Thinking is not optional

Updated: Apr 11


As a species we have come to dominate all other species simply because of the size and power of the human brain.

Our dominating power comes not from the absolute but from the relative size of our brains, which are comparatively 7 times greater as compared to the body size of all other creatures. Through evolution, nature has facilitated the disproportionate growth of the human brain to help us survive, thrive, and dominate. This permits us to process vast amounts of data not only in quantity but also in speed and complexity and giving us very high cognitive capabilities.

Like any complicated device the human brain works best and its capabilities enhanced when it is used more quantitatively and qualitatively.

However if rarely used or not used appropriately the brain begins to decay and loses its power. Just doing a lot of repetitive activities in routine, without thinking, imagination or use of the mind, dulls and shrinks the brain. The same thing happens when we consume intoxicants.

While the brain is the hardware, the mind is the software.

To survive and succeed, the mind has to be kept like a sharp sword to cut through the confusion and like a sharp pencil to bring thoughts to a conclusive point.

Sharp minds mean the ability to enhance our intelligence and our mental capabilities by pondering and thinking about life and its numerous facets. Superior actions and results are always the result of thinking under challenging circumstances. Circumstances that are created by ourselves or by external forces.

Successful people constantly use their faculties to keenly observe and sense, think and learn, do and reflect. The key to success lies in thinking about what was, is and what could be possible in the future.

Thinking, processes inputs to deliver ideas and plans that may be used to deliver outputs.

But where do the inputs come from?

Just repeating blindly everything we have been told without thinking is of little use, it can even be dangerous if not disastrous for our future.

History reveals that successful societies have a unique trait. They capture learning and store it in a manner that permits it to be easily and quickly transmitted to others in a meaningful and relevant way. This is why in addition to practicing and doing, reading is so important.

It's a fact that all impactful leaders be they political, social, religious, military, or business, have been voracious readers.

The mantra for success is to, read, read and read, think and think, then try and implement to experience what we think about and whenever possible write and speak.

When we read we gather information, when we think we assimilate, and absorb that information and place it in context. When we practice what we think, we come to know with certainty what we have learnt. When we write, and speak we crystallise and articulate what we have learnt, in the process converting it into useful knowledge and wisdom. This in turn allows us to achieve success and share that knowledge, wisdom and success with others.

It is crucial to read and pay attention to as wide an array of sources as possible, constantly adopting new and discarding old sources. Each input either reaffirms or challenges our learning, but we have to remember that our learning does not grow by repeatedly reading and listening only to those with whom we agree. Our intellectual development is more challenging and refreshing, deeper and wider when we pay attention to people, events and things that challenge our perception and knowledge.

Thinking is not an option it's invaluable for learning and success, and critical thinking even more so.

Any time is a good time to start reading, but the best time to start is when learners are about 5 years of age.

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