Rikki Speaks – Upgrades for All! What About You?

In today’s world, it has become imperative to upgrade. Society has placed a high regard on updating your phones, your television, your computers and even your home. In a time where advancing everything that is held dear, riddle yourself this: have you remembered to upgrade yourself? Grab the tools because, for everyone, it is far overdue.

Taking the time to “upgrade yourself” is the far least monetarily taxing thing you can do. It can also become the most arduous of tasks. Is it simpler to deliver a computer to the shop than it is to look within and find what needs to be fixed? Is it easier to pay the repairman, for adding memory, when you need to work on your own? Do you allow yourself the same consideration you do your own inanimate objects? If you answered “no”, then ask yourself why.

Make it a goal to acknowledge your own faults, at least weekly. Name a day of the week that will be used to take ten minutes out of your busy schedule and stick to it. Forget the computer for a moment, and actually put a pen to paper and write a life changing goal to work on for the week. Don’t cheat yourself, as it would be like telling the repairman “it only crashes once in a while”, when it is a constant issue. Challenge yourself with provoking the truth. The following week, do the same, and compile it to the previous week’s goal. Don’t just write about it. Put a full aim into becoming the person it is your duty to be.

Continue in this way until you have a full upgrade of your sense of self and the newly acquired skills become your nature. When you have run out of ideas, enlist the help of someone who knows you best. Accept the constructive criticism graciously, after all, you wish to fix what’s wrong right?

Don’t become discouraged when you find a lot more than you expected. Everyone has faults inside themselves. The question is, do you have the strength to do a full upgrade where it really counts?

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5 Ways to Develop Independent Thought

A classroom full of 10-year-old students is asked to solve a problem with children crossing the street on the way to school. The children come up with ideas that have been used successfully in other places: traffic calming devices, overpasses, fluorescent jackets and speed limits. All these ideas are conventional, exactly what the teacher wants to hear.

Except for one. A student recommends that the school board sell the property and move the classroom online. This is not what the teacher was expecting.

This idea may not be practical, popular, or even possible, but when it’s ridiculed by the class it might be the last independent thought that the student dares to express — the death of another independent thinker.

Independent thought is not popular — it is absolutely rare. Nothing you read about in the papers or see on the television is independent. Whatever we take in from the popular media is regurgitated conventional knowledge. There is nothing independent about most of the world.

This is a tragedy — independent thought is essential for progress. Conventional thinking moves us forward gradually at best (at worst it pushes us backwards). Independent thinking is required to achieve any substantial jump in performance.

Logically, when we think like everyone else is thinking, the best we can expect is to achieve what they’re already achieving. If our aim is to over-achieve, we need to avoid the same banal influences and think impossibly. We need to become independent from conventional wisdom.

Fortunately, you don’t have to be particularly intelligent or well educated to think independently. Consider small children. Conventional wisdom says that shoes are for wearing and bananas are for eating. Independent thinking allows children try eating the shoes and wearing the bananas on their feet. Their lack of conventional wisdom and utter disregard for how others view their decisions allows children to experiment without anxiety. In this case they may be wrong, but in other cases they can be shockingly right.

Using these 5 strategies you can develop your independent thinking ability.

1. Disconnect from sources of conventional thinking

Instead of plugging into your TV, PC, or library for answers, think for yourself first. Without cutting yourself off from the world, you can increase your capacity for independent thought by limiting the conventional opinion you absorb. This means reducing the media you consume and the level of devotion you give to it. Independent thinkers aren’t necessarily contrarian, but they don’t agree with the status quo by default. They devise new criteria for perceiving the world rather than seeing everything through the screen of their computer.

2. Immerse yourself in experiences that conflict with your current perspective

Instead of substituting a new conventional thought for the old one, deliberately seek out experiences that challenge your views. These experiences may exist in foreign cultures, unusual subcultures, or between the pages of a book you disagree with. The point is not to adopt a new train of thought, but to disrupt the conventional railroad.

3. Watch the process from a distance

Leaving your normal life behind can give you the freedom to see issues from another perspective. Watching the world instead of eating it up gives you the peace of mind to think for yourself. Standing still from time to time gives you the opportunity to ridicule your own beliefs and explore new angles.

4. Randomize your sensory inputs

Instead of visiting the same places, eating the same foods, and talking to the same people, you can actively pursue new experiences. Many people cling to the familiar to simplify decisions and create a sense of security. If you truly want to think independently, you need to get outside your comfort zone.

5. Practice disbelief

Without becoming a cynic, you can develop the habit of instinctively distrusting thoughts that rely on conventional wisdom. Instead of assuming that these “truths” are self evident, suspend judgement until you’ve have confirmed that there is reality behind the logic.

If all of this sounds too difficult, consider what can be gained from independent thought. Even microscopic steps towards thinking independently will increase your contribution to the world. You will see opportunities and solutions that others overlook. You will obtain a competitive advantage over less creative thinkers. Most importantly, your thoughts will be your own and not just recycled media.

Think independently and you create a world of limitless opportunity. But don’t take my word for it…find out for yourself.

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