The Independent Mind

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Every human has four endowments- self awareness, conscience, independent will and creative imagination. These give us the ultimate human freedom… The power to choose, to respond, to change (Stephen Covey)

Human is a rational animal. None of us can ignore or deny the importance of the above mentioned four important endowments, none of us is such who does not use these effective tools of a rational mind in our daily routine life. Yet the extent to which we are aware of our rational faculty and its immense power to create happiness and success varies from person to person.

Self Awareness, Conscience and Independent Will

The process of discovering one’s own potential and accepting its limits at a certain point of time and to strive to increase is the real way to progress. A person with clear self awareness live and act in a manner which they discover using their own rational faculty, their mind, the inner compass to assess whether an act is possible or not, whether a particular way of thinking or behaviour is right or wrong.

In some situations, one may find himself in conflict between the established norms and his own perception of the circumstances. Man is a rational being; he has a choice either to accept the conventional norms or to apply his personal aptitude to find his way out of such situations. Yet, one cannot apply their rational mind if they are not aware of the effectiveness of the rational tools they possess. It is not necessary that a self-aware, independent person will always go against the socially established norms. An independent person is surely not anti-social; rather he (she) is pro-progressive with a will for improvement and refinement. The society may find such personal attitude as idiosyncratic and often oppose it, yet every person gains and enjoys the progress brought upon by such independent people. One of the famous examples of such a character was Galileo who dared not to accept the conventional norms and tried to establish the fact that the Earth revolves round the Sun. He was punished for his strive to solve out the mysteries of planetary system, yet he was not anti-social.

Often people lose the will to discover their own potential because of the religious, traditional and social aspects of their surroundings. Right since their birth, men are taught to follow the established norms. Children are taught to behave in a manner that will please others. They are taught to gain the approval of others. Peer pressures and need to compete with others often blurs the ability of person to seek his own self and to develop and sharpen his rational tools. They grow up as situation dependents and lack the potential to access the independent zone.

The first step towards realizing the importance and potential of one’s independent rational self, it is very necessary to realize whether one is free or he is independent.

A situation dependent person often becomes docile against the social norms and tends to believe that the best way to live is to please others and gain their approval.
A Situation dependent person

  • Depends on the circumstances and finds himself unable to improve situations or change them.
  • Fails to detect and make use of the non-salient or not so obvious clues that may bring forth a sudden surge of progress or effectiveness of their acts.
  • Fails to give a shape or structure to uncertain yet seemingly rational and creative imagination and ideas.
  • Fails to link the evolving information with the already established norms to judge whether they are right or wrong and is there a need to change or go against the established norms.
  • Such person fails to retrieve information from their previous experiences. They lack the potential to learn from their mistakes and that is why they remain close to any possible progress.
  • Often such people fail to gain the real inspiration which is intrinsic, rather they depend on extrinsic motivation and want others to suggest, direct or order them to achieve new goals.
  • Often such people are extrovert as they seek other’s approval and most often they invest their inner and yet unknown potential to convince or impress others.

A person with self awareness and an independent mind will have an entirely different approach

  • He will be able to recognize objects and motives distinctly and eminent from the circumstances.
  • He will be able to enlist the priorities, discarding the irrelevant and trivial issues to concentrate on rationally beneficial points.
  • He will be able to provide a rationally viable structure for his rational creativity and imaginations.
  • Even the most rational person can commit mistakes, yet his process of learning and experiencing will make him able to link his prior experiences with current situations to help him avoid repeating similar mistakes and to attain progress.
  • A person with an independent mind always seeks the real inspiration emanating from his inner self. He knows that the potential inspiration is always intrinsic in nature.
  • He is self-motivated and self-content. He does not seek approval from others rather, he considers his own rational faculty as the only tool available to help him in understanding the reality.
  • Often such people are introverts, deep thinking, and rational speakers. They choose not to impress others with vague expositions; rather they believe that the results of their endeavours will show the way.

Irrespective of being a dependent person or an independent person, everyone owns a certain rational faculty, his mind. That is why there always are possibilities to strive for improvement. Once a person realizes his own position and limits to which he is using his mind, he can strive for self-awareness and the conscience to understand and recognize their independent will and ability to give shape for their creative imagination in a rational manner.
So, are you willing to strive for achieving the independence of your mind?

2 comments for “The Independent Mind

  1. avi_paranoid
    November 6, 2010 at 7:42 am


    good points, what would your advice be for someone in his mid 20′s stuck in a pretty well paid job, realizing a little late that his interests lie elsewhere but cannot afford to not continue in the current profession.
    i’m being highly specific and obviously dependent, but any tips, suggestion, opinion will be greatly appreciated.

  2. shaurya swaraj
    November 25, 2010 at 10:55 pm

    Heyi,The last 7 lines are the most important one for me…It is “Once a person realizes his own position and limits to which he is using his mind,”

    This is a key point that how people change,how they know that the abilities they are taking for granted are being habituated in their childhood which they are using since from then, and yet they are not aware that at first it was so difficult and they don’t give a damn about their present abilities….

    Due to this fact they lost the opportunities that life can give us if we continue to experiment ourself and be aware of our actions…

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