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Active Vs Passive Mind

Active vs Passive Mind

Active vs Passive Mind

Passive minds wait idly for facts to imprint knowledge onto their brains.

Active minds don't wait. Instead, they constantly seek out knowledge by actively asking intelligent questions in order to discover facts.

But it is important to know that becoming an educated individual, requires more than simply accumulating an ever-increasing number of facts.

To become educated requires the development of a mind, which seeks not only facts, but also their causes.

In ancient Greece, the great philosophers taught that the ability to understand the causes of facts was more important than learning the facts themselves, because the facts change daily, but the underlying causes of facts remain the same.

Classical Greek philosophers taught that the ability to identify causes, was the greatest intellectual endowment; so, its development was seen as the primary purpose of formal education. Aristotle wrote that the best life was one that was devoted to "truth seeking", because the "Truth Seeking Citizen" is always pleasant, successful and interesting.

In order to develop an active mind, it is necessary to learn its three basic rules.

1. The law of Universal Causation.

"Every event is caused by the conditions that preceded it".

That is, there are NO causeless events. Things don't "just happen".

So, if you want to know why something happened, then you must look at the past and examine the conditions that led up to the event.

This is why scientists seek to isolate events, (preferably under conditions that they can control) in order to investigate the specific set of conditions under which the event always occurs, and in the absence of which, it never occurs.

2. The law of cause and effect

"Under the same set of specific causal conditions, the same effect will always occur".

This law implies two other rules:

  • "If you want a particular effect to happen, then you must initiate its specific causes". Merely wanting, hoping or praying that something will occur is not enough to make it happen - you must actively discover its causes and put them in place. If you don't initiate the causes, then you won't get the effect you wish for.
  • "If you initiate a particular set of causes, then the effects of those causes must inevitably be produced". Which is why nobody can indefinitely escape the painful consequences of their bad habits or wrong actions; bad actions produce bad consequences.

3. Uniformities of coexistence.

Just because two things always occur together, does NOT necessarily mean that they are causally connected, because they may both be the consequence of a SHARED cause. For example, poverty and crime often are seen together, but that does NOT mean:

  • Poor people are more likely to be criminals.
  • Wealthy people are less likely to be criminals.
  • If you give criminals money, they will stop committing crimes.

From the above notes, we can see that the possession of an active mind is NOT a thing of chance, but is the result of a careful study of the rules of effective thinking.

Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

If you would like to know more about how to solve problems and achieve goals, please attend our Critical Thinking and Problem Solving Course. Critical thinking empowers business leaders and managers to identify inconsistencies in their plans and replace errors with coherent, logical thought and action.

About the Author: Chris Farmer

Chris

Chris Farmer is the founder of the Corporate Coach Group and has many years’ experience in training leaders and managers, in both the public and private sectors, to achieve their organisational goals, especially during tough economic times. He is also well aware of the disciplines and problems associated with running a business.

Over the years, Chris has designed and delivered thousands of training programmes and has coached and motivated many management teams, groups and individuals. His training programmes are both structured and clear, designed to help delegates organise their thinking and, wherever necessary, to improve their techniques and skills.

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Further Reading in Personal Effectiveness

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  • Problem Solving Skills
    Learning how to analyse problems and working out effective solutions is important to our survival. Teaching problem solving skills to employees will improve workplace efficiency and co-operation between co-workers and customers.
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