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Mudford, England by Ralph Teller
Valerie Pierce

CLEAR THINKING – Creating a longer, more productive life

by Valerie Pierce
1

One of the key successful components to creating a long and productive life is the ability to think clearly.   For when you think about it, whatever it is you want to achieve, your foundation stone towards success or failure will be the quality of the thinking you put into it.  Clear thinking does improve your life.  Your ability to solve problems and make confident decisions will not only lengthen your life, but make it a very productive and positive experience.  

Clear Thinking also helps us in our professional, business lives, as  Making Sense = Making Cents

And I should know as I work with many successful, international corporations on a daily basis throughout the world, and our struggle every day is to do just that.
While it might seem obvious that good thinking equals good living, very few people really examine their thought processes in a clear and critical way to try to understand what they need to do in order to have that long and productive life.
However, clear thinking is a simple enough process, and requires looking at the following skills.


3 SIMPLE SKILLS
In order to put smart thinking into operation, there are three very simple skills required.  Let’s see this with the example of ‘change management’, an experience that most of us, in these turbulent, economic times may have to work through more often than we would like.      
Within the issue of ‘Change’, the three thinking skills you need in order to bring about successful changes are:

    • Logic – The ability to see that change is required.
    • Imagination – The ability to bring about change in a way that is most productive and beneficial for you, your family or your business.
    • Clear Focus –  The most important skill of all - the ability to separate passion from emotion in your thinking.  This is so because passionate people focus their thinking on getting their projects done.  If there is a problem, they use their clear thinking to overcome that problem.  However, when we are emotional we tend to focus our thinking on our identity with the project (our Ego) and not the project itself.  So if we are emotional, instead of overcoming problems, we may well become overwhelmed by problems because we think the problems are too difficult for the ego to solve.  Therefore it is most important to be passionate about the change you wish to achieve, as your passion for that task creates the energy to achieve.  Being emotional, on the other hand, worrying about your abilities to bring about the change will only create stress.  So to be productive and get things done, it is essential to be Passionate, and Not Emotional.


IMPROVING
These three skills are the basis of all directed-action thought processes.  Improving them means success at improving many aspects of your life as well as your business.  With clear thinking you can achieve confidence in your decision making and so enhance the quality of your life, creating satisfying work/life balance, creating wealth in your life and making correct decisions on healthy living for a longer life.
However, a note of caution.  A serious stumbling block or flaw in clear thinking is to be seduced by your own logic.  When communicating your great ideas to others, remember not everyone will think the same way as you do, so try to imagine you are the person who has to listen to what you are saying.  How do you feel?  Are you fired up?  Does it sound plausible?  When people put forward ideas to me I look for the DNA print of their idea (Desire into Need into Action).  

If you think about it, in order to exist WE must have a DNA print.  The same applies to your ideas.  When ideas are written up on the wall or flipchart, they are just desires.  Remember, in order to turn that Desire into reality there must be a Need for it and Action must be taken on it. So clear thinking should also be a bonus in communicating change, as clear thinking will always remind us to make the need for change and the action required for that change, apply in the real world.

When we realise this, we will understand that clear thinking is our very own personalised ‘tool kit’ and we can use it to create an innovative, successful and secure tomorrow – in fact, hundreds of them.
I will leave the final words of this article on living a long and happy life with the philosopher Rene Descartes, the great 17th Century French Rationalist.  “It is not enough to have a good mind, the main thing is to use it well” (Descartes)
© Valerie Pierce 2009                                

Valerie Pierce is a philosopher, author and training consultant, based in Dublin and working in Ireland, UK, Europe and the USA.  She has been rated as one of the 50 most influential women in Irish Business (Sunday Tribune).
More about Valerie at www.clearcriticalthinking.com
Contact Valerie for presentations at vpierce@clearcriticalthinking.com

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