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Thinking Matters

Submitted by on July 31, 2013 – 12:00 amNo Comment

Thinking DogimagesArticle #514

Author: Iyer Subramanian


James Allen – “All that a man achieves or fails to achieve is the direct result of his thoughts.”

People who do not develop and practice good thinking often find themselves at the mercy of their circumstances. They are unable to solve problems, and they find themselves facing the same obstacles over and over again. And because they don’t think ahead, they are habitually in reaction mode. Good thinkers can always overcome difficulties, including lack of resources. And poor thinkers are also frequently at the mercy of good thinkers.

If you want to become a great thinker, you first need to become a good thinker. Before becoming a good thinker, you need to become a thinker. In order to become a thinker, you need to be willing to produce / generate a bunch of mediocre and downright bad ideas. Only on practicing and developing your thinking daily will your ideas get better. Your thinking ability is determined not by your desire to think, but by your past thinking. To become a good thinker, do more thinking. Once you get better, they keep improving.

“What is important is ideas. If you have ideas, you have the main asset you need, and there isn’t any limit to what you can do with your business and your life.” – Harvey Firestone

The greater your thinking, the greater your potential. Everyone might refer to thinking as if it were a single skill. But the truth is that it’s really a collection of skills. It’s like a mental decathlon, the track-and-field contest where athletes compete in ten events: 100 meter dash, 400 meter dash, long jump, shot put, high jump, 110 meter hurdles, discus throw, pole vault, javelin throw, and 1500 meter run. THINKING IS MULTIFACETED.

There are around 11 different thinking skills that come into play when it comes to good and clear thinking. Rate your ability to answer these questions given below.

1. BIG PICTURE THINKING: the ability to think beyond yourself and your world in order to process ideas with a holistic perspective.

· Am I thinking beyond myself and my world so that I process ideas with a holistic perspective?

2. FOCUSED THINKING: the ability to think with clarity on issues by removing distractions and mental clutter from your mind.

· Am I dedicated to removing distractions and mental clutter so that I can concentrate with clarity on the real issue?

3. CREATIVE THINKING: the ability to break out of your “box” of limitations and explore ideas and options to experience a breakthrough.

· Am I working to break out of my “box” of limitations so that I explore ideas and options to experience creative breakthroughs?

4. REALISTIC THINKING: the ability to build a solid foundation on facts to think with certainty.

· Am I building a solid mental foundation on facts so that I can think with certainty?

5. STRATEGIC THINKING: the ability to implement plans that give direction for today and increase your potential for tomorrow.

· Am I implementing strategic plans that give me direction for today and increase my potential for tomorrow?

6. POSSIBILITY THINKING: the ability to unleash your enthusiasm and hope to find solutions for even seemingly impossible situations.

· Am I unleashing the enthusiasm of possibility thinking to find solutions for even seemingly impossible situations?

7. REFLECTIVE THINKING: the ability to revisit the past in order to gain a true perspective and think with understanding.

· Am I regularly revisiting the past to gain a true perspective and think with understanding?

8. QUESTION POPULAR THINKING: the ability to reject the limitations of common thinking and accomplish uncommon results.

· Am I consciously rejecting the limitations of common thinking in order to accomplish uncommon results?

9. SHARED THINKING: the ability to include the heads of others to help you “over your head” and achieve compounding results.

· Am I consistently including the heads of others to think “over my head” and achieve compounding results?

10. UNSELFISH THINKING: the ability to consider others and their journey to think with collaboration.

· Am I continually considering others and their journey in order to think with collaboration?

11. BOTTOM-LINE THINKING: the ability to focus on results and maximum return to reap the full potential of your thinking.

· Am I staying focused on results in order to gain the maximum return and reap the full potential of my thinking?

It is a grave mistake and a misnomer to believe there is only one kind of thinking. That is a very narrow view. It can cause a person to value only the kind of thinking in which he excels and to dismiss all other types of thinking.

Most people are naturally good at a few thinking skills and weak at others. Just as it is rare to find an athlete who is good enough in all ten events to compete in the decathlon, it is a rare thinker who has skill in all eleven thinking areas. So if you recognize that there are many different kinds of thinking, what should you do? Should you try to master all of them?

Let us say for example, that you are a very good creative thinker, but you are weak in bottom-line thinking, yet you want to master both kinds of thinking. How would one get started? Where would you focus your attention? You would probably work on bottom-line thinking to get it up to average, but that would require a tremendous amount of time, energy, and resources. And what would it take to advance to merely good? It would take even more effort. The higher you try a climb, the more energy it takes to make less progress. No matter how hard you try, you might not ever make bottom-line thinking strength.

What if you gave that time to improving your creative thinking instead? Since you are already good, a moderate amount of time and energy could make you excellent. If you really gave it your all, perhaps you could become a world-class creative thinker. That would enable you to generate ideas and make contributions few others could. That would make you much more valuable and give you a real advantage in your life and career.

So what do you do about your weaknesses? Gather people around you who are strong in those related areas. Not having to rely entirely on yourself when it comes to thinking can be a real advantage to you.

Thus, make a deliberate attempt to improve your thinking on a day to day basis. You can tremendously improve your thinking if you do the same on a daily basis.

· Focus on Positive. “Whatever is true, what is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.” – From the Bible. Focus on positive, and your thinking will move in a positive direction.

· Gather Good Input. Collect ideas, be a collector of ideas (good, bad, mediocre). If you are regularly and constantly exposed to ideas, your thinking over a period of time improves considerably.

· Spend Time with Good Thinkers. Be in the company of top executives in any profession, which will benefit you in your careers. You will also get the benefit of being mentored. If you spend time with good thinkers, you will find that the exposure with them sharpens your thinking.

People take thinking for granted. They see it as a natural function of life. But the truth is that intentional thinking isn’t commonplace. What you do every day in the area of thinking really matters because it sets the stage for all your actions, and it will bring you either adversity or advantage.


The author of this article is Iyer Subramanian, attached to Bombay Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Ballard Pier, Mumbai. He can be contacted on his cell no. 9892523163. E Mail:

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About the Author

My name is Iyer Subramanian. My qualifications are as under: Bachelor of Arts, Diploma in Personnel Management and Industrial Relations, Diploma in Labor Laws & Labor Welfare, Diploma in HRM, Diploma in Training & Development.

I have around 25 years of experience in HR and write for Express Hospitality, Hospitalitybiz, Business Manager regularly on HR.

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