One of the biggest downfalls in our human history has always been humanity's choice to go for the path of least resistance resulting in the lack of independent or critical thinking. And simply going with whatever is told to us.
I know this sounds harsh but perhaps instead of jumping to react to what I just said, ask yourself: why are you even reacting to what I just said (i.e. if you felt a reactionary knee jerk sensation in your stomach)
What does it mean to think independently and critically? A simple way to explain this: question what has been told to you, do your own research, even if it comes from people of authority.
This may challenge a lot of people around you, and you may be perceived as a trouble maker or making other people's lives troublesome.
But if you do your own due diligence, and think critically about things, and make the decision for yourself, you know you have not betrayed yourself. You have made an informed decision, in whatever decision you have made.
What your critical thinking also does for you, is that, when you realise that what you have decided was not the right one, at that point in time (due to the lack of information), you are able to admit your mistakes and make another choice. This is the bonus of having an independent mind.
You do not hold your own mistakes against yourself, and you are able to be fluid in how you see yourself and the world.
Right now, the world is so divided with so many viewpoints, and it can get confusing. And this is where your independent and critical thinking skills are most vital. Don't just go with the most popular, or don't shut anything down just because you're not able to accept certain viewpoints, more importantly, listening to other perspectives add dimensions to what you already know.
I had a recent discussion on a project with someone and I realised that it was not an easy one to navigate through, because we were having a conversation in a box. And I found myself climbing out of the box and just watching. The points shared were just bouncing all over the box, what that means is that if the other party is not getting out of the box, then the bouncing points will keep supporting the boxed perspectives. And this project has failed right there with no room to navigate.
This is very much like what is happening in the world now -- everyone is experiencing bouncing points in a box. And some even feel a need to defend these bouncing points because they have made a life decision that supports that.
What if, we took some time, sit back and think:
Take these prompts to start journaling. This is a good start to develop your independent thinking and see the patterns of your own thinking and behaviour. Only with independent and critical thinking can you make a positive impact in the right direction for yourself and in turn the world.
©2021 Shamala Tan
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Shamala Tan is an author, spiritual entrepreneur and healer. Her work focuses on transforming the lives of others on the spiritual, emotional, mental and earthly levels.
Shamala’s clients include small business owners, holistic practitioners as well as those seeking to find more significant meaning and value in life. Shamala offers laser coaching to her clients on a one-to-one basis or in a group environment, offline as well as online.