Almost everyone thinks they are a good thinker, but in reality, few people really are. A truly great thinker is constantly growing and evolving, so take a look around you: how many people do you see moving forward in life? And on the contrary, how many people do you see running in circles?
1. Clarity is key
Good thinking begins with clarity. A clear thought is unambiguous, captures the essence of a thing, and is formulated logically. A clear thought can be communicated through a simple if-then statement. For example, “if you turn on the tap, then you can get water.”
A clear thought leads to clear and intentional action. The statement “if you turn on the tap, then you can get water” leads to clear action when you’re thirsty.
2. Clear feedback
Clear and intentional action leads to clear feedback. When you go to test the tap for water, you will immediately find out whether your original thought was true or not. Either water will come out or it won’t. And because clear feedback proves or disproves your thought, it helps improve your understanding of the world.
3. Improving your worldview
Finding out you are incorrect helps you move closer towards correctness. And the more correct your worldview is, the better you’ll be at solving problems.
IV. The example of Marcus Aurelius
Marcus Aurelius earned the titles of “the last of the Five Good Emperors of Rome” and “philosopher-king” by becoming a great leader. He became a great leader by becoming a great thinker. And he became a great thinker by learning to think clearly. He learned to think clearly by writing a private philosophy for himself which we now refer to as his Meditations.
4. Organizing your thoughts
In his Meditations, Aurelius organizes his thoughts in a logical way, reflecting on the relationship between his actions and their effects. And if you want to think clearly and improve your ability to solve your own problems, it would be wise of you to do the same. Organize your thoughts, reduce their ambiguity, and make them clear by turning them into simple if-then statements.
5. The benefit of clear thinking
Clear logic leads to clear thoughts. Clear thoughts lead to clear and intentional action. Clear and intentional action leads to clear feedback. Clear feedback leads to an improved understanding of the world. And a clearer understanding of the world leads to a better ability to solve problems.
So in conclusion, good thinking begins with clear thinking, and clear thinking begins by turning your thoughts into unambiguous, logical statements. As you improve your thinking skills, you will be better equipped to solve problems and achieve success in all areas of your life.