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Thinking for Yourself

Posted By: Randy GageOctober 14, 2011

There may be nothing more powerful or dangerous – than the power of mind.  Used in a positive way, it can take you to greatness.  If it’s not directed, it can lead you to misery.

One of the most important issues is a simple, but often overlooked:  think for yourself.

Use deductive reasoning, based upon facts.  And also employ inductive reasoning, using your intuition.

Obviously you can learn from your own experiences.  (Although not everyone does, and some of us need the lesson more than a few times!)  And wise people learn from the experiences of others.  But the key is using discernment, to know what lessons actually apply to you and why.

You are bombarded with news, advertising, programming, commentators, experts, pundits, editorialists, and other manipulations constantly.  They want to tell you what to think.  Think for yourself.

Don’t be a cynic.  But healthy skepticism is good.  Question things.  Then decide for yourself.

Luke, use the Force…

-RG

 

 

23 comments on “Thinking for Yourself”

  1. Randy,

    Great point as always - many do not have the "gift" of discernment - maybe you could talk about how to acquire this invaluable part of critical thinking.

    Thank you for all you do - I am so glad to have been introduced to you via Bob Burg a while back. Your insight and direct way of handling issues is a wonderful thing to experience!

    1. "Used in a positive way, it can’t take you to greatness"
      Can't.

      How many people have you seen very positive and those sinking into poverty? How many people are very sick and they are positive? How many people don't use features , new things that could heal them, take out of poverty and move them forward, because they want to be positive? In another words- to live easy.
      Be always positive - it is easy and cosy. Often this is stagnation.

      It needs courage to be faced with difficulties. Every day. If you want to be in the next level, the steps above.

      If you overcome the challenges with a smile, because you know WHY you are doing this, it is a completely different positivism.

      Which of these did you think?

      1. Interesting, Marita. So you're advocating using the power of mind only in a negative way - because using it in a positive way 'can't' take you to greatness - so I must use my mind in a negative way to be great.

        I know what you mean. I understand that this desire to 'be positive' doesn't make us hungry. And I understand the need to be a contraria - to be able to ask the hard questions and not go with the pack. But being positive is different, it seems to me.

        I think we DO need to use the power of mind wisely, with discernment, for good, for the positive.... other people's good, our good - I want to use my mind in a positive way, a way that takes the world forward, a way that takes me forward - a way that looks for the best solution, that greets great thinking. Not a way that overlooks what's wrong - but in a way that always seeks increase and searches for the positive, that searches for the best

        1. Interesting, what it could mean, "Using mind in a negative Way"? What comes to my mind could be blaming myself or the others for something or absence of something.

          In my opinion we can't make assessment (+) or (-) for thinking. Thinkings just is. It leads us to (+) or (-) development. And the development direction of the (+), doesn't equal to feel the (+).
          What do people think when they say, "Think positive"? Find (+) points in . What to do with (-) points? Critically evaluate and improve what's up to you and make to the next event more (+) and less (-) or ignore (-)? How to measure (+)or(-)? It is a big temptation to use feelings as a thermometer- feel good, comfortable, warm, soft ... be positive, to be with (+).
          Just idea...

  2. Randy, thank you for touching on intuition.

    Most of us are not taught to question things or to follow our intuition, and rather to leave the decisions to an outside authority, such as a doctor, government official, or trained expert.

    The problem is, no one has all the answers, and while there are some good people, there are a few who use their positions to control others.

    Sometimes we often receive pressure or even outright force from others who demand we surrender our thinking and even our lives to authority without question, often because " so and so said it's right, so it must be true."

    John Stossel touches on questioning authority in this episode of Stossel: http://www.hulu.com/watch/288391/stossel-thu-sep-15-2011#s-p1-so-i0

  3. I hate Star Wars movies, the Matrix movies, James Cameron movies... and all their rip off sequels and tie in crap... but I just watched Up In The Air and loved it... great human message in there plus, a skeptical message as well.. each to your own!!

  4. Hi RG,

    Open minded yet discerning works from me. Be open to all coming down the pike, but select little.

    Much of it won't vibe with you, so release it. The stuff that vibes, sticks. You just know. Intuitively. So you feel calm and confident that yes, you are thinking for yourself. It feels right.

