Friday, December 26, 2014

An Independent Thinking Mind

An independent thinker with high intelligence can observe more completely and think more profoundly.

Independent thinking has a very close correlation with critical thinking, but they are different. Critical thinking means making clear, reasoned judgments. While, in the process of critical thinking, your thoughts should be reasoned and well thought out/judged. (Wikipedia). While independent thinking includes "not depending on the authority of others for forming an opinion." (OXFORD). Making up your own mind, in other words.  In more detail, what does “IT” - Independent Thinking really mean, and how to cultivate such a mindset?
Independent thinking is a “must have” digital mindset. Independent thinking is extremely important in the digital era in which information is only a few clicks away, but the true insight has inundated with out of dated knowledge; the real signal is mixed with a lot of noises, and the “mainstream” thinking is far lagging behind of the ocean of crowdsourcing.  A leader without independent thinking is a lack of authenticity; a digital worker without independent thinking is a lack of creativity. An independent thinking mind is shining up in an open and positive working environment, but often be treated as a “misfit” mind in a hierarchical and silo surroundings.
Independent thinking differentiates an authentic leader from a follower. Independent thinking means you do not follow others opinion blindly, but analyze and synthesize all sources of input and information to form your own opinion. It doesn't mean that you "reinvent the wheel" every time when you make a decision. But if you uncritically accept whatever values, knowledge or ideas you've been taught, many of them perhaps are out of date or have a bias, you are not a great thinker. Education alone can not shape independent thinking because you can teach people the certain level of knowledge or skills, but you can’t teach them how to think, how to be themselves, they just have to discover, explore and develop themselves.
An independent thinker with high intelligence can observe more completely and think more profoundly. We should not react until we have observed completely. The only one who gives an informed response can be said to be a true intellectual. Exchange of ideas is ideally based on 'thoughtful candor' that leads to mutual learning and better understanding in which all parties benefit. 
Doing as others told me, I was Blind. 
Coming when others called me, I was Lost. 
Then I left everyone, myself as well. 
Then I found Everyone, Myself as well. 
~ Rumi
Being independent thinker means that one has the courage to say “I do not know.” The quickest way to learn something is to admit up front that we don't know when we don't. Transparency and simplicity go together. We can't have one without the other. There is known known, there is known unknown, and there is unknown unknown. The enemy of being an independent thinker is an inclination to think something and say something else. It takes courage and integrity to say “I do not know,” especially when you leverage unknown factors in making significant decisions which may affect many peoples’ lives. One has to be honest and truthful!  There are four types of humans in this world  
-He who knows not and knows not he knows not, he is a fool—shun him/her;
-He who knows not and knows he knows not, he is simple—teach him/her;
-He who knows and knows not he knows, he is asleep—wake him/her;
-He who knows and knows he knows, he is wise—follow him/her!
An independent thinker applies critical thinking principles to make decisions more effectively. An individual's ability to think critically comes down to each individual person's desire to think critically/explore life's possibilities - which makes some people very uncomfortable, and therefore, prefer not to think critically. An independent mind is not isolated from the resource, on the opposite, a great independent thinker leverages all sort of information, be unbiased and objective, with such problem-solving mindset to find the best and alternative solution. And they can look at the source and find from the neutral point, something that will shed light on solving the disparity that exists. They sharpen thinking skills by questioning:
-Asks the question differently
-Asks different questions
-Is not afraid to rock the boat.
-Is thoughtful in making comments.
-Constantly checks own assumptions.
-Kindly asks questions to draw out other's assumptions.
-Holds the flow/track/point, not to get lost on tangents.
-Bears opposites
-Synthesizes massive amounts of disparate information
Digital means the sea of Big Data, and even an ocean of knowledge is of no use if you can't drink from it. Either digital leaders or workers must use the intelligence properly and practice independent thinking all the time; you need to make a conscious effort to ensure that your words are congruent with your thoughts and actions. That is what gives resonance and credibility. If you are unable to discern what is important beyond the surface or what makes sense adequately in a situation; to make something simple for other people you must first make good sense of it for yourself and perceive differences in point of view. In short, you must be an independent thinker.


Nice article and content really helpful!

How to develop an independent thinking mentality

Interesting read on independent thinking

Post a Comment