders take the road less traveled. The path may not be as smooth, but respect and leadership do not come easily.
Do your own thinking. Don’t follow others because it is the easy or safe option. Strength doesn’t come in numbers. Strength comes in one’s ability to have and express one’s views.
This is an interesting article but let’s look a little further into independent thinking and some consequences if misused. This is what I have set aside some time to ponder. Can independent thinking be harmful? Independent thinkers may find it more beneficial to add their thoughts to a group instead of exhibiting a stubbornness of pushing a single thought down others’ throats. Collective thought discussions, giving and taking points is a far better way to define measures. Debates are debates but group discussions allowing many ideas with welcome minds can be more productive.
All of us have ideas, some are more hesitant to share those ideas. In the article I noticed one major impact point, FOCUS ON RESPECT. None of us are going to agree 100% of the time. It brings me to the dress image that went around for a while as to what color was the dress. Sometimes, it is perception more than visual that we find our opinions based.
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Posted Mar 13, 2017