    Thanks!

    Ryan

  5. Hi Randy,

    powerful stuff. You can only own your life if and when you own your mind. Most people are so brainwashed that they aren't even aware that they are. They say:"I am not brainwashed." or "I don't want to do personal development because I don't want to be brainwashed."

    Isn't that a clear sign that they aren't in control of their thoughts ? They might think they are...

    We have to slow down the chatter in our brain to figure out who we truly are and why we are put on this planet.

    Thanks for sharing your insights.

    Be blessed

    Oliver

  6. I have to address this one, with my name. I love "Star Wars" and so does my son. At the tender age of five he was telling me in a conversation we were having about Anakin, that Anakin went over to the dark side with the Emperor, because he did not trust himself.

    Children amaze me in their ability to see the truth. I doubt some adults could have stated that so eloquently.

    Yes, question everything use your mind, and as my son Nick would say trust yourself. And be open to being questioned yourself. If your beliefs are right, it will only make you stronger and add to your own wisdom.

    I have learned so much from you Randy, really. I appreciate it. I did not always do it well, and I let my emotions run away with me, as I am more like Anakin than Obie Wan. 🙂 Yes, I even went over to the Dark Side sometimes.

    However, I questioned you. Not always just your beliefs, but you the person. That is a critical part in all the critical thinking you were telling us to do. Question even the teacher, question even those you view as surperior or wiser. This is a huge step in becoming an adult.

    Here is what I determined after all my thinking for myself. I think that you really do want to send the message of being a critical thinker. I think that you are someone who has made huge strides in life by thinking for yourself. I would say you are one of the most independent thinkers I know. You are also so open to all kinds of new information.

    But, you didn't like to be questioned. I also feel you thought if we all thought critically, we would come to the same conclusions as you.

    Just my thoughts, I know you know longer want them, but just in case... here they are.

    Sincerely,
    Annie the Banned
    PS Love the photo but where is Vader's head?

  7. Hi Randy,
    Great reminder here. You talked about this in "Why You're Dumb, Sick & Broke...And How to Get Smart, Healthy & Rich". Btw, it was a great lecture.

    It's very easy to follow various ideas rather than creating new ones. Discerning is a skill that goes hand in hand with intuition. The more you trust that profound inner voice the easier will be to choose what works best for you.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Have a wonderful weekend,

    Radu

  8. Randy's book Why Your Dumb, Sick and Broke is one of the best books you can read to first, become aware of how your thinking is constantly being manipulated, and second, to develop critical thinking skills. We Europeans can be a little too critical sometimes but Americans are too gullible. Read this book and see for yourself. You will have some good laughs, too!

    1. Speaking of thinking:

      A lot of people are not thinking critically with the Wall Street Protests.

      I see a huge backlash growing amongst society against anyone doing anything with their lives beyond being miserable, barely getting by, or what I consider to be the most evil message to send to people: get a nice, stable, average job, work 40+ hours a week, buy some things to define yourself, don't question anything, and collect retirement.

      When did people decide this was somehow healthy for themselves and their children?

      There isn't a small group of wealthy people because there is not enough resources, there is a small group of people because so many are unwilling to grow themselves, or to support those who do wish to make a positive difference.

      There are lots of great thinkers, artists, and business people who are socially conscious, we're not all evil scumbags who want to take your money and not give you anything.

      1. People have become far too passive in their own lives.

        No longer is the parent's job to ensure their children have successful starts on adult life, it is the school or the government.

        No longer do consumers think about their purchases, buying cheap goods which fall apart. But it is the big box store's fault that higher quality products are not readily available, and that other shopping choices do not exist.

        I could name endless examples.

        The world is shaped by the choices we make for better or worse.

        1. How do we deal with people like this?

          There are far too many of them, I dare say millions of people. Some of are not merely just passive or apathetic, they even attack or block people from succeeding.

          1. Thomas, please try not to be so pessimistic, you will only end up feeling yucky.

            Now go make some electric music. 🙂

        2. Annie,

          Being real instead of living in the clouds is one thing, but I am going too far the other way.

          Thank you for mentioning that to me.

