Tuesday, 08 March 2016 00:00 GFP Columnist - Sage Thyme
A pastor’s son, I got the impression somewhere that I was not supposed to fight. This obedient child often took a punch from some of the other boys. Meanwhile I learned the language and lived for the day that would be important to my success. As I matured and found that words could be used to control my environment, my mystic sister, claiming to quote eastern philosophy said, “Don’t draw swords with unequals”.  Apparently I had become the bully I feared when younger. She meant I think, that sane people don’t pick fights with stronger opponents and only bullies pick fights with those having less physical prowess.

As we assess our relative success in executing (Is that the word?) the affairs of 2015 and calculate the possibilities for living the new year, we may want to try some new strategies.  For whatever reason we‘ve chosen to improve life for ourselves and others, it seems logical that we invest some thought.

One of our most insightful and critical readers, Ohioan Shirley Nook recently forwarded a link to an article by Mark Ford, founder of The Palm Beach Research Group.  Here’s advice from a friendly family man who says he has won some and lost some in his financial travels, now choosing to live a well-paced if busy life as a still young (60ish) multi-multi-millionaire. Seems to me when he talks, listening might be a wise investment. According to Mark, These Are the Three Skills You Need to Be Successful in Life. Without meaning to plagiarize, I’d like to add some thoughts on the subject.

Thinking well requires the acquisition of knowledge coupled with the judgement to recognize its context in the past, present and future. Some call this common sense. I find it quite uncommon. Self-interest often stands in the way of balancing pragmatism with desire. Speaking well requires the additional discipline of choosing the effective words in an order that will share meaning effectively in the process of entertaining or persuading others.  Writing well requires even more precision and accuracy for the desired effect. It continues to exist for scrutiny, testing and durability as readers match their thoughts with yours.

Since this is my forum, I would add that neither speaking well nor writing well are possible without thinking well. It’s certainly helpful, in fact necessary, to learn the elements of logic if they are not already built into your thought process. Please don’t confuse logic with the biases we acquire in our home and community environment. These exposures to the opinions, life choices and judgements of others must not be accepted as verifiable truth. Logic must follow the rules of consistent provability. It’s actually fun, but important and serious stuff.

There is no doubt, Mark’s premise is great. And I think he might agree that in order to be successful in life (whatever that means to you) you must begin by Thinking Well. Think About It.

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