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Thinking in Two Modes: Conscious and Unconscious!

#PositiveThinkingAbdulKalamQuotes | What's going through our heads?


Ⓒ Image by Unsplash

Ⓒ Image by Unsplash

There are two ways to think: consciously and unconsciously. Let's learn more about these modes:

  • Thinking About It(Conscious Thinking):

Conscious thinking is the process of thinking that we are aware of and that we do on purpose. It requires paying close attention and getting involved with thoughts, and ideas, and solving problems. We can use conscious thinking to analyse information, make decisions, and come up with new ideas.

Some examples of conscious thought are:

  1. Taking steps to solve a maths problem

  2. Using critical thinking and logical reasoning

  3. Thinking about what you've done and what you've learned from it

  4. Making choices based on what you want and what you value

  • Thinking Without Knowing It(Unconscious Thinking):

Thoughts that happen below the level of conscious awareness are called unconscious, implicit, or subconscious. It has to do with automatic mental processes that happen without our immediate control. Unconscious thinking can affect what we think, how we see the world, and what we do without us being aware of it.

Some examples of unconscious thinking:

  1. Responses that come automatically to familiar situations or stimuli

  2. Insights from your intuition or "gut feelings"

  3. Ideas or solutions that come to you out of the blue

  4. Unconscious prejudices and biases that affect how people see things

People often think of unconscious thinking as the brain's ability to process and combine a lot of information, experiences, and learned patterns without any effort on the part of the person. It can help you make better decisions and save time, especially when you don't have the time or ability to think things through carefully.

The conscious mind can access some of what the unconscious mind thinks. We can sometimes learn about our unconscious thoughts and biases by thinking about ourselves and reflecting on them.

Human Attitudes And Behavioural Patterns

Both conscious and unconscious thinking can have different effects on how people feel and act. Here is a list of how these different ways of thinking can affect our thoughts, attitudes, and actions:

Thinking About It(Conscious Thinking):

  • Intentional decision-making: Conscious thinking lets us think about our values, beliefs, and goals before making a choice. We can weigh our options, think about what might happen, and choose a path that fits with our conscious goals.

  • Rational analysis: We can use logical reasoning, critical thinking, and analysis because we can think consciously. We can think about the facts, weigh the pros and cons, and make decisions based on what makes sense.

  • Voluntary behaviour change: With conscious thinking, we can change our behaviours on purpose by setting goals, making plans, and putting those plans into action.

  • Self-awareness: When we think consciously, we can think about our own thoughts, feelings, and actions. This self-awareness lets us watch and control what we do, which leads to more planned and controlled actions.

Thinking Without Knowing It(Unconscious Thinking):

  • Unconscious views and preconceptions: Implicit biases and stereotypes can be formed and triggered by unconscious thought. These biases work even when we are not aware of them, and they can affect our thoughts and actions without our knowing it.

  • Intuition and gut feelings: Unconscious thinking can give us intuitive insights and gut feelings that guide our attitudes and actions. These insights might come from putting together a lot of information that was processed in the background.

  • Automatic responses: Unconscious thought can lead to automatic, reflexive responses to stimuli or situations based on learned associations or past experiences. Without us being aware of it, these automatic responses can shape how we act.

  • Emotional influences: Emotions and emotional memories can affect our unconscious thoughts, which can change our attitudes and how we act.

  • Making a habit: Unconscious thought plays a part in making and keeping a habit. Habits form when people do the same things over and over again and get rewarded for doing them.

Conscious and unconscious thinking often interact and affect each other. Through self-reflection and critical thinking, you can become aware of your unconscious biases and automatic responses and challenge them on purpose.

Also, READ | Understand Your Brain for a Better Memory

Conscious and Subconscious Manipulation

Both conscious and subconscious manipulation are ways to change or control someone's thoughts, beliefs, or actions. Here's a quick look:

Conscious Manipulation:

Conscious manipulation is when you try to control or influence other people on purpose. It usually requires a person to be aware of what they are doing and how it will affect other people. Conscious manipulation uses methods like persuasion, deception, coercion, or changing information to get the result you want. Techniques of manipulative persuasion in sales or marketing are one example.

  1. Emotional manipulation in relationships is a way to gain power or control.

  2. Some forms of abuse use methods of psychological manipulation.

  3. Political propaganda is meant to change people's minds.

  4. Conscious manipulation is usually seen as unethical when it involves lying, forcing someone to do something, or hurting their freedom or health.

