6 Goals for Thinkers in 2014

new-years-day-234805_1280It is a new year, and as we jump into 2014, we have the perfect opportunity to set goals and to make resolutions. The tradition of making new year’s resolutions is not a new one. It seems that every year around this time that we like to reflect on the last few years, and we continue doing what has worked and adjust what has not. In accordance with this tradition, we bring you 10 goals for thinkers in the new year:

1. Read more

The last few decades have seen people leave high quality books for smaller, more instantaneous forms of media. However, it is nearly impossible for lightweight media to convey the depth that a book can easily bring. Not only will reading allow you to gain a more thorough understanding of the topics in which you are interested, but it also sharpens your critical thinking skills, increases your creativity, and helps you to understand other people and their viewpoints. If you want to truly understand something well and to grow as you pursue knowledge, then don’t join the hordes that have left reading behind.

2. Study the liberal arts

Studying the liberal arts has long been thought to increase a person’s knowledge, to make him more virtuous, and to help him understand God and the universe. Although these beliefs go way back, they are not unfounded. The liberal arts force us to ask questions about ourselves, others, the world, God, truth, virtue, and much more. Furthermore, studying them builds many useful skills, especially those having to do with our ability to reason.

3. Examine your values

Do your values contradict one another? Would you recognize it if they did? Do you even know what you value? In the new year, take the time to get acquainted with your values and the hierarchy in which you place them. Understanding your values is critical to living a just, righteous, rational life.

4. Write more

Writing is one of the best intellectual outlets. For thousands of years, reasonable men have used writing to share their thoughts. Interestingly, the very act of writing can make you more thoughtful. When you are speaking, there is a generally accepted pace which you must speak at. With writing, you can spend as much time as you need thinking before putting your thoughts into words. If you have never taken the time to write, now is the time to do so.

5. Stop wasting time

The past is gone, completely out of reach, and the future is yet to come and guaranteed. The only time which we truly can say that we possess is the infinitesimally small point known as the present. If you think about it, time may very well be the most rare resource in the universe. So stop wasting it. Use it for something beneficial in the new year.

6. Simplify your philosophy

Last year I learned that your philosophy needs to be simple enough to easily be lived. It is easy to get mired down in the complexity of philosophy, but if you want your actions to coincide with your beliefs, you must find a way to keep it simple. If your philosophy is too complex to be lived by, then it probably isn’t a good philosophy.


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