‘Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence’ – Thomas Szasz
When was the last time you were reading a book and after finishing a page had absolutely no idea what you were reading about? Since we juggle so much in today’s lifestyle, multitasking our way through each day, that our ability to concentrate and hence think clearly has drastically reduced.
We now live in an era where most of us have the ‘YouTube Attention Span’, where a 10 minutes-long video makes us go “What 10 minutes!” And the direct influence is on our ability to think, simply because the more alert and observant your mind is the clearer your thoughts are going to be.
Why is clear thinking so important anyway?
Humans do not just live by instinct, our ability to think rationally and make decisions based on our perception is what differentiates us from animals. Clear thinking is important in everything we do. It is the very basis on which our life depends, if you think clearly, you can easily perceive problems and devise solutions to tackle them. Additionally, you are in much better position to make important life decisions pertaining to health, career, relationships, and your overall being.
Only a mind that can think clearly and critically can succeed. See, it is no rocket science, success isn’t accidental; it is actually the result of hard work and decisions made at the right time. A clear thinker will possess the right frame of mine to be able to take decisions that favors them and make them successful simply because there is no doubt or guesswork involved. They know what they are doing and they are mostly aware of the consequences too.
At this juncture, you may ask ‘Is the ability to think clearly in-born or it can be acquired?’
Like all abilities, the habit of thinking clearly can be developed with the right technique and practice. It is more of a skill that helps us to gain knowledge, sharpen perception, and take the right decisions. Before I talk about how you can become a clear thinker yourself, here’s a little more information on what exactly is clear thinking.
Clear thinking isn’t just about being able to take a decision in an instant, it basically is a logical analysis of events and ideas that includes taking into consideration hypothesis, evaluation of the consequences, the pros and cons and the ability to judge the final decision to be correct or not.
Please don’t think that clear thinking is some magic tool that helps to take the right decision at the click of a finger. It takes time and effort to get into the habit of clear thinking, for the first few times you might feel taxed but with time it would become more of a natural habit.
How do you become a clear thinker?
The change does not come overnight, and admittedly, there were times when I wanted to give up too but hold on, I promise the reward is going to be amazing!
To start with, I tried to first clean the physical mess around me. I cleaned up my work desk first thing, noticed how when you have a cluttered desk you feel all the more stressed and overworked?
Write down about the most important areas of your life– be it health, relationship, success, attitude, or even a hobby. Now beside each area write down what your beliefs are with regards to the particular area, your fears, your strength, your weaknesses, and how do you perceive this area of your life would be tomorrow?
Once you have the points written down, deal with one area at once. Take your time to carefully scrutinize each point in detail, is that belief of yours justified, is it correct, what about your weaknesses, can you work on them and if yes, are you ready to work on them. This is going to be lengthy, take your time, in fact take as long as you want but once you are completely done with an area you should be thoroughly satisfied.
I felt that the biggest deterrent to clear thinking is the various random thoughts that cloud your judgment. Once you reach self-awareness, you know who you are and how you react, it then becomes fairly easy to think clearly and critically.
Another important step is to meditate regularly. I sit in meditation for almost an hour on regular basis to purge my mind of negative as well as irrelevant thoughts. A calm and placid mind can observe and perceive better rather than a ‘charged’ up one.
Always remember ‘Clear thinking requires courage rather than intelligence’ – Thomas Szasz
What are the problems you have faced while trying to think clearly or how different your life would have been if you would have taken certain decisions after clearly and critically thinking it out? Do let me know in the comment’s section below