Here are 15 tips which will encourage you to develop and put to good use your capacity to think straight.
1. Do Your Own Thinking.
If you simply swallow what you see, hear and read without analysing it, you are not living up as an intelligent person. On the other hand, if you weigh, examine and sift the evidence, you will be more likely to find the truth and share it with others.
2. Think Before You Act.
“Spur-of-the moment” actions are usually based on muddled or superficial thinking. Even a moment’s reflection may have far-reaching consequences.
3. Think Objectively.
Develop the facility to think beyond a narrow, selfish point of view. If you overcome the human tendency to hear only what you want to hear, and to be fearful of the facts, you will be more apt to welcome the whole truth, not try to dodge or distort it.
4. Think Ahead.
Cultivate the habit of looking beyond the present. It is important to think ahead. Weigh the consequences for time and eternity of what you think, say and do today.
5. Think Hopefully.
A hopeful person sees an opportunity in every calamity while a cynic sees a calamity in every opportunity. Accustom yourself to think hopefully under the most disheartening circumstances.
6. Think Things Through.
Take a few moments to think things through and you are more likely to uphold the truth than to miss or distort it.
7. Think Charitably.
A genuine love for others is the best preparation for clear, unbiased thinking. The hostile, envious, or bitter person seldom thinks straight about matters human or divine.
8. Check and Double Check.
Make a reasonable investigation of facts before arriving at a decision.
9. Beware of Your Prejudices.
Make it a matter of conscience to get all the essential facts before you reach your final conclusion.
10. Take an Honest Look at Your Own Faults.
Magnifying others’ shortcomings while minimising one’s own prepares the way to lopsided thinking and can even lead to serious breaches of the moral law, such as cheating, fraud or double dealing which are usually committed in the heart many times long before they are expressed in action.
11. Get beyond Wishful Thinking.
You will add vigour and clarity to your thinking if you discipline yourself to carry your good intentions into action. It is easy to delude oneself by confusing wishful thinking with actual accomplishment.
12. Don’t Overlook the Obvious.
When a large truck became wedged in an underpass all efforts to extricate it were unavailing. A small boy who had been watching the proceedings finally said to the driver: “want to know how to get it loose? Just let some air out of the tyres.”
13. Think with Determination.
Pursue worthwhile ideas in a way that will get the most out of them. If you strive to make worthwhile ideas your own, you will be in a much stronger position to pass them on to others.
14. Look out for Details.
Be sure that you have a full knowledge of what you are expected to do and you will avoid the mistake of the workmen who were discovered by an executive tearing down the wall and the door of his office. The executive demanded what they were doing there. They told him that they got orders. Looking quickly at the written instructions, the executive observed: “The order is O.K. The room number is correct… but you’re in the wrong building!”
15. Dig for the Deeper Meaning.
Get beneath the surface of what you hear or read. Take for example, the words of Jesus Christ; “As you wish men to do to you, so also do you to them.” Before much progress will be made in restoring peace to the world, it is very necessary that millions of persons like you think through what it means to “Do unto others as though you were the others.”
(Condensed from Christopher Notes) July 2011
Courtesy: East and West series