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What if most of your life is a result of doing things based off of what others have told you. You go to school; you get a job, take on debt, buy a house, get married, have kids, and live check to check. Now, that does not mean that those things are bad, but you need to take the time to think about where you get your ideas from. The ability to think for yourself is one of the most important things that you can do. When you can think for yourself you have much more chance of staying cautiously optimistic

The best thing you can do to develop the ability to think for yourself is to go another direction. The key to thinking for yourself is finding the path that works for you and the way you see your life.

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Break Away From Your Parents Ways

The first line that you have to cut is the one from the hand that fed you most of your life. This one is tough to do because parents can guilt you, and some do this all the time. Here is the truth though, you need to learn to love people and realize that not everything that they say is right. You can have a racist parent that you love while recognizing their thoughts and views on race are not right.

Some believe everything that their parents think because they don't have a mind of their own. Parents should want their kids to think for themselves. It means that they will run all thoughts people try to place on their minds through some logic. Never take anything at face value without thinking it through first.

Someone may tell you not to chase your dreams because it's not realistic. They discourage you. When you think for yourself, you see things differently. You realize that not everyone has the qualifications to hand out advice.

Go The Opposite Direction

Pay attention to what everyone is doing and consider going a different way. This is not always the case, but many times, it can pay off. College is the best example of this. When college graduates are working at Best Buy, you know something needs to change.

You have to weigh the opportunity cost of every choice that you make. The opportunity cost is every other thing that you could be doing. Opportunity costs are why rich people usually don't waste their time. One night at the movies can cost them millions of dollars. Not to say that it is all about money, but it is hard to pass that up.

The best thing you can do to develop the ability to think for yourself is to go another direction. There is no right way If you want to have a kid at age 20 or age 52 go for it! The key to thinking for yourself is finding the path that works for you and the way you see your life. There is no behind; you are always in the moment and right where you need to be to strike gold.

Read Books and Work With Mentors To Help You Think For Yourself 

Waking up before 6 AM seems weird until you start reading about success. When you learn about the greats, you will notice that many of them woke up early to chase their dream. They also have a bunch of habits that are outside of the normal.

The first thing that sticks out about these people is that they never had any intention of blending in. Blending in means that you don't believe you are unique and that you have a purpose here in this world. Reading that is so sad. It's far from the truth, but many have made it their reality.

When you read the right stuff, it snaps you out of group think. It helps you refocus on how you can think for yourself again. Doing this is not easy at all, but it's always worth it.

You Have to Be You and Grow at The Same Time

One of the easiest ways to get off track to your greatness is to start trying to be other people. You can read about Elon Musk and learn but you're not Elon Musk. You're who you're and you can only reach your destiny by being who you were made to be. God did not make any mistakes with your personality, drive, or desires. Don't always assume other people have it more figured out.

When you are around with successful people, they do not try and be other people. Bill Gates was not trying to act like Rockefeller.

You need to find the delicate balance between knowing who you are and figuring where you need to grow. You have to improve and find your path. Add new skills onto who you already are as much as you can.

When You Think For Yourself, You Check First

People who think for themselves can listen and hear any person out. Arrogance is trying to block out information that is different from your beliefs. This hurts everyone because it stops the spread of good ideas. It prevents people from learning from others. You only need to know when the trash is being presented so you can take it out. When you approach with a cautiously optimistic attitude, you start expecting the best from people. 

When you think for yourself, you can listen and know that you are going to THINK about what was said later. You are going to take time to digest the information and decide if it is worth changing for. During this process, you throw out the crap and keep what you know can help and change your life.

You learn when listening because you take in relevant information from different places. You also get outside of the box that you have always lived in. For some people, that box is religion, and they never interact with people outside of their own. For some, that box is one career path or one class of people. It could be one race or nationality that limits your perspective. Thinking for yourself frees your mind to learn and process more. That does not mean you need to change your views, but you do gain perspective.

How Habit Stacker Can Help

Habit Stacker provides resources to help you improve your habits. The first way we do this is through our online course Habit Mastery. The second way is with the Habit Stacker mobile app.

Olympian and founder of Habit Stacker Ian Warner, teaches the Habit Mastery course. He walks you through practical techniques that you can use to improve your life through your habits. No fluff or non-sense! You get instant access to over 45 different videos breaking down how to build good habits and break bad ones.

The Habit Stacker app is what you use to live out your habits from day to day. It's a habit tracker that lets you know what you need to do each day. The app sets your daily routine board for you each day, so you all you have to do is get the task done at the top of the list. You can look back and see your streaks for each habit. Going forward you will build more confidence with your habits and become more cautiously optimistic. 

Ian Warner

About the author

I went from a broken leg to a 2012 Olympian. I have spent the last 15 years building positive habits as a track athlete and entrepreneur. I founded Habit Stacker and dedicated my life to helping people to develop winning habits. I have helped over 5,000 people...

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