Everybody’s heard this phrase right? I know I hear it on almost a daily basis. Every time I hear this statement I can’t help but thing how great minds absolutely do not think alike. Everybody is different, including in their thoughts.
There are so many subtleties in the way we think and exactly what our beliefs are, even if on the surface it seems that we’re thinking alike. Some of the greatest minds ever to exist on this planet have definitely not thought alike, which is exactly why they were as successful as they were.
Don’t Think Alike, Think Different
Thinking alike doesn’t seem like a very positive thing to me, though it’s expressed in a positive way. I think the most important and positive things we can do is figure out what those difference are (and they are anything but easy to find) and communicate them better so we understand better.
Even in agreement when thinking seems to be alike, it’s undoubtedly different. In that case, more questions need to be asked and more prying needs to be done in the case that it seems great minds are thinking alike.
Maybe the term coined by the Apple marketing machine, think different, isn’t the best way to put it either though. The thinking may end up being different, but thinking different just for the sake of doing so isn’t necessarily the best thing either.
Think For Yourself
I tend to think that beyond great minds thinking alike and think different might be think for yourself.
This means that whether you’re thinking different, agreeing, disagreeing, etc, it’s always necessary to think for yourself and never accept the agreement that is inevitably on the surface only.
Pry your way into the real thoughts and find out what it means to the other person. Seeking a way to empathize with them I guess is the real goal.
It’s being dismissive to say great minds think alike and then excuse that thought for being just like yours.
The thought you’re thinking is the same as yours is undoubtedly not just like yours. In fact it could be so different that you might learn something very new and change your way of thinking if more information is gathered.
When your first reaction to a statement or a way of thinking is that great minds think alike, stop yourself. Pause for one second and think of a question you might ask the other person. Figure out why you think that your lines of thinking are converging and maybe there is a lesson there.
It could be that the thinking is the same, or very similar, but I’m willing to bet in more cases than not that there is a vast difference between the thinking.
What do you think?