Subconscious Manipulation:

Subconscious manipulation is the process of changing or influencing someone's thoughts, beliefs, or actions in a way that is not obvious to them. This kind of manipulation often uses cognitive biases, social cues, emotional triggers, and subconscious associations.

  1. Advertising methods use subconscious cues to make people want something or change how they act.

  2. Messages that are sent below the level of conscious awareness and try to change behaviour.

  3. Framing techniques are ways to present information in a way that changes how people think without them being aware of it.

  4. Cultural or social norms shape people's thoughts and actions in a subtle way.

Subconscious manipulation can be controversial because it can take advantage of people's weaknesses and limit their conscious freedom. Both conscious and unconscious manipulation can have major moral consequences. When trying to influence or persuade someone, it is important to respect their autonomy, consent, transparency, and ethical standards. By recognising and critically analysing manipulative techniques, people can make better decisions and avoid being manipulated too much.

In general, the best ways to avoid manipulation, whether it's conscious or subconscious, are to encourage open and honest communication, teach critical thinking skills, and promote personal autonomy and empowerment.


Train your mind to come up with better ideas

Using your brain can help you be more creative and come up with better ideas. Here are some ways to keep your mind active and get your imagination going:

  • Thinking and mind mapping: Use brainstorming sessions to come up with ideas without judging them. Use mind mapping to see how your ideas and connections fit together. This can help you think of new ideas and see how they fit together.

  • Do things that are creative: Take part in creative activities, like writing, drawing, painting, playing a musical instrument, or making crafts. These things will help you think outside the box and use your imagination.

  • Read frequently: When you read books, articles, and other pieces of writing from different genres, you learn about different ideas and points of view. It increases your knowledge, vocabulary, and creativity, making it easier for you to come up with new ideas.

  • Look for ideas in different places: For example, you could watch films, documentaries, go to art shows, or go for a walk in nature. Having different kinds of experiences and being in different kinds of places can spark your imagination and help you see things in new ways.

  • Creative or Innovative Thinking: Innovative thinking is the process of coming up with more than one idea or solution to a problem. Take part in "idea generation challenges" where you try to come up with as many ideas as you can in a certain amount of time. This makes you use your ability to think creatively and come up with many different ideas.

  • Take on the way you are: Try to be interested in the world around you. Ask questions, learn about new things, and look for new things to do. Curiosity sparks the mind and leads to new ideas and opportunities.

  • Play games that help you use your imagination: For example, you could tell stories, act out roles, or solve puzzles. These activities will make you more creative and help you think outside the box.

  • Take pauses and take it easy: It's important for creativity to give your mind time to rest and relax. Do things like meditate, practise mindfulness, or just go for a walk in nature. During these times of rest, your mind is free to wander, which can lead to new thoughts and ideas.

Your imagination is like a muscle that gets stronger when you use it regularly. By doing these things every day, you can improve your creative thinking and come up with better ideas.


Sum Up

Both conscious and unconscious thinking are important parts of how we think. Together, they help us deal with complicated situations, make decisions, and interact with the world.

Developing self-awareness, practising mindfulness, and actively challenging biases can help align conscious and unconscious thinking, leading to more intentional and values-driven attitudes and behaviours.

Conscious and Mindful Thinking- (Live) Sanja Bodiroga Podcast

Positive Thinking Abdul Kalam Quotes:

Here are a few positive thinking quotes by Dr A.P.J. Abdul Kalam, the renowned Indian scientist and former President of India:

  1. "Thinking should become your capital asset, no matter whatever ups and downs you come across in your life."

  2. "Man needs his difficulties because they are necessary to enjoy success."

  3. "Let us sacrifice our today so that our children can have a better tomorrow."

  4. "Dream, dream, dream. Dreams transform into thoughts and thoughts result in action."

  5. "You have to dream before your dreams can come true."

  6. "Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough."

  7. "All of us do not have equal talent, but all of us have an equal opportunity to develop our talents."

  8. "Look at the sky. We are not alone. The whole universe is friendly to us and conspires only to give the best to those who dream and work."

  9. "If a country is to be corruption-free and become a nation of beautiful minds, I strongly feel there are three key societal members who can make a difference. They are the father, the mother, and the teacher."

  10. "Don't take rest after your first victory because if you fail in the second, more lips are waiting to say that your first victory was just luck."

These quotes by Dr Abdul Kalam show how powerful positive thinking is, how important it is to follow your dreams, how important hard work is, and how much personal and social growth is possible. They are great reminders to live life with hope, determination, and a focus on getting better all the time.

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