  9. It seems like we live in a world where discernment is a lost art form.

    Most people are programmed and stuck to the media that feeds their minds on a constant basis.

    We need to unplug and at the same time when we are plugged in, be able to still think for ourselves.

    Stop the MADNESS!

    Blessings,

  10. Exercise independent thinking. There are too many distractions to influence our thoughts. Those distractions from media may not be necessarily good for us.

    During economic crisis, many lost money because they listen to broker's news, hot tip of the month etc.

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  • 23 comments on “Thinking for Yourself”

    1. Randy,

      Great point as always - many do not have the "gift" of discernment - maybe you could talk about how to acquire this invaluable part of critical thinking.

      Thank you for all you do - I am so glad to have been introduced to you via Bob Burg a while back. Your insight and direct way of handling issues is a wonderful thing to experience!

      1. "Used in a positive way, it can’t take you to greatness"
        Can't.

        How many people have you seen very positive and those sinking into poverty? How many people are very sick and they are positive? How many people don't use features , new things that could heal them, take out of poverty and move them forward, because they want to be positive? In another words- to live easy.
        Be always positive - it is easy and cosy. Often this is stagnation.

        It needs courage to be faced with difficulties. Every day. If you want to be in the next level, the steps above.

        If you overcome the challenges with a smile, because you know WHY you are doing this, it is a completely different positivism.

        Which of these did you think?

        1. Interesting, Marita. So you're advocating using the power of mind only in a negative way - because using it in a positive way 'can't' take you to greatness - so I must use my mind in a negative way to be great.

          I know what you mean. I understand that this desire to 'be positive' doesn't make us hungry. And I understand the need to be a contraria - to be able to ask the hard questions and not go with the pack. But being positive is different, it seems to me.

          I think we DO need to use the power of mind wisely, with discernment, for good, for the positive.... other people's good, our good - I want to use my mind in a positive way, a way that takes the world forward, a way that takes me forward - a way that looks for the best solution, that greets great thinking. Not a way that overlooks what's wrong - but in a way that always seeks increase and searches for the positive, that searches for the best

          1. Interesting, what it could mean, "Using mind in a negative Way"? What comes to my mind could be blaming myself or the others for something or absence of something.

            In my opinion we can't make assessment (+) or (-) for thinking. Thinkings just is. It leads us to (+) or (-) development. And the development direction of the (+), doesn't equal to feel the (+).
            What do people think when they say, "Think positive"? Find (+) points in . What to do with (-) points? Critically evaluate and improve what's up to you and make to the next event more (+) and less (-) or ignore (-)? How to measure (+)or(-)? It is a big temptation to use feelings as a thermometer- feel good, comfortable, warm, soft ... be positive, to be with (+).
            Just idea...

    2. Randy, thank you for touching on intuition.

      Most of us are not taught to question things or to follow our intuition, and rather to leave the decisions to an outside authority, such as a doctor, government official, or trained expert.

      The problem is, no one has all the answers, and while there are some good people, there are a few who use their positions to control others.

      Sometimes we often receive pressure or even outright force from others who demand we surrender our thinking and even our lives to authority without question, often because " so and so said it's right, so it must be true."

      John Stossel touches on questioning authority in this episode of Stossel: http://www.hulu.com/watch/288391/stossel-thu-sep-15-2011#s-p1-so-i0

    3. I hate Star Wars movies, the Matrix movies, James Cameron movies... and all their rip off sequels and tie in crap... but I just watched Up In The Air and loved it... great human message in there plus, a skeptical message as well.. each to your own!!

    4. Hi RG,

      Open minded yet discerning works from me. Be open to all coming down the pike, but select little.

      Much of it won't vibe with you, so release it. The stuff that vibes, sticks. You just know. Intuitively. So you feel calm and confident that yes, you are thinking for yourself. It feels right.

      Thanks!

      Ryan

    5. Hi Randy,

      powerful stuff. You can only own your life if and when you own your mind. Most people are so brainwashed that they aren't even aware that they are. They say:"I am not brainwashed." or "I don't want to do personal development because I don't want to be brainwashed."

      Isn't that a clear sign that they aren't in control of their thoughts ? They might think they are...

      We have to slow down the chatter in our brain to figure out who we truly are and why we are put on this planet.

