Carmine Coyote shows us one way formal education fails to train effective thinking.

Many of us have been brought up with inadequate ideas about what it means to think. Through years of formal education, we were taught to equate thinking with memory. We had to learn the answers from our teachers and use our memories to recall them for graded tests and examinations. There was always a right answer. Now, whenever we must think, we automatically start scanning our memories to see if we can find the right answer. If it isn’t there, we’re lost. True thinking only begins when you realize you don’t know the answer (or there isn’t one) and you have to use your powers of thinking to work out what to do anyway. That’s why the essential basis for all effective thinking is not knowing.
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We need to learn to realize how little we know. And be willing to learn. You should read the whole post. It’s a worthwhile read. She talks about how in order to improve as a person, to build on our potential, we need to make conscious decisions, and not just work on autopilot.

We need to learn to think about what we’re doing and not just blindly follow what others tell us, or what we’re used to. That’s the only way we can learn and improve.