This might be the most important thing one can understand. Just simply knowing the difference between what to think and how to think is life changing.
Growing up, mostly everyone was taught what to think. No one was really taught how to think and if you were taught how to think then you have a huge advantage over everyone else. I was never taught how to think until I read my first self help book. The self help book was The Secret by Rhonda Bryne and taught me a new way of thinking. The only things I have read before this was books that taught me what to think like religion books, history books, and newspapers. These books teach you what to think, “this is right and this is wrong, this is good and this is bad.” These books are all good but it is NOT going to be boost your intelligence. The only thing it’s going to do is add more things to your long term memory. It’s not going to help you think and become smarter.
What To Think Is Only Knowledge.
How To Think Is Actually Thinking.
Here’s An Example On What To Think VS How To Think From Neil DeGrasse Tyson:
Two candidates go to a job interview. The first candidate is asked “What is the height of the building we are in?” The first candidate took architecture class at University, so he already knew the heights of the skyscraper in their city. He answered, “150 feet is the height of this building, well 155 feet to be exact.” Then the second candidate comes into the same interview and is asked the exact same question. “What is the height of the building we are in?” This candidate didn’t take architectural class at University, so he didn’t know the answer. But he knew how to think. So he went outside of the building, measured the height of the building’s shadow and then measured the height of himself, and come up with the answer of 150 feet.
Both answers were right, one candidate knew the answer from school, and the other candidate had to come up with the answer himself. One was taught what to think, and the other was taught how to think.
Which candidate are you going to hire for that job?
I don’t know about you, but I’m going to hire the person who knows how to think. No one really knows how to think, all they know is what to think.
School & Your Childhood
Another example of this is your parents, teachers and school. Your parents told you that going to college and getting a job is good. Your teachers told you that getting into a good high school or college was important. Both of these are good to the eye of the beholder but how do you know either of these things are good? As kids we take whatever our parents, teachers, and guardians say as gospel. You can’t blame them, they are just trying to help you.
How do you know anything of these things your parents or teachers say to you is good? It may be good to them and it helped them in life but is it good to you? Have you even processed anything that people tell you and let it go through your own questioning and awareness?
In this day and age, kids have been told what to do all their entire lives even when they are adults. They are constantly being told what is good and bad for them, from their parents, friends, to even the internet. People don’t know how to think for themselves anymore.
Nowadays, our brains are not capable of coming up with original thought. Everything is recycled from the people we are around, the internet, and social media.
Ratings And Reviews Example
A great example to illustrate this point is ratings and reviews on TV shows, movies, products, and video games. Often times(me being a victim myself) we read reviews and ratings before buy or watch anything. What determines if we will buy something is the opinions from people about a certain product. That’s why five star reviews and ratings are important for companies because people won’t buy something unless someone else tried it before them and had an opinion about it. We don’t trust our own judgement because we don’t know how to think, all we know is what to think, hence opinions and facts from others.
I have got caught up in this myself. When this new video game came out called Fallout 76, I heard many reviews about how bad the game was. I never played it before, and I didn’t even plan on buying it or playing it. Then one day I was talking to my buddy Dom about Fallout 76 and I told him that the game was trashed and he asked me if I played it and I said no. He then said to me: “How can you even say that something is bad when you didn’t even play it and experience it?” This talk with Dom stuck with me because I wasn’t thinking and experiencing things for myself. I was just going off of other people’s experiences and not my own.
This was because I was only taught what to think and not how to think.
People don’t experience life as much because they are living reactively to other people’s “what to think” opinions. They only move when someone else gives them the green light.
Knowledge alone as an answer is mediocre.
Knowledge as a process is extraordinary
Your life becomes limitless when you use knowledge and facts as a process and not just as an answer to everything. To take a fact and some knowledge and process it through your own questioning and awareness is extraordinary. This will change your life forever. You become the Shepard to your life and not the sheep.
Why The Education System Fails Students
School really lacks a lot and the biggest thing it lacks is the ability to teach students how to think. We are only taught knowledge, facts, and opinions, and not actually how to think for ourselves. An example of this is in spelling. When one student is asked to spell “Cat” one student spells it K.A.T, and another student spells it C.A.T. The student who spelled it with the “c” is right and the other student who spelled it with a “k” first is wrong. When both are pronounced the same. How could there even be a wrong answer when both are pronounced the same. Both spelling should be right but NO there is only one answer!
The education system kills curiosity, the one thing that keeps kids itching to learn more. Curiosity is killed because there can only be one “right” answer in school. When you kill curiosity, that person becomes bored with life. Curiosity is what makes life amazing.
How to think is different than what to think because what to think is just memorizing facts, and being able to retrieve it when needed. How to think is using your own brain, mind, and awareness as a process. Taking a fact and process it through your own questioning and awareness, not just taking a fact and storing it in your long term memory to be retrieved later on.
This is why people are constantly seeking advice from others. They don’t know how to think and process a problem and come up with a solution. Just like the second job candidate example. He didn’t know the answer to “whats the height of this building?” so he found the solution by figuring out how to get the answer. People only need advice because they don’t how to think.
IQ(How To Think) VS Memory(What To Think)
IQ is how your brain can process something, not how much you can remember and recall. That’s why school doesn’t make you smarter, it only tests your memory. In school, only the memory part of your hippocampus is being tested, not the learning part of your hippocampus. Your hippocampus is responsible for memory and learning. Being able to think for yourself will boost your IQ and make you smarter and able to process things more effectively.
I want to stress this, your IQ is how you think, and your Memory is only what to think. No one is taught how to think, that is why many people have average to low IQs. IQ is how fast your brain can process something, not how fast you can remember something.
How to think is attaining and understanding something, rather than what to think is just knowledge, two very different concepts.
If you know how to think, you will become a very powerful human being.
THANKS FOR READING 🙂
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