Learn To Think For Yourself
One of the first questions an employer asks in an interview is, “Tell me about yourself.” This can often be the worst question in the world for some of us. We will talk about anything else except something pertaining to what we are all about.
Most of the times this is hard because we have never really stopped and thought about who we really are, what we truly want from life, and how we will find true meaning and significance as we pass through this world.
Thinking critically is not only an important life skill, but it is a necessary one for anyone who wants to live a great life. Sadly, it’s one skill that is seldomly taught anymore.
Thinking for ourselves has gotten lost between test scores and achievement gaps. It has been left up to television, marketing companies, and the media to teach us how to think and program our minds with what to think…and the sad truth is that this often comes with devastating consequences.
Critical thinking begins at an early age or at least it can begin there. Our parents impart their value system to us when they teach us right from wrong. “Don’t steal. Don’t cheat. Don’t swear.” Things like that are black and white guidelines that everybody needs.
Beyond that, there is a lot of gray area. That is where our value system is tested. Some of the things we have been led to believe hold no water here. We are left with nothing to go by to make a decent decision. So, we rely on the decision making processes of others.
When we don’t know where to turn it’s easy to let someone else do the driving. They seem to have it all together so we hand over control of our thoughts to them. Many cults begin this way. People look to take advantage of others who haven’t learned to think for themselves.
Protect yourself from such outside influences by determining what you stand for starting today. It sounds overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Establishing what you believe isn’t a one time thing. It takes your entire life to figure out, but a strong knowledge of right and wrong forms the foundation for our thinking.
Here’s a scenario. Four young boys are playing in the woods. One finds a baby bird that has fallen out of the nest. The boys need to decide what to do with it. Do they act mischievous and pelt it with stones? Or, help the bird back into its nest?
The one who wants to stone the creature argues that no one will see and it is just an animal anyway. That argument could be persuasive to the other boys who fear going against their comrade. One boy however stands up for the bird and says that it is a living thing that did nothing to deserve such punishment. Out of his foundation of values, he goes against the boys to save the bird.
This is only a story, but people make decisions, life-threatening in fact, everyday using the value systems of others instead of thinking for them selves. Don’t be afraid to stand up for what you believe is right even when the majority swings the other way.
Learn To Think For Yourself…