Master or Slave to our Thinking?

Too often we are slaves to our own thinking and unable to effectively manage or control how we think, what we, think about, or whether that thinking is productive. Highly sensitive people are perpetual overthinkers as part of their trait, sensory processing sensitivity, and many fall into the same category as the rest of humanity who have never truly considered whether they are the master or slave to their thinking.

Many HSPs are troubled by too many thoughts, processing for what feels like too long, and by the intense feelings and emotions that are provoked by events that do not seem to warrant such overreactions. Learning to manage our often voluminous thoughts and thinking processes can help free us up from the cycle of non-productive thinking that often leads to the aversive state rumination. Once we enter a negative mind state we are only harming ourselves, since HSPs do far worse than less sensitive people in negative environments, even those we create ourselves.

The value of an education can be obtained through a university degree for sure, but may also be gained from one’s freely chosen self-study. As a higher education professional I can tell you that just because students enter a degree program does not mean that they are prepared in any way to think, to reason, or to even consider how their thinking might be improved over time. I help people learn to improve their thinking, and actions, by working to introduce them to critical thinking and creative thinking as a necessary combination that is always present but usually undervalued.

HSPs hold no special claim to being better thinkers than less sensitive people and we all need to work on improving our thinking, both, critically and creatively in order to become productive and fairminded thinkers. Becoming rational and creative thinkers is not born into us, we don’t arrive with these skill sets in place, we have to learn them and improve our ability to use them over a lifetime. It’s far easier to not practice real rational or creative thinking, the default is much simpler but leaves us wallowing in a self-centered world where we are only able to see out from the inside and never able to consider broader realities of others.

The true value of an education should be in opening you up to the possibilities that become inherent when we embrace and embody critical and creative thinking, combined with ethics and intellectual humility. I have worked with enough students over the years to know that when people really engage with examining how they think, with an eye towards improving it over time, they find their lives to be transformed in enlightening and inspiring ways.

It’s not enough to just be a “deep” thinker, we must become fairminded critical creative thinkers who practice such thinking with the goal of improving it over time so we gradually become masters of our own minds.

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