the process of teaching a person or group to accept a set of beliefs uncritically.
It’s all colleges in this country do. Indoctrinate. You’ll pick up enough occupational skills to learn the rest on the job, but for the most part, they’ll tell you how to think. At top colleges, liberal professors outnumber conservative ones 12 to 1. Is that a healthy, moderate learning environment? Of course it isn’t! They’ll crush any resistance to their opinions and not see the irony in driving home with a #resist bumper sticker on their Subaru.
Conform! If you don’t believe my narrative 100%, you’re stupid! If you don’t believe my theory completely, you’re a denier! If you don’t see the necessity of using the language I deem appropriate to come out of your mouth, you’re a bigot!
Thinking for yourself isn’t all that popular anymore, is it? We’ve been taught to align. Pick a side. If you don’t, you have no voice. If we don’t agree, you’ll be bullied, mocked or cancelled. The abuse often doesn’t stop at verbal.
Some of today’s most influential and respected people think outside of the box. Inventors and entrepreneurs take what they’ve learned and they test it, expand upon it and take risks that aren’t always proven. By no means are they all successes – in fact, many more of them fail than succeed in their endeavours. Thomas Edison failed over 1,000 times before he successfully invented the light bulb.
The biggest changes in our modern world have come from people that were critical thinkers.
When asked what the key to success is, most successful people say the same thing – hard work, consistency and persistence. They all seem quite noble and inspiring! Everyone can teach themselves those things. But let me tell you what they left out that separates them from the pack.
It’s their ability to think for themselves.
You rarely find someone that you can attribute true world change to that followed another voice into the void. The world’s greatest inventors, entrepreneurs and scientists took what had learned and were critical about it every step of the way. Being critical is better than being loud. Choose to be different and watch yourself resonate further than someone who is screaming.
Never form an opinion on emotion. It’s not trustworthy enough to build a foundation for your life. Use the emotion as energy to research and criticize multiple points of view, then, when you’re level-headed, make a decision on what you believe.
Being critical doesn’t make you a conspiracy theorist, it eliminates confirmation bias. Don’t accept what someone says as truth because of their position or the amount of people that vehemently accept it. Research it for yourself. Re-criticize even the things you’re most sure of. If you’re right, what can it hurt?
Eliminating free speech – silencing those you disagree with – is the path to destruction. Everything loses polish. A sword requires friction to be sharpened. On a single path, you leave so much unexplored. Creativity is stifled. Risks aren’t taken. Success is muted.
Listen, but don’t follow.
Following will only get you as far as the person in front of you. Go your own way and take risks. Don’t believe everything you hear. Don’t allow yourself to be indoctrinated by a narrative or a movement. You can participate in a movement you agree with and not be indoctrinated by it. Don’t look to a leader to tell you how to think. If someone speaks in absolutes, be even more critical of their position before you align yourself.
Stay critical. Be difficult. Think for yourself. Just watch yourself turn into a leader.