Today, I want to remind you of your responsibility to become a freethinker.
Who Formulates Your Opinions?
“Thinking is not an automatic function. In any hour and issue of his life, man is free to think or to evade that effort. Thinking requires a state of full, focused awareness. The act of focusing one’s consciousness is volitional.” – Ayn Rand
Are you a freethinker? A freethinker is someone who, through experience, reason, and insight, formulates unique, individualized opinions to ideas and observations. For example, a freethinker hears about a specific government program and draws on his knowledge. He thinks about the morality and sustainability of the program, the financial costs of the program, the effects of the program on his life and others, and the benefits of the program before drawing his conclusion.
Obviously, a freethinker doesn’t have all the answers. The relativists love to remind you how society and culture influence you. Of course, they do. But you don’t have to be constrained by your culture, upbringing, or community. You can choose differently.
Being a Freethinker and Enjoying Your Freedom
The beauty of being a freethinker is the wisdom you gain. You can only become independent in your thinking by pursuing virtue, making better decisions, and accomplishing productive, worthwhile goals. Pursuing virtue is a difficult, challenging task. However, persisting through the struggles will give you insight into your limitations, your desires, and who you are as a person.
Additionally, when you learn more, accomplish better, and achieve your goals, you will improve your life in a multitude of ways. To improve your life is to secure your finances, enhance your emotional wellbeing, and upgrade your health and relationships. By becoming a more virtuous individual, you gain wisdom into the meaning of life and how to live fully.
Lastly, being a freethinker improves your life and the lives of others. The more capable you are, the more critical your thoughts, and the more controlled your emotions, the more you can benefit yourself, your community, and the world.
Being A Sheep Does Not Benefit Anyone Except the Powerful
“The thinking man is no one’s slave.”
That sounds beautiful, right? Unfortunately, most people are not freethinkers. They prefer pursuing comfort and ease at the expense of their personal growth and development. Furthermore, they are not content with their moral failings. They will drag others down with them. Look at the deadbeat sibling who drains the family purse with his stupid decisions. Or, the voting masses who believe everyone should be forced to pay for the selfish desires of a few voters.
However, being a sheep and falling in line gets you nowhere. When you refuse to challenge yourself, formulate your thoughts, or deal with the difficulty of living life, you will never earn power over yourself. You will be forever waiting for someone else to think for you, to struggle for you, and to make decisions for you.
Be More Than A Slave To The Powerful
Such a path, of course, is foolish. You will gain short term comforts at the expense of being able to define who you are and what your life means. Unfortunately, you won’t be a freethinker. You won’t be relevant. You will be a pawn.
Think about it. You don’t want to decide what you should do with your life? Have fun working at the family business you hate. You don’t want to think about creating a budget? Have fun being in debt to massive corporations who don’t care about you. You don’t want to think critically about the state and the role it plays in your life? Have fun when it decides what you can and cannot do with your resources.
Being a sheep leaves you at the mercy of the power-hungry. Avoid trading your life for a little comfort.
Become an Individual and a Freethinker
“If devotion to truth is the hallmark of morality, then there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” – Ayn Rand
Being a sheep tethered to the comforts and vices of your culture is easy. It’s the default. Becoming an individual is much harder.
Do you want to become a freethinker? Then start here:
- Define your life goal and understand what you want to do with your life
- Understand the 13 virtues and how to practice them
- Ignore divisive voices, manipulative individuals, and weak people focused on hurting you and taking your resources
- Journal and reflect on your actions as often as you can
- Do your work well and never complain about it
- Consume uplifting works which inspire you to be courageous, focused, and generous
Of course, there are other actions you can take. However, the freethinker is built on the foundation of overcoming pain, vice, and comfort. Only through meaningful struggle can you sharpen your mind and forge your path.
The world needs more people who are willing and capable of doing just that.
- What is something you believe in? Why do you believe it? Why do you accept this concept to be true?
- What is a belief or idea you’ve had which others have disagreed with? What did you do with your belief?
- Do you know many “followers” in your life? What is your opinion of these people?
Please remember that it’s important to do the actionables. You’re not on this earth to simply read but to do. To become an individual, you must act more than you consume.
*Image credit to Unsplash.