Think Differently – Live Definitively

Think Differently

“If the quality of your life is not what you wish it to be, it is probably because it is tied to the way you think about your life.”

Paul & Elder – Critical Thinking 


Let’s take a close look into the ramifications of your ability to think differently. Success in any endeavor seems to come to those who are steadfast in trying to figure out new alternatives, new strategies for themselves. Akin to the strengths and strategies of a creative individual, (a vital part of the 21st century workforce) are the strengths and strategies of an independent thinker, one who is not dependent on others nor controlled by opinions or infantile emotions.

The key to “thinking” differently is to “perceive” things differently. Consider these following thoughts as a springboard for trying to shift your perspective on how to make a change in your job-structure:

  • In our culture, your financial status seems to represent the fantasy, the ultimate prerequisite of living the lifestyle you want. So…how could you still achieve that desired lifestyle without making hundreds of thousands of dollars?
  • You feel insecure as far as attaining your goals. What I’ve learned from experience is that when you finally understand that “damn near everyone” is insecure to a point, is it then worth it to underestimate yourself?
  • For many in the workforce the day is comprised of trying to do as little as possible. What might be the rewards by actually trying to accomplish more on the job by asking how could it done better, or what steps might make your contribution more valuable, even if you don’t like the job?
  • Instead of employing some sort of rationality to avoid mistakes and failures, a very human trait, how would life begin to move if you brought in a controlled irrationality to your actions? (Think Einstein)
  • One person works seventy hours a week, the other works fifteen. They both maintain a home and securely handle the basics in terms of day to day existence, but their bank accounts definitely differ – which would “you” consider to be richer?
  • A controversial quote by Oscar Wilde is as follows: “Everything that is popular is wrong.” As far as thinking differently, consider this: Is the center of what you do and how you socially interact based on trying to please everyone all the time? Think about the potential core of Wilde’s assertion.
  • You’re incredibly busy. Everyone is impressed with how hard you work, so you’re good – or – is it about learning the skill of becoming incredibly productive rather than just being incredibly busy?
  • How much could changing your immediate environment impact your overall productiveness, and would that be worth going after no matter what challenges might ensue?
  • If you only had a few hours a day to work, what would you work on to maintain a living and keep a roof over your head?
  • It’s been said that many times our common sense can actually oversimplify our perception of everything around us. What would you begin to see, how would your thinking be affected by challenging those instances that seem to initiate a common sense response?
  • How would your decision making process change if you went against the grain and believed that alternatives exist even when you’re convinced they don’t?
  • How would it affect what you do if you began to realize and believe that a blank slate is not necessarily a representation of nothing happening, but an “indicator” that something is just around the corner just waiting to happen for you?
  • We all have our self-made comfort zones. Is it possible that the discomfort, the uncertainty, the physical and mental challenges of stepping outside of our comfort zone might be the best way to first; get you to better understand who you really are, and second; compel you to expand that persona of who you are and what you have to offer?

Contemplate some kind of response to each of these scenarios. All of these extrapolations provide the opportunity for you to consider an alternative perspective as well as employing dialogical thinking – thinking in multiple perspectives.

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"I was continually intrigued while reading this book."
–Janice Freeman