Is there any kind of thinking that can make one an achiever? Do successful people think differently than others? Yes and yes. So, how can you think appropriately for becoming an achiever or a successful person? This is the question that we want to tackle today. We want to equip you with the thinking framework that you can use to optimise your thought processes so that you too can become successful by thinking rightly. Of course, the assumption is that you are already good at executing great ideas. There are many things that you need to consider to get the right thinking. For today, we will keep to five of the major elements of the good thinking framework.
—The Place: Make sure that you identify the place that is ideal and optimal for your thinking. This varies from person to person. I know a priest that used to hold two- hour thinking sessions for himself in his office every Saturday morning in the 1990s. For him, the best place for thinking was his office. I know that several people have mentioned the shower, driving in the car or while walking in the park, and so on as their best thinking places. Find your perfect thinking place and regularly go to that place to think – at least every week. Make time to think – just to think deep and long.
—The Approach: For you to draw the most from your thinking, you need the right approach. You need positive energy. Do not go into thinking with a negative or defeated attitude. You need to think positively most of the times. When negative thoughts come in, attend to them quickly and then guide yourself to positive thoughts rapidly. Spend little time regretting, wishing you had done certain things differently, but spend more time drawing the lessons that you can learn from past experiences and a lot more time on building a positive picture of your future. Visualise your dreams in the mind as you think positively.
—The Self-critique: The brain has one interesting aspect – it can think about many different things if left uncontrolled. You need to guide your brain as it thinks. One of the good ways of controlling what and how your brain thinks is by critiquing yourself. Do not stop thinking while your thoughts are still raw and shallow. You need to deepen your thoughts. Expand your ideas in the mind – searching for answers to many questions that you ask yourself about and around what you are thinking. Develop your thoughts in many directions and refine your thoughts iteratively.
—The External Critique: While conducting self-critique of your thoughts is good, it is not good enough. You also need to get friends to scrutinise your thoughts. You need good friends that you can rely on with help on this front. You need friends that can give you balanced views that help you to think of all potential risks and issues around your thoughts. But these friends must also be the kind that will keep building on your ideas to help you progress – not those that pull others away from positive drive.
—Hard Work: The biggest mistake that many of us make about thinking is to think that thinking is easy and not demanding. In fact, good, productive and value-adding thinking ought to be hard work. You need to feel the pain and you need to get tired after the hard thinking. Remember when you wrote a tough exam lasting say two hours. Did you not get hungry and tired. Of course, you did – and why? Because in the examination, you are forced to think hard and long. When you want to think like achievers too, you need to think very hard and long until you get tired.
One additional point is that get your thoughts written down. When you write down key points from your thinking, you improve the performance of your thinking. By writing down your thoughts, you are committing them to your brain and to yourself.
Practise the above framework for effective thinking and if you do this all the time, you will surely rise and shine! Good luck!