Some things are easier in theory than reality. For many people, one of those things is trusting their thoughts enough to take action. And, sometimes, one of those things is knowing when NOT to trust their thoughts because they are causing inaction. This is a precarious balance which takes time and practice to achieve.
In both instances, we can ask our elders for guidance. The Baby Boomer generation generally values real-world experience over academics or action over over-analysis. Not to say that they don’t value schooling, but they realize there is more to a person than their degree. These are the people who are willing to take apart a radio to see how it works and then put it back together. This allows them to think critically and problem solve, something that many people are afraid to do because they are so caught up in their own thoughts.
To this, I say, “Stop doing things just to be right and start doing them so you cannot get them wrong.” Use critical thinking and get your hands dirty! Start up that new hobby you have been wanting to try. And stop thinking you will be laughed at because you aren’t perfect at it the first time. Because guess what…if you love it and continue doing it, you WILL become amazing at it. But you will never know if your thoughts are too busy paralyzing you through criticism instead of pushing you to think critically.
Critical thinking is the number one skill sought after by employers, so why aren’t we teaching it to our kids!? Critical is derived from two Greek root words, which mean ‘discerning judgment’ and ‘standards’. It is focused on the Greek ideal of living and learning in a way that empowers people to take practical actions.
Since human thinking often gravitates toward prejudice, over-analysis, and self-deception, we must use critical thinking to reflect on our own thoughts. I don’t know how many times I hear people accept the popular belief because they don’t want to be seen as an outcast or they don’t want to turn on their brain. Wake up people! Let’s take charge of our own minds and lives! And yes, this requires us to think critically; let’s get into the habit of examining our thoughts so we can fine tune our actions.
Let’s start examining the motivations behind our thoughts and actions so we can trust ourselves. When is the last time you bought something impulsively? Overreacted by yelling at your child? Taken medication a doctor prescribed without researching the side effects?
Let’s identify these thought patterns and apply critical thinking so we can “Trust the process, believe in destiny and love all outcomes.”