virgin islands scene

The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority.
-- Ralph W. Sockman


Tuesday, September 17, 1996

Think for yourself

Rarely do we find men and women who
willingly engage in hard, solid thinking.
There’s an almost universal quest for easy answers
and half-baked solutions. Nothing pains some
people more than having to think.
               -- Martin Luther King

Thinking is hard work, which is probably why so few people ever attempt it. It is much easier to simply react, to accept someone else’s vision, to go along with “conventional wisdom", to keep making the same mistakes over and over again.

A successful life demands some thinking. That means carefully considering options, projecting your actions into the future, applying proven concepts to your own unique situation, creating strategies. This may sound like heavy stuff, yet you don’t need a fancy graduate degree to do it. All you need is some reasonable, common sense. That, and the willingness to tackle the job of thinking for yourself.

As you go through your day, notice how much, or how little, you actually think about what you’re doing. What percentage of your actions are on “autopilot"? How much do you do because that’s the way you’ve always done it?

Make it a point to stop and think every once in a while. Think about why you do the things you do, where your actions are leading you, what you could do to be more effective. The reluctance to think is a trap. It forces you to work in the service of someone else’s dream, and to settle for less than you’re capable of achieving.

The desire for easy answers enslaves too many people to lives of mediocrity. The way out of the trap is to think for yourself. Have the courage to ask the hard questions, and work to find the answers. Make a commitment every day to do the mental work that will lead to growth and achievement. Put some thought into your life, and you’ll rise high above the crowd.

— Ralph Marston

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Copyright ©1996 Ralph S. Marston, Jr. All Rights Reserved. The Daily Motivator is provided for your personal, non-commercial use only. Other than personal sharing, please do not re-distribute without permission.