Deep, clear thinking is becoming a lost art. This skill used to be heavily focused on in our school systems but now it’s harder and harder to find. As moms we MUST ensure that our children gain this skill, which means we have to obtain it first…
How can we do that? What are the elements of thinking that gets straight to the heart of the matter and creates lasting solutions that make the world a better place. Learn about the key connection between thinking and morals and how better thinking can make you a better person!
Listen to “The 3 Keys of Clear Thinking” PODCAST HERE
I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a little book called The Strangest Secret. It actually was a vinyl record recording by Earl Nightingale. He was a sales manager and he had to be gone for a sales training. So, he recorded himself giving this pep talk to his salespeople. He called it The Strangest Secret and it’s about the power of thoughts. He had his sales people play it at the sales meeting and then they passed it on and passed it on and passed it on until it became a number-one record! It was later turned into a book. It’s super valuable and very worth reading!
Nightingale says right at the very beginning of The Strangest Secret that Albert Schweitzer (who is one of my personal heroes) was being interviewed and when the interviewer asked, “Dr. Schweitzer what is wrong with men today?”
Dr. Schweitzer said, “Men simply don’t think.”
Then Earl Nightingale goes on to say, and this is what I want to talk to you about, that men simply don’t think. Throughout my 20 years of self-education and liberal education–working on a liberal arts bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in education–the importance of thoughts is something that comes up and comes up and comes up. It was talked about by by many of the early philosophers and especially in the 20th century it has been totally revitalized by men like James Allen, Earl Nightingale and Dale Carnegie. These men focus on the power of thoughts and how they really do control our lives. They’re definitely something that we talk about and work on in the MDM Academy using some awesome resources.
But I want to talk about thoughts in a little bit different context for a few minutes. Mortimer Adler, who I love said, said this in one of his essays:
“Anyone who has done any thinking, even a little bit, knows that it is painful. It is hard work, in fact the very hardest that human beings are ever called upon to do.” ~Mortimer Alder
Thinking then, if Adler is right and, I have come to see that he is right, thinking is so hard that we don’t want to do it. Now, often we talk about the power of thoughts we are talking about whether they’re positive or negative and what they’re focused on and all that kind of thing. Certainly this is part of what thinking is. But the thinking process itself–to sit down with a problem, to analyze it from all directions, to try to find the solutions to your problem. When Albert Schweitzer said, “Men simply don’t think,” he meant they don’t think through their problems to the logical end. He recognized that they haven’t been taught good enough reasoning skills (which is a whole educational discussion that we don’t want to get into today). That is a big part of our problem today–we don’t have the logical reasoning skills that we should have.
Well, unfortunately most of us haven’t been taught the thinking skills we need. Yet, we MUST teach that to ourselves as an important part of becoming a mission-driven mom and a leader. Leaders are problem-solvers and leaders are thinkers! They’re not afraid of the hard work of thinking. Creation is thinking and that’s one of the things that makes creation hard so–you have to think clearly and deeply.
Albert Schweitzer, in his autobiography, written in the early 20th century, explains part of what was happening in society was as men didn’t think well–rationally, clearly, debating about things, thinking things to their logical end. He said that the unwillingness to gain better thinking skills didn’t just have a negative effect on themselves as individuals but it had a negative effect on their morals! That’s why my favorite quote in the world ,which is the one that’s on my home page of my author site, is by Albert Schweitzer:
“I stand and work in the world at one who aims at making mankind morally better and less shallow by making them think.” ~Albert Schweitzer
He could see the connection between morality and thinking! I’m here to tell you that good thinking, good pure clear thinking–of taking things to their logical end and making connections–DOES improve morality and it leads to real truth! That’s what we want to be!
We’re truth seekers. We’re mission driven moms! So we want to be able to think, to discern, to be able to look at what’s right and wrong and know what’s right for ourselves and our families. Thinking is an important part of that process! In fact, M. Scott Peck said he didn’t make any distinction anymore between thinking and morality. In other words, if you’re progressing mentally then you’re progressing spiritually. Period. That’s if you’re progressing mentally the appropriate way. That’s why he says any mental growth is also spiritual growth and any spiritual growth is also mental growth.
I want to make a plug for thinking! It is something that as mothers we’ve got to do and we’ve got to do it well. ecause regardless of what’s happening in the educational system–if they’re doing a good job or a poor job or wherever our kids are getting at school–most of their skillset is gained at home. Their social skills are developed at home. Their morals are developed at home. Their habits are developed at home. And a large part of their thinking skills are developed at home.
We want to be better to discerners. We want to be truth seekers. We want to know how to find and live principle-centered lives. We want to know how to be leaders that can think clearly and find solutions. So, here’s the best news of all. While it’s really easy as a mom to be kind of deflated, to think you’ve got all these little ones around you and you don’t have a lot of time, I’m here to tell you that one of the very best things you can do for yourself and for your children is to learn how to think!
HERE’S HOW: When you’re a mom you have lots of time to think if you unplug and if you’ll let yourself be still. I’ve practiced better thinking when I was doing laundry, cooking dinner, going to the store, waiting for kids when I was dropping them off and picking them up or nursing a baby. There are so many times when you have the opportunity to think if you’ll tune in to things like podcasts or good books or scripture. Of course, if you’ll listen to great leaders, if you’ll learn about great men and women and then you’ll take time to ponder, you’ll begin making connections and building your ability to think well.
You’ll also find that you are a better person, You will actually grow spiritually and you will actually grow morally. You’ll find truths you wouldn’t have found in the rush and chaos of the world. I know that your children are loud. I know that they can be distracting but there are many opportunities that you have for simply thinking!
That why I want to challenge you to take advantage of your opportunities to plug in to good information when you can and where you can. When you don’t have that opportunity, think about it later on. Ponder about what you’ve heard and try to discern the truth. THEN LIVE IT!
Thinking is such a noble thing to do. It’s an opportunity that we as mothers have–to gain the skill set of good thinking and pass that on to our children. I’m going to be holding a Facebook Live this week on how to use your time as a mother to become a great thinker, to pass that on to your children and to become a more mission driven family!
Remember, God has a call for you. Prepare yourself, live those 4 Foundational Laws of Life Mission and become the mission-driven mom you were meant to be!