To deal with ideas problems and solutions we need to think radically. We need to understand how things are connected. How one thing affects another, how language is used. How we analyze what is being said, offered and executed on behalf of ourselves.
Of course if you do a “Radical Thinking” search on the internet, far from the views of disgruntled lefties, you are more likely to come up with titles such as “Annual plan for business requires radical planning,” or “Knowledge revolution demands radical thinking,” or “Modern materials handling requires radical thinking” and “Institute of Radical Thinking” and so on. The more the terms, the more it confuses us.
But basically, think of words by what they mean not by what they are used to represent. The term radical from the Latin “radicalis” means “root”… It means getting to the root of the issue or problem. So if we want to understand more about what is going on around us sometimes we need to apply some radical thinking. If you want think of it as a kind of common sense.
Five questions to kill fear and improve your work and life
To make this practical, that can shift our thinking from a mindset of fear to a mindset of freedom and possibility consider these five questions as you re-imagine your work or life:
Why am I afraid?
What would I do if I weren’t afraid? (this is the “power question”)
How would I feel without the fear?
Why is it okay for me to let go of the fear? (In other words, what is the truth you know in your heart or head that sets you free and makes you feel at peace?)
When you have the courage to get introspective and ace these questions, it allows you to get in touch with what it is you truly want, free of fear clouding your dreams and deepest desires.
In our own coaching sessions with clients, that’s when the work truly begins. The rest is just like building a house — one brick at a time.
Radical Thinking Exercise
To train your mind in radical and creative thinking then, you need to develop the habit of looking to the root of a matter. With that in mind, here are a few questions for you to ponder. Think about these with a pen and paper ready if you have time. See what kind of ideas you have, but more importantly, see if you can start to ask better questions — ones that get at the deeper aspects of an issue.
1. People argue about how to save the social security system, but what is a more radical question you could explore?
2. Prisons are a part of every society. People argue about how to punish criminals or about how long jail sentences should be. A more fundamental question is why we have prisons. What related questions can you come up with, and what possible solutions to the problem of crime do these questions lead to?
3. With a little imagination, you could design a new type of house, right? But what if you consider the “root” concept of “shelter” and why we need it? What radical new thoughts can you come up with starting there?
You can consider the above questions a “homework assignment” of sorts if you want to develop the habit of thinking more deeply.
So finally, what are you going to change today?
Pick one thing you want to change today. It can be one attitude, one belief or one perspective. Although your beliefs most likely formed when you were young, you are an adult today and you have the power to affect change in your life. Monitor your self-talk. Positive self-talk or affirmations repeated consistently are the tool that allows us to focus our mind on what we do want rather than what we do not want. The fastest way to change your mind-set is to feed your mind the one you want. Begin to get the best information, role model the best people, examine your current beliefs, shape your mindset with vision and goals, find your voice and protect your mindset against the naysayers around you.