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Learn How To Think, Instead Of Stay Ignorant

Thinking is a process of getting past ignorance and into solutions and ideas. It is needed more today than ever.

“Rarely do we find men who willingly engage in hard, solid thinking. There is an almost universal quest for easy answers and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some people more than having to think.”—Martin Luther King, Jr

The Internet has become a double-edged sword. On one hand, it has opened the doors for many to express their ideas and to find useful information. On the other hand, it has also become a source of information that is not based in fact and too many people have fallen into following the ideology of some. Reasoning seems to have fallen by the wayside. It's the same with our educational system. The majority of them have simply become a dispenser of information rather than teaching students how to think and learn.

Throughout society, we have become non-thinkers. Instead, we succumb to ignorance because it’s easier that way. Yes, thinking takes effort. Just because you can spew out information, doesn’t mean you are a thinker. Heck, a computer can do that.

Whenever you want to find a solution to a problem, wanting to understand, and/or make a decision, that is what thinking is. In essence, it’s finding that deeper meaning. It’s not simply about facts, figures and knowledge. New ideas will spring up from thinking. Knowledge and facts will never create new ideas or finding solutions to problems. Creative thinking accomplishes that. It cuts through information to find what works and what doesn’t work.

Thinking many times takes trial and error to find the solution. And yet, it gets underneath the surface to discover it. Thinking is required in all areas of life in order to progress. It doesn't matter if you’re a police officer on a beat or a scientist working on the next great discovery. Thinking helps to avoid errors in judgment.

Learning how to think can be done by most people. That’s so long as they are open to it. What are some of the processes of those that don’t think? Many tend to let their egos get in the way. For example, they may say that “what I have is better than what you have” or “I know more than you do”. They may get into the blame game. Generalization is another area where ignorance plays a role. When we stereotype a person because of their race, educational background, country of origin, age, sex, and so forth… then all we’re doing is being ignorant. And that’s not thinking.

So what can you do to start yourself on the road to thinking? One of the first things I would suggest is to look at the points of view of others. That will get you out of your ignorance and into the higher level. Read books and other information in areas that you don’t normally associate with. This will help expand your thinking and awareness. Talk to people in other cultures and socioeconomic groups. Doing this adds additional input and awareness into your life. Don’t get too much into a group-think mentality. While conformity has its good sides, it also has its drawbacks. Learn to be an individual.

I would suggest that you start writing your thoughts down. This will open you up to learning about meaning. Don’t just write about knowledge, but about how you feel about knowledge and things. Expressing this way helps to create awareness of you. Most people don’t even realize who they are. They’ve simply let others dictate that for them. Move from this self-expression of writing, move to writing for others, such as in article writing and blogs.

Become a lifelong learner. When you do this, you also become and stay a lifelong thinker. They are like “two sides of the same coin”. I wish your success in your growth into the thinking process.

Cover image and top image from Shutterstock.

This is a cross-post from Ezine Articles.

Bob Choat works as a Peak Performance Coach & Trainer and is focused on people in every industry reach a higher level in their lives.

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