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Be a Straight Thinker

Be a Straight Thinker

Be a Straight Thinker

In order to think straight, remember the following:

  1. Regardless of opinion, facts are facts.
  2. Verify your sources.
  3. Be wary of the majority opinion.
  4. Coherence; non contradiction.

1. Regardless of opinion, facts are facts.

The first rule of clear thinking is to base all of your thinking upon facts.

Reality is an objective absolute. It exists, irrespective of your knowledge, opinion, beliefs, likes or dislikes.

  • If you are ignorant of the facts, then you are in a weakened state.
  • If your opinions do not correspond to the facts, then you are in a weakened state.

It is important to remember that your personal likes, dislikes and preferences have no affect on the workings of the world beyond your brain.

The first step to thinking straight is to become an avid seeker of the objective facts.

2. Verify your sources.

Your primary source of learning facts is through your direct sensory experience - what you personally see, hear, touch, taste, and smell.

Your secondary source of learning facts is through other people - in conversation, reading, media and the internet.

The main thing to bear in mind when gaining "knowledge" from others, is that the vast majority of the other people on the planet are no smarter than you.

Even experts may not be the source of valid knowledge, since there are many bad ideas in the world, and there are many people who have vested interests in pushing a particular point of view.

This means that you must develop the mindset of a critical thinker.

You should be sceptical of all claims that contradict your own experience, or your common-sense logic.

Obviously, since there is only one reality, there can be only one correct description of reality. All other descriptions are either incomplete or wrong.

Much of what you read on any subject you should regard as potentially incomplete or wrong.

It is up to you to check the validity of the claims you accept as true.

Swallowing a false idea into your mind is akin to a swallowing a poison into your body.

Just as you would teach a child NOT to accept sweets offered by a stranger, so you should not believe treats offered to you by a politician.

Keep your intellectual guard up.

3. Majority opinion.

Just as you should be wary of individuals suggesting false ideas and information, so you should be equally wary of accepting the majority opinion as a guide to the truth.

Many people feel a strong desire to conform to the majority view.

We tend to feel a keen sense of self-doubt whenever we discover that our view is in the minority.

There is a tendency to believe "If I am the only one who thinks it, I must be wrong".

We tend to modify our beliefs to fit in with the majority opinion because we don't want to NOT fit in. This process is called, "social conditioning".

You should fight the tendency to shift your beliefs simply to comply with the majority. Instead you should develop intellectual independence.

The number of people who believe something, has nothing to do with whether that belief is true or false.

It is important that you check the facts and the logical inferences, that have been made.

There are many people who do NOT use facts nor logic, to determine their beliefs.

You should be one of the small number of people, who base their beliefs on facts and their logical implications.

4. Non contradictory, coherent.

There can be no contradictions in reality, because facts are facts.

But there can be contradictions, in your description of reality.

If you find yourself believing two mutually contradictory statements, then you KNOW that either one, or both of your statements, must be wrong.

Self-contradiction is the sign of poor thinking. If you say one thing in the morning and then say the opposite thing in the afternoon, then something is wrong with your thinking.

If you say one thing, and you do the opposite, then something is wrong with your thinking.

"To arrive at a contradiction is to confess an error in one's thinking; to maintain a contradiction is to abdicate one's mind and to evict oneself from the realm of reality". Ayn Rand

To increase your chances of prosperity, learn to think straight.

  • Be clear.
  • Be rational.
  • Be positive.

About the Author: Chris Farmer


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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