Thinking is something most of us do, however thinking about how we think and trying to think in a different way is a totally different story – I commend you for being brave enough to read this post as a matter of fact!
Ever since I was a young child I’ve enjoyed critical thinking, and over the years I’ve realized a ton of cool things, including some great ways to think and some not-so-great ways to think.
Why Think At All?
The old saying, “ignorance is bliss” is known by almost everyone. It’s very true that a combination of ignorance and confidence is the key to success in this world, however I suspect that you’re here because you already think. I suspect that you’re intelligent and that you’re looking to refine your skills by taking the advice of a man on the internet!
Even if I were to say “yes, you shouldn’t think” (which I won’t) there are those out there who are naturally-born thinkers and those who wish to develop their intelligence. So I write this post for you, avid mind user, to make sure you have the best perspectives possible when you’re thinking about… Well, anything 🙂
How Do We Know When We’ve Chosen The Right Way(s) To Think?
This is a great question since anyone can say anything. It’s super easy for some guy to go “oh, I’ll just sucker these people by telling him how to think, even though I don’t have a monkey’s clue myself,” so please allow me to iterate.
You know you’ve chosen the right way(s) to think when you’ve chosen the right things/people/experiences to have and experience in your life and when you’ve chosen to bring said things/people/experiences in your life. If you ask yourself, “why am I thinking? Is it for the dance or the end result? What is the end result I’m trying to reach?” you’ll quickly uncover your goals, wishes, and desires. Once you’ve uncovered them it’s up to you to decide whether or not they are the right wishes, goals, and desires because of how pleasurable, enlightening, and healthy they are for you (and subsequently everyone around you) in the long run.
Let’s say you desire money. A lot of thought will go into your job and how to do it properly, and/or thought will go into how to make money. Let’s say you desire chips. Some thought will go into when and where to buy and eat the chips, especially when the time is near.
But, should these things even be desired in the first place? And if so, should they be desired along with other things/experiences/people? These are things that can be quickly figured out if we know how to properly think.
Great Ways To Think
First I always like to ask the question, “what/who should I aim for that is in my very best interest?” After I answer the question and refine it over time I come up with a list of goals, hobbies, people, experiences, etc to obtain, and all that’s left is thinking about how to get there.
Then, I adopt one (or multiple) ways of thinking when I ask myself, “how will I achieve my goals/be around the people I want to be around/etc?” And here is my list on great ways to think:
-The open-mind approach. Many people call this meditation, however I always like to approach my goals, desires, beliefs, problems, fears, etc with an open mind, especially if I created them myself. I enjoy leaving this state of mind unlabeled because of it’s relaxing, visual, and enlightening effects, however it can be called the Philosopher’s Mind or the Mystic’s Mind.
-The strategic approach. This kind of thinking is logical, based on observation, and often oriented towards a goal or two. If you’ve already formed some great goals you may enjoy thinking like this since it’ll help you achieve them. Detectives think like this!
-The conceptual approach. Being able to play out events in your mind (as if you were creating and watching a movie) is great for figuring out what to do, say and how to be in any particular situation without seeming “off” to others around you.
-The feel-good approach. We do a lot with the ultimate goal of feeling good, and so one question I like to ask myself is, “which feelings do I desire and what is the quickest, most efficient, and healthiest way to feel those feelings?” When I answer myself I begin to give myself the feelings I desire, sometimes by meditating and stating to myself, “I choose to produce more oxytocin, serotonin, dopamine,” etc.
-The integration or “what’s wrong?” approach. I enjoy integrating parts of myself that I haven’t integrated yet, particularly if they bother me, so if I’m finding something bothersome I’ll always ask myself “what’s wrong?” and do a logical analysis from there.
Some Detrimental Ways To Think
One of the worst ways to think is when we think about how to achieve goals without thinking about if the goals are good or bad for us. Being irrational isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but when we’re being irrational and our behavior is detrimental to our overall, long-term wellbeing then something should probably change.
Another terrible way to use our intelligence is if we’re trying to avoid pain or trauma that’s stuck inside of our mind and/or body. Or, alternatively, if we’re using it to avoid our emotions as a whole. If we’re high in intelligence it’s almost always a good idea to consciously pay attention to and develop our emotional side, and if we’re highly emotional it’s almost always a good idea to consciously pay attention to and develop our mind.
If you think about how and why you think, and when you answer the questions you ask yourself, things often develop themselves from there 🙂
At the peak of intelligence, when enough knowledge is gathered, we can experience something called “intellectual enlightenment.” Many people have coined this term “opening your 3rd eye,” however I’ve experienced it as a positive emotion inside of my head. I feel it right now as I write about it! When I feel it my search for intelligence is replaced with a certain contentment, and I feel like producing instead of consuming. I feel as if it is the same for you, however I wouldn’t be surprised if intellectual enlightenment is different for you than it is for me.
Also, in my opinion, knowing which ways to think and at which times is a great skill to cultivate! Considering this can result in an endless loop, though, so I don’t recommend getting too carried away with deciding how to think at what time.
Thank you so much for reading my post! It’s very abstract but it covers just about everything on a general level, I’ll see you in the next article!