“Popular” Thinking? Think on these things… by Michael York

Michael YorkTake some time to think. Really think about something, anything “Readers are plentiful; thinkers are rare.” – Harriet Martineau A term I heard recently is “popular thinking.” Referring to the common or predominant thinking of our society today. As a good student, I must urge you to be on guard for popular thinking, which can sometimes lead to not thinking at all. In 1955 Earl Nightingale produced a recording called The Strangest Secret. It is, without a doubt, one of the most powerful messages ever recorded. Widely regarded as the beginning of the personal development (i.e. motivational) business boom as we know it today, it is a classic and a thought-provoking presentation you absolutely must hear someday (how about getting it today).  NULL In that recording, Mr. Nightingale shared a story of a young reporter asking the great doctor, Albert Schweitzer, “What is the problem with men today?” His answer was profound. The good doctor pondered the question for a moment and then replied, “The problem with men today is that men simply DON’T THINK!” Wow.

The POPULAR problem with the majority of individuals then… and now, is that they will allow others to think for them, or just to tell them what they should think.

General Patton once quipped, “If everyone’s thinking alike… then someone’s not thinking?” Know anyone like that? Just taking a pass on thinking, letting someone else handle that one for them. Popular thinking. Conventional thinking. Tolerant thinking. Politically-correct thinking. What separates man from the rest of the species on the earth is his ability to think. To decide. To choose as a “free moral agent.”

What are you thinking about? It’s a big clue to what you may (or may not) be on your way to BECOMING.

What have you decided? What do you stand for? And more important, what will you not stand for? Commit to thinking. In one ancient script, the writer described it as a renewing process for your mind. Without which, you’d be just like everyone else. Common and conforming.

Be transformed, be renewed, by what goes into your mind and how you use it.

As a man thinketh in his heart… so is he. How true. Ever think about how much evidence and how many clues are out there on “thinking?” I will always remember the night of the first ESPY awards broadcast on ESPN largely because of the courageous parting performance of Coach Jim Valvano. Weakened from his battle against cancer, Jimmy V’ climbed onto the platform and delivered one of the most inspirational messages I’ve ever witnessed. “Three things… ” Jimmy began, gripping the podium to stand. “Three things we should all do every day. Laugh, be moved to tears, and think… deeply. Every day, don’t miss a day.” Wow. Powerful advice for squeezing every drop out of life.

Laugh. Be moved to tears (embrace your emotions). And THINK… DEEPLY!

Take some time to think. Really think about something, anything. Because when you only have a limited time left on this earth (isn’t that all of us), these are the things that really matter. Give it some thought. Ever hear someone talk about “the common thought process?” The popular or “common” thinking of the day is that it seems always the fault or result of some event or trend or outside condition (i.e. the day of the week, the economy, your luck, current events, past events, etc.) as to why an individual or an organization isn’t doing better. When the reality is that any kind of success (or lack of it), is an inside job and does not rest in the hands of outside forces… unless of course, you allow it to be so. One of the popular discussion topics of our day is the economy. It has become this giant “thing” and taken on almost a life of its own. Talk of it creates fear and anxiety or cause for some form of celebration. Political and business leaders rise and fall on the popular opinion of it as polls and surveys or news channels tell each of us what we should think or feel. History confirms that in every decade and every economy over the past century there have been incredible feats of radical success in the marketplace! Incredible accomplishments by individuals, dramatic and inspirational stories of success. All have required commitment to something that is within the grasp of any individual.

Thoughts and action and commitment. Radical Growth is happening everyday… somewhere.

The Economy, while important, is only one element in the success equation of any single organization or individual. But radical success and achievement does not typically come from traditional, “the-way-we’ve-always-done-it” kind of thinking. It requires fresh, outside-the-box, uncommon thinking. Imagination, ideas, questions, and the right attitude. What does your attitude say about you? It will soon tell anyone around you what you’ve committed to and how you think… or don’t. While much of our society may have fallen victim to the conventional wisdom (and I use that word only in making a point, for there is little true wisdom involved in conventional wisdom… ) that says let someone else do the thinking for you or tell you what you should think and then all you as an individual will have to do is complain. That’s common right? When you think about it, there seems to be a big difference between wisdom and knowledge, huh? What if you should make a list of all the reasons why you’re not doing better in life or business? Then use your list to make your case? Surely that would help your situation right? Sadly, many people are making and using that list right now. Big question… Are “you” on your list of why you’re not doing better?

Make a commitment to thinking. It’ll pay off in a big way.

THINKING leads to making up your mind, committing to something or someone. How powerful is that? “Anybody can do just about anything with himself that he really wants to and makes up his mind to do. We are capable of greater things than we realize.” Norman Vincent Peale A dash of wisdom from the author of “The Power of Positive Thinking.” And no further explanation is needed.

What if Napoleon Hill was right? Think… and grow rich. Hmmm…

 

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