Your employer asks your team, “Do you people have any good suggestions regarding the weekly meeting day and venue?”
One employee abruptly says, “Saturdays are a great option; we’ll have it here in the conference room only.”
Many people nod.
Another employee says, “No, I guess Monday is much better, we all gather up in the team lead’s cabin and quickly line up tasks for the coming week.”
Some heads nod again.
And then one employee sitting very quiet, softly says, “Let’s make it Sunday!”
Everyone in room stares at him.
He continues, “I mean, we can all have a video conference any time on Sunday. That way, we all can enjoy an informal , virtual discussion, deciding the weeks performance and lining up tasks for the coming week. Who wants to make efforts to attend conventional meetings when Miss Technology will let us boast of its usefulness?”
At that, everybody in the room smiles.
Now, what was that? A unique idea shot to conventional mind setups. Although it earned some weird glances at first, everyone approved it in the end. Things could have been the other way around, too. The team lead could have easily shot down the suggestion.
What really occurred here was something called “independent thinking.” No other example could have better explained this phenomenon. When people ask what independent thinking is, I simply suggest they break the word into two parts. Being “independent” means freedom from all restraints, and “thinking” means staying in all confinements of rationality. Critical thinking is also interlinked to independent thinking. In plain words, independent thinking means “To think outside the box.”
When individuals end up giving the most unique solutions to most critical problems, they have indeed passed through a tunnel of independent thinking. These thinkers will then go to all lengths to convey the rest that their idea is executable. Here plunges another characteristic needed – confidence.
For example, many people very nicely utilize their desire to explore new territories of thinking patterns, however, very few would end up voicing their findings to the rest. Many designers participate in different graphic designing competitions but the one with most utter creativity, awesome concepts, distinctive ideas, and original artistic design is the winner.
They lack the courage to compel others to agree to their points of difference. Now, how can one stand out among others? Let them see the word through his/her own independent thinking eyewear. It is a simple process – let us see the steps:
Step 1: Free Yourself From Given Frameworks
It is essential that one first frees him/herself from all the clutches of given frameworks. Limitations play no role when it comes to independent thinking. Take, for instance, a team project where members are required to project innovative ideas for promotion of a new brand. If they are given budget limits, great ideas might be unconsciously discouraged.
Step 2: Think Freely
Once you acquire the ability to think freely, you will end up in some unique meanders of your mind. You are most likely to explore your intelligence in a different way. You will master the skill of peaking in some very infertile areas of your thoughts. This process will help you develop a complete novel perspective of viewing things. You might also identify some hidden talent in yourself.
Step 3: Observe And Absorb
This is a game – one that will help widen your horizons when it comes to formulating opinions. Most of us are so engrossed in our daily activities that we never notice how at times things around us change. People and their attitudes change, ways of doing things change, standards of performance change, and working conditions change. These minor differences fly over our heads because we’re too busy being robots. For independent thinking, it is essential to give minds an observation injection, and then adapting (absorbing) will help you modify the thinking process.
Step 4: Engage In Problem Solving Activities
Finally, it is vital that individuals polish their brains by engaging in problem solving activities, deviating from the given rigid instructions. A very good quote relating to what I just said goes this way:
“It is better to read one intellectually challenging book every 12 months … than to read 12 entertaining books every month.” ― Mokokoma Mokhonoana
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