Thinking for Yourself
“What do you think about it?”
Taken seriously this is one of the most unsettling questions in western culture. Answers are taken from social cues, what we think people in the room want us to say, and not what we really think.
Thinking and acting for yourself is a rebellious act in many circles since it puts you at odds with the group. In our ancient brains this is death, so conformity rules. Stay safe, stay in your lane, and group think > what I think.
The irony is without individual thought and expression, society struggles move forward or innovate. Relationships constrained by “do what I say” wither and fade away. Thinking for yourself is a scary thing in the moment but it’s one of the only reliable ways to growth and fulfillment.
One of the ways this shows up in our work together is creating personal productivity systems. In the early stages it’s helpful to follow proven methods others use. These systems provide structure to get started quickly and build momentum. It’s incredibly helpful at first but can stagnate in the long run.
Why? Because you’re relying on “expert” thinking while diminishing your own ability to become the expert of you. At every challenge or opportunity you’re defaulting to “what would the expert do” instead of trusting the system and how it applies to your life.
We’ll be exploring this more in future emails but I want to give you something to “think” about 😉 A good first step is to journal about what you really think about any subject. We start by being honest with ourselves and grow from there.
Time to Think by Nancy Kline
On Reading Well by Karen Swallow Prior