      Thanks for sharing your insights.

      Be blessed

      Oliver

    6. I have to address this one, with my name. I love "Star Wars" and so does my son. At the tender age of five he was telling me in a conversation we were having about Anakin, that Anakin went over to the dark side with the Emperor, because he did not trust himself.

      Children amaze me in their ability to see the truth. I doubt some adults could have stated that so eloquently.

      Yes, question everything use your mind, and as my son Nick would say trust yourself. And be open to being questioned yourself. If your beliefs are right, it will only make you stronger and add to your own wisdom.

      I have learned so much from you Randy, really. I appreciate it. I did not always do it well, and I let my emotions run away with me, as I am more like Anakin than Obie Wan. 🙂 Yes, I even went over to the Dark Side sometimes.

      However, I questioned you. Not always just your beliefs, but you the person. That is a critical part in all the critical thinking you were telling us to do. Question even the teacher, question even those you view as surperior or wiser. This is a huge step in becoming an adult.

      Here is what I determined after all my thinking for myself. I think that you really do want to send the message of being a critical thinker. I think that you are someone who has made huge strides in life by thinking for yourself. I would say you are one of the most independent thinkers I know. You are also so open to all kinds of new information.

      But, you didn't like to be questioned. I also feel you thought if we all thought critically, we would come to the same conclusions as you.

      Just my thoughts, I know you know longer want them, but just in case... here they are.

      Sincerely,
      Annie the Banned
      PS Love the photo but where is Vader's head?

    7. Hi Randy,
      Great reminder here. You talked about this in "Why You're Dumb, Sick & Broke...And How to Get Smart, Healthy & Rich". Btw, it was a great lecture.

      It's very easy to follow various ideas rather than creating new ones. Discerning is a skill that goes hand in hand with intuition. The more you trust that profound inner voice the easier will be to choose what works best for you.

      Thanks for sharing.
      Have a wonderful weekend,

      Radu

    8. Randy's book Why Your Dumb, Sick and Broke is one of the best books you can read to first, become aware of how your thinking is constantly being manipulated, and second, to develop critical thinking skills. We Europeans can be a little too critical sometimes but Americans are too gullible. Read this book and see for yourself. You will have some good laughs, too!

      1. Speaking of thinking:

        A lot of people are not thinking critically with the Wall Street Protests.

        I see a huge backlash growing amongst society against anyone doing anything with their lives beyond being miserable, barely getting by, or what I consider to be the most evil message to send to people: get a nice, stable, average job, work 40+ hours a week, buy some things to define yourself, don't question anything, and collect retirement.

        When did people decide this was somehow healthy for themselves and their children?

        There isn't a small group of wealthy people because there is not enough resources, there is a small group of people because so many are unwilling to grow themselves, or to support those who do wish to make a positive difference.

        There are lots of great thinkers, artists, and business people who are socially conscious, we're not all evil scumbags who want to take your money and not give you anything.

        1. People have become far too passive in their own lives.

          No longer is the parent's job to ensure their children have successful starts on adult life, it is the school or the government.

          No longer do consumers think about their purchases, buying cheap goods which fall apart. But it is the big box store's fault that higher quality products are not readily available, and that other shopping choices do not exist.

          I could name endless examples.

          The world is shaped by the choices we make for better or worse.

          1. How do we deal with people like this?

            There are far too many of them, I dare say millions of people. Some of are not merely just passive or apathetic, they even attack or block people from succeeding.

            1. Thomas, please try not to be so pessimistic, you will only end up feeling yucky.

              Now go make some electric music. 🙂

          2. Annie,

            Being real instead of living in the clouds is one thing, but I am going too far the other way.

            Thank you for mentioning that to me.

    9. It seems like we live in a world where discernment is a lost art form.

      Most people are programmed and stuck to the media that feeds their minds on a constant basis.

      We need to unplug and at the same time when we are plugged in, be able to still think for ourselves.

      Stop the MADNESS!

      Blessings,

    10. Exercise independent thinking. There are too many distractions to influence our thoughts. Those distractions from media may not be necessarily good for us.

      During economic crisis, many lost money because they listen to broker's news, hot tip of the month etc.

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