On becoming an independent thinker

Thinking independently can be a surprisingly scary thing to do sometimes. We have been throughly corrected in our childhood and young adult life. Someone who knows more, a mentor, a book, a wiseass friend, has always come along and refined our theory of life. This can alter the experience of independent thought, we might begin to say to ourselves, maybe I just shouldn’t explore this new project further because someone is bound prove me wrong. 

At this juncture, the love of discovery plays an important role. If we make discovery our main goal, then we can begin to welcome external feedback as an opportunity for further refinement of our ideas. However, if the intention is to be right, or not be wrong (a different mindset than the desire to be right), or if one is more concerned with where the discovery will take one socially instead of how it will expand her intellectually, then independent thought will remain stifled. 

The joy of discovery must exceed the concerns of self-image. For our thought to be truly independent and revolutionary, for it to create art, spot patterns, challenge the norm, we must overcome the fear of disapproval and indulge the unknown. Instead of fearing it, we must look forward to the mystery that shrouds discovery. We must muster courage to celebrate our own weirdness, make friends with it.