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Thinking your way to the top (1)

By Udeme Archibong
Base-line thinking can never produce top-notch living. To change the fruits or results of your life you must begin by changing the root or nature of your thoughts.
Good grades do not always lead to a better life; good thinking does. The size of your educational qualification or family background does not always equate the size of your destiny; the size of your thinking does. When you place a ceiling on your thinking you place a cap on your potentials. Therefore, to grow your potential you must first grow your thinking. Progressing to the top and being sustained at its ever heightening peak demands a mentality.
Yesterday’s thinking will never fit into today’s opportunities and today’s thinking will never match tomorrow’s progress. Growing ourselves through growing our thinking on a daily basis is the key to perpetual relevance. Growing our thinking demands thinking on-purpose or intentional thinking that necessitates creating a “thinking time” and a “thinking place” to exercise the use of our minds in producing an ideal life.
Once upon a time a father gave his son a telescope on his tenth birthday. One day while using the telescope the boy complained, “Father, this is useless. I can see better without it. Everything is too small.”
Obviously, the boy was looking through the wrong end. He had the narrow outlook through the glass. He wasn’t getting the big picture of life at all. His father smiled and gently adjusted or turned the little telescope around. With the adjustment of the telescope the boy’s outlook was widened.
The boy grew up and improved the primitive telescope and with it discovered the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn and the mountains on our moon. He became the most outstanding astronomer in his generation. His name was Galileo. Our perspective in life is determined by our outlook and our outlook is determined by the lens through which we see the world. Unfortunately, too many people journey through life “seeing” the world through the lens of past conditioning and their own world which is a narrow and small view. Whenever we look at life from the wrong end everything goes wrong and we become victims of a dwarfed life.
Galileo’s father knew that to enable his son have a bigger outlook the telescope must be adjusted. Therefore, expanding your outlook demands an adjustment in your thinking. An adjustment in thinking demands a shift from your “normal” into the bigger, wider, and limitless world of possibilities and new horizons of opportunities.
Big picture thinking is an expansive and elevated way of thinking. If you were to fly an airplane you will have a complete and wholesome view of the ground; however, if you are walking on the ground your view becomes narrow and your perspective distorted. Therefore, big picture thinking gives you a complete and wholesome perspective of life.
An expansive and elevated way of thinking is made possible by becoming a life-long learner in the domain of life. Being a life-long learner necessitates becoming teachable and it involves having an open-mind rather than a closed mind. You must intentionally create learning opportunities as you go through the day by reading books; listening to tapes; learning from people who have more experience than you especially people who have great minds and have a proven track record in the field you are interested in.
You can also learn from your experiences (both your successes and failures) and the experiences of others and even your environment. Ask in-depth; quality and relevant questions. Being a good listener increases your learning experience and also makes you step out of your own world into the world of others thereby understanding them and their frame of thinking which breeds empathy, tolerance and solution-oriented which is an expanded outlook on life.
The Big Picture thinking or an expanded outlook demands a paradigm shift. As long as your perception is confined to the frame of thinking that is centered on your world then your thinking will be narrow. It is vital to look beyond the frame of thinking that is centered on your world into the world of others and also the larger world of possibilities.
Galileo discovered the moons of Jupiter, the rings of Saturn and the mountains on our moon because he looked expansively beyond his own world of experience into the larger world of possibilities and an ever increasing horizon. When your outlook expands your abilities stretches and also expands. Therefore, your mental outlook determines the level of your accomplishment and the quality of your life experience.
Ponder on the words of Joe Girard, “To see things in proper perspective we must widen our outlook. When you look at life, at others, at objects, at events, at your job, at your family, do you see the whole picture or only part? Do you examine both sides of a question? Are you fair or judgmental? Are your perceptions bigoted and coloured? Do you keep an open mind? Perhaps you are standing in the way of yourself. Do prejudices either for or against something or someone throw the picture out of focus? I hasten to add, are you thinking “Big picture” or self-centered thinking?


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