Thinking: How do we know what we know?

Thinking is one of those hard-to-pinpoint aspects of life we typically don’t analyze much—like breathing or walking or sleeping. We constantly think, and becoming more attuned to how we think and what we do when we encounter new ideas is an excellent habit to pursue.

If you’re going to do anything as much as you think, you might just as well learn about it and hone that skill.

You may have read quotes or inspirational slogans that claim you are what you think. What does that mean? Can you think yourself into a good mood? Can you think you have a million dollars in your pocket? Does that mean you are the next music sensation if you often sing at parties? Not necessarily, but consider Jose, for instance. He isn’t a rock and roll star, but Jose spends a lot of his leisure time thinking about music, analyzing performances, memorizing his favorite musicians’ characteristics, buying fan clothing, and even designing a creative means to explain his excitement for music to his friends through a homemade video. Jose certainly could allow his fascination to seep into other aspects of his life. Do you have a hobby or interest you spend a lot of time thinking about?

Many people go to great lengths to attend a concert by a favorite music star. They think creatively about how to save enough money for tickets; they think analytically about scheduling their other obligations to have time off work to attend or how to make up work in their college classes. This much planning involves a great deal of thinking, and not all about music. In the example about Jose, thinking directs the actions of the person doing the thinking. So, in fact, what we think does influence who we are and how we act. We have many resources available to be more effective thinkers, and learning about these resources gives us options.


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