Great Minds =Positive Influence

Coffee dates, lunch dates, chamas are endless meetings we spare our time to spend with family & friends. Some of us will make sure, once per month or on a weekly basis, we meet at our coolest joints and have nice meals but what are our conversations or agendas for such meetings??Are we after discussing people, events or ideas? On this post I will focus on working towards having constructive meetings with family & friends.

Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people. This is a quote commonly attributed to Eleanor Roosevelt.

Let’s start by defining “ideas,” “events,” and “people.” Discussing people here means to talk about a person, typically in a negative, gossipy way. Discussing events means to talk about the events happening around the world. Discussing ideas means to understand the higher level messages behind an event, to understand human behavior, to look beyond what’s given, and to find solutions to help the world.

Small Minds Discuss People

When the quote says “Small minds discuss people,” it means that those who discuss people as an end to itself are shallow. Unfortunately, a fair segment of the media and our population today dedicate themselves to discussing people. You have tabloid magazines, celebrity gossip sites, and people who follow celebrity gossip like it is the central goal of their lives. Office politics are not uncommon. People backstab and criticize each other more often than we like. Even politicians make personal attacks and conduct smear campaigns. Online platform from social media to blogs it’s very common to see people shaming/attacking each other, or worse still, others endorsing such behavior and joining in the attack.

Average Minds Discuss Events

When you switch from discussing people to events, there is an improvement because you look beyond people but focus on events. There is an element of objectivity as you’re now looking at facts, figures, and occurrences. Yet it is a logical misconception to think that just discussing events makes us smarter. Let’s look at this perspective, currently in Kenya we are experiencing shortage of maize flour and everyone is complaining of how the government has failed. The media is not helping in any way but portraying how life is getting hard day after day, for the common citizen. In the process of being caught up in the mix of complaining, we miss the bigger picture of how we can be positive in the mix of all negativity and solve the issues that we see. Trust me on this no matter how we complain; we will never solve any issue from complaining but doing something about it. Or let us look at the entertainment industry, we get impressed and discuss current trends and events but do you know, all those who set the trends that impact the world, have put their best act and ideas for you to watch and follow.?

Great Minds Discuss Ideas

This brings us to the last point.
As someone becomes more curious about what is happening around them and looks beyond what’s immediately visible, they start to talk about not just people or events, but ideas.
  • Why people do the things they do and what drives them.
  • How we can uplift others.
  • How we can improve as people.
  • Whether; the direction we’re moving in,as Nation, a society or a church is actually good for us.
  • And most important of all, ideas to improve our society and impact our generation.
Discussing ideas means not just taking what is presented to you, but digging deeper. Understanding root causes. Understanding how something came to be. Questioning realities and Identifying solutions.
The problem comes when we talk about people or events as an end to itself. When we bad-mouth others, gossip, put people down, or follow the news reactively, it doesn’t bring us anywhere. Complaining or chit-chatting about people/events endlessly will not change our lives or make us smarter.

How to Have a Great Mind: 7 Tips

This means:
1.Don’t rely on the obvious. Dig deep to understand what lies beneath the surface.
2.Expand your mind. Don’t just follow the news. Expand your mind and read books from people who have made it and challenge you.
3.Stay away from gossip. Even though people may gossip about you, it doesn’t mean that you need to gossip about them. Always think about what you can do to help others. Talk about people because you care about them.
4.Focus on issues. If you don’t like what your boss/co-worker/friend did, focus on the issue, not the person. Give constructive criticism without attacking someone.
5.Seek out those with knowledgeable opinions. Follow them. Read their updates to learn from their way of thought. Bookmark articles that get you thinking. Reading an intelligent article 10 times is better than reading 20 low-level news stories (that are really informing you about nothing but creating an illusion of fear) any day.
6.Don’t talk about events as an end to itself. Understand them. Why is this happening? When did this first start? What’s causing it? What can we do about this? Dig in to understand patterns, rationales, and root causes. . how can you step in and help? For example, if there’s teenage rebellion and crazy parties going on in your neighborhood, don’t just react and talk about it as conversation fodder, but learn more about the causes, overall statistics surrounding this, and why teenagers  in your neighborhood are turning to this.
7.Focus on solutions. What can you do to help others and make an impact? Offering solutions or Ideas than complaining will help a lot in a positive way.

Let your conversations count and invest in your future by making great investments in your relationships. As an individual, let people come to you because you offer valuable advice and solutions but not an individual that offers the latest 411 which is purely gossip.

The Best Definitely Ahead Of You

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