Are you a blind follower or an intelligent thinker?
Do you have a leaders mind set or a follower’s attitude? Do you believe what you are told or shown or do you seek to educate yourself better with balanced and fact based information? Our lives in many ways take upon the designs that our mind allows it to form. The choices you make, your opinions, reactions to life events, and progress through your life is dependent on your mind set and the attitude you take towards your personal life and growth. The mindset and attitude we take towards each aspect of our life bears a serious consequence on the outcomes.
Many systems in life are about following. Law, religion, government, processes and work are mostly about following rather than leading. But the successful people in life and people who do greater things in life are those who take a leaders mind set to these aspects of life. These are the kind of people who bring about change in their personal lives and at times change other people life as well, they inspire, do something different and inspirational, and forever leave a mark that brings about better things in life and change things from old to new.
What is a leaders mind set? Well, a leaders mind is much different from that of a followers mind. A leaders mind consists of a few key behaviours in thinking and ideas. Namely:
Learn: They always try to learn and acquire more knowledge about things. And often they take it upon themselves to learn from various sources to form a balanced opinion as opposed to ask and blindly believe what they are told.
Question: They do not blindly follow things. They ask questions and seek to know why it is so? They have a greater need to understand things in life.
Reason: They thrive on what makes sense to them and adheres to some form of logic. It has to make reason to them. They cannot accept a thing that doesn’t make a good valid case and reason.
Thinkers: They prefer to think things out. They take the time to think things over before they choose a reaction. They tend to ponder a bit more and evaluate things clearly before they say or do anything.
Observant: They observe people and events very keenly. They do not jump to conclusions or from instantaneous opinions. They calmly observe, think, question and take a higher perspective of what they observe. It helps them see beyond the obvious and often see what others miss.
Reflecting: They like to draw from their experiences and learning’s. They try to reflect upon their pasts and other peoples experiences. The value and remember the right and wrong decisions of the past and project balanced view of eventualities in the future.
Balanced: They are balanced individuals. They tend to take a broader perspective and think of different possibilities and point of views before they take a stance. They do not like to make extreme judgements or favor any extreme point of views. They rather fall back on a balanced opinion.
Decision Making: They strive to take rational decisions rather than emotional ones. And they are firm on their decisions once they have put it through the above processes of thinking.
Courage & Confidence: The display a certain level of courage and confidence in executing their decisions once they are convinced that it is the right thing to do. They remain determined and willingly face and overcome the challenges that they may find in their path to success.
There are no great followers. There are only great leaders. The problems with religions and several such governing systems or theories are that there are too many blind followers and very little leadership mindset applied to them. For example in following a religion: people rather ask others and believe what they say about their own faith and follow them blindly as opposed to read themselves what their books preach, think about it and develop sensible balanced ideas to from better educated opinions. Similarly, many of us tend to form a sweeping opinion about other people’s cultures and values based on a single event or piece of news flashed in a media.
We are absolutely out of excuses for ignorance in today’s world. You can thank the internet, Google, or any search engine for that. Everything you say can be verified through a mobile browser instantaneously and you will be called out if your statements are not right. Yes, you can be a follower on twitter or like a zillion things on face book today. But when it comes to your opinions, values, statements, and behaviours, you cannot go far with an ignorant or a blind follower’s mindset.
Growth and progress in life is only achieved by learning, questioning, and understanding the facts. Success happens with a lot of hard work and the hard work goes into developing many of the above mentioned leadership characteristics. In the world of today, even the most sensible and valued ideas are questioned and challenged. Understanding the facts, reasons, and forming balanced rational opinions and choices based on well educated thinking is imperative for a successful and happier life. Whether it is understanding your companies strategies, government policies, your work, your relationships, choices in life, opinions about people or your culture, it is absolutely necessary to indulge in some good thinking and balanced and educated opinions and reactions.
A life of half baked choices, and semi educated opinions will often lead to very disappointing and bitter life and eventually lead to a several other problems and confusion. If people do not react to your uneducated opinions it doesn’t mean that they are agreeing with you. Often people choose not to react to such blind ideas of out social courtesy. The eventual loss is yours.
So, eliminate the ignorance in you. Give up on the blind follower’s mentality. Take the trouble and time to question, think, learn and form balanced opinions in life that will help you make educated choices towards your happiness and success. Put your ego aside and seek to learn. And most importantly, do not blindly accept what people tell you as facts. Remember that subject matter experts such as doctors, engineers, economists, MBA’s or priests also often go wrong in their decisions and make mistakes. They too have flawed and biased opinions. But if you adapt a few characteristics of the people who do greater things and succeed in life, you will lead better and fulfilling lives. In this process you will educate and inspires others to become better and seek knowledge as well. This way you too can contribute towards making a better world. But it begins with your attitude and mindset.