Can You Think?? | Jonathan Hilton Mind ConnectionsMay 12, 2022
“Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason, so few engage in it.”
― Henry Ford
What It Means To Think
The ability to think is a craft that has been too often disregarded by most people today. We let so many other things fill our minds rather than pure, sober thought. When we use our thoughts, they are often twisted, harmful vines of gossip or judgment that do no positive good to ourselves or anybody else. The good news is that it is not too late to learn how to focus on the moment, allowing your thoughts to lead away from the negative and toward the positives of creativity.
Conformity Is A Cage of Mediocrity
From the moment I was born, people seemed to push me into a box of conformity. We are all persuaded and made to “just fit in” and not be different because when someone is so bold as to be different from the crowd, there is no reward, only ridicule from peers and teachers.
The problem with conformity is there is no originality, and without original thought, there can be nothing new, and nothing new will change. It is a paradox that people strive to fit in when anybody who ever did anything worthwhile stood out, was different, and had original thoughts. So the first thing you should do is stop being one of the crowd and start being yourself. When you see a question, don’t just look for the answer; look for the process to get the answer. Think outside of the box, and don’t be afraid. Your greatness is just one thought away because ideas do become things.
Choose Your Thoughts Wisely
Choose your thoughts? A perfect friend of mine once told me that there was no way he could choose his studies because his brain just worked too darn fast to try to control. That may be true. I have no way of knowing, but even my quick-thinking friend can choose which thoughts he gives credence to and which ones he lets float away. Your mind is a machine that works hard to allow you to understand the world. It will think about many things. Some are positive about things you like and support. Then there are the negative thoughts of gossip, anger, hatred, discrimination, greed, etc. You choose what to do with your thoughts, entertain them, or dismiss them entirely. Which direction you decide to go in will determine much about the quality of your life and what you experience. So always choose your thoughts wisely. What you think will determine the pleasure you experience in life.
What You Put In Your Mind Matters
An old saying is that what you put into your mind is exactly what you will get out of it. Today we are a society of easy answers and quick fixes. There is instant entertainment available virtually everywhere now, thanks to smartphones and tablets. This modernization is all wonderful, except that many people choose mindless games to play and programs to watch with little intellectual value.
Some entertainment can be great, but there are so many negative messages sent through the media and on the internet that it can become difficult to feel even the slightest bit positive about ourselves. This manipulation is because marketers figured out a long time ago that you will do almost anything to feel good if they can make you feel bad about yourself. This most often involves buying whatever they sell, making you prettier, sexier, thinner, or more attractive.
Even the shows that should be educational, like the news, drive their programming on negative stories designed to instill fear or spread cheap gossip. Suppose you want to be able to think then, for at least a small portion of time every day read an actual book. Read about philosophy or ideas that might broaden your mind. Reading is an interactive process that increases your ability to think. The more you do it, the greater your power. If you don’t believe me, put down the phone, turn off the computer or television, and read for just half an hour a day. The results will astound you. Reading is the key to the doorway of thought, be brave and open it.
Keep Your Mind Open
Once you start thinking, you will think you know it all and are pretty sure about how the world works. The most intelligent thing that anyone can do is to understand that no matter how smart they are, they do not, nor will they ever know it all. There is always something else to learn, some theory to try, some perplexing problem to solve. Every thought is a step on the path of growth, and you can’t be too surprised when today’s fact turns into a stepping stone to help you reach tomorrow’s truth.
Thinking is a lot like building a pyramid. You can create the top until you place all of the concrete stones at the foundation, then the next level, and then the next. Keep your mind open to give credence to thoughts you haven’t considered, test them, question them, and evaluate their merits. Only then can you glean the wisdom or folly of every idea you encounter. A closed mind will never shed any light on the world, whereas an open mind may provide an opening as bright as the sun.
Someday, You May Need This
When you read this, you may not pay attention right now, which is OK. You may want to hold on to your entertainment, and you may not like to read. Maybe you don’t want to stand out from the crowd because people might talk about you. That is your choice, and I respect that. At the moment in life, you think, “ Is this it?” or “what is life all about?” I want you to come here and read this. Those questions are the spark of all proper thought, and you will have a hard time finding happiness until you learn to evaluate the messages from your mind.
“Think before you speak. Read before you think.”
― Fran Lebowitz, The Fran Lebowitz Reader