Think about Thinking - Black & White to Rainbow

“What do you think about thinking?”

This may come across as an odd question that may evoke shock or confusion, because seldom do we think about thinking itself. Although we make various judgements about thinking. We would qualify thinking as positive or negative and make liking or dislikes based on these judgements. Not realizing that by addressing thinking as positive or negative, we fall into most prevalent and very subtle stereotyping of one of the most incredible ability and skill given to humankind i.e. thinking.

We may not realize that this binary categorization of thoughts make us polarized, dismissive, less collaborative and more combative. Needless to mention, that it doesn’t help our intelligence either because this way of thinking is limiting and restrictive.

 “The Thinking that guides your Intelligence is much more important than how much intelligence you may have.” – David J. Schwartz

 Just like David J. Schwartz mentioned in his statement, we need to think in ways that guides and leads our intelligence beyond the restrictive patterns we tend to put it into. Thinking is diverse or if I may say thinking is like a rainbow, collaboration of various colors, various patterns. And each pattern described below has a functional and purpose explanation to it.

The Rainbow Thinking or 7 ways of thinking

Critical Thinking – what we more or less term as the negative thinking in our experience is critical thinking and is essential for our survival and growth. While it is also most common thinking pattern, it is equally essential and important in our lives. It brings caution and helps us prepare well for our decisions.

The ultimate objective of Critical thinking is to alert us from probable pitfalls so we are better prepared for future.

Intuitive Thinking – we identify it by the term “gut feeling”. This is the part of thinking that gives space to our voice of subconscious. This voice is heard or felt in the form of emotions, feelings and intuitions about any idea, choice or decision.

 Intuitive thinking helps bring more conviction to our decisions providing the necessary thrust required for the action.

Positive Thinking – Looking at the bright side, workable area and the possibilities of every situation, idea, choice or plan. What value something is adding? What positives it brings? It is absolutely essential for motivation and keeping the spirits high.

Positive thinking helps us make sense of the situation, solutions and the world around us and gives us a reason to even begin.

Creative Thinking – what new can be done? What else is possible? That what is sometimes termed as out of the box thinking is in fact the creative thinking? When you exercise and expand your mental muscle to create something new, an idea or plan; or simply find a new perspective or connect that helps. Working with Alternatives, possibilities and choices is important to enhance creative thinking.

Objective of Creative thinking is to help us keep open and away from limiting thoughts, beliefs, ideas or actions.

 Logical Thinking – when we think in terms of “What is?”, we exercise the logical thinking or what is commonly termed as left brain thinking pattern. Dealing with facts, information, truth that can be proved or supported with further evidence is essential to logical or objective thinking.  

Logical thinking brings truth and practicality to our thinking and decisions. It keeps us grounded and realistic.

Strategic Thinking – the thoughts that convey our ability to visualize how the plans will move; how the work is structured or designed so we get the best out of what we have. It enables us to utilize what kind of thinking pattern is required at what time and how much emphasis is required at a specific pattern in any given situation. This is the ability to visualize consequences and results.

Strategic thinking helps us be efficient and effective in our actions and decision making.

Holistic Thinking – nothing else is more relevant in current times than thinking holistic. How does one action or idea impact the whole? Is an action, plan or action is rooted in some value or deep sense of well being of all? Could there be a better way to do this so the ecosystem is not impacted negatively? These are some kinds of questions or thoughts that signify holistic thinking. It brings a consciousness to the entire stream of thinking that our thoughts or actions are not fragmented but interwoven and interconnected with a larger system. And therefore, it is imperative for us to consider the larger concerns of the biological, cultural, physical, social and ethical ecosystems and make this an active pattern of thinking. It is proven fact that human work most efficient and reach their highest potential when they have a sense of connection to a purpose larger than themselves.

Holistic thinking thus brings a deep sense of purpose that enables and ensures a right decision and continuous action.

Our mental faculties are capable of thinking in as many ways or patterns. So, do not limit the mind to the black and white when you have entire rainbow to look at. Some may relate to one color more than the rest. However, we always find ways to enhance our capabilities once we know what is it that we can achieve.

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