Even though it is neglected, thinking plays a role in our lives. Not only does this help us arrange our goals in a professional manner, it gives people a breather when heated in an argument. In this article,PaidaMpaso engages psychologist Chiwoza Bandawe to talk more about thinking.
Chiwoza Bandawe says thinking is an important mental activity that affects our lives. He says although we all think (an estimated 66 000 different thoughts per day), we are rarely taught how to think in ways that can be productive and enable us to be more effective in what we seek to do
According to Bandawe, most people think without thinking but simply go through the activity without critically examining whether the thoughts are useful, creative, helpful or true.
“Thinking affects our quality of life. If we think that we are poor and should be dependent on donors for the rest of our lives, we will not connect with the creative part of us that enables us to recognise our creativity and solutions that enable us to be independent economically. Our thinking affects our individual lives,” he says.
Bandawe further says the way people think can also lead people to suicide and can affect relationships due to the pain.
“Of course depending on how we do it, thinking can also bring joy. But we need to think before we can clearly act. We often believe we have no control over our thinking. In fact, we do have control.
“Thoughts flow continuously like logs of wood in a river. When we hang on to a particular thought, we ride with it and have an emotional response as a result. At times the thoughts control us instead of us controlling the thoughts,” he says.
Furthermore, Bandawe highlights the good aspects. He clarifies that not all thinking could be bad.
He said there is a kind of thinking called reproductive thinking where thinking about a current problem is influenced by past experience on similar problems.
Bandawe referred to the world’s leading thinker, Edward de Bono of Malta saying this same fixed pattern or thinking style, as vertical thinking.
“Vertical thinking is concerned with digging the same hole deeper. Lateral thinking is concerned with digging the hole somewhere else. Lateral thinking is a way of thinking around a problem and generates ideas and promotes the development of unconventional new ideas,” he adds.