During the last few days I have been doing a lot of thinking and reading about how can we further develop our mental capabilities. We all know how “smart” we are, but in reality, we haven't even really developed to our full potential. There are many ways of thinking, of which I won’t be going into specifics about right away, and it is important that you understand which one fits you the best. I recommend you read How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life by John C. Maxwell- it is a great book that talks about all of the different ways of thinking, and how you can apply them on a daily basis.

In this blog I will give you three simple ways that you can become an overall better thinker.

The first way you can become a better thinker is by analyzing and thinking about every aspect of your surroundings. This may sound obvious, but in my opinion it is of utmost importance. Have you heard the saying, “You are like the five closest people you hangout with”? I believe this applies to the way you think as well. We may not notice it, but other people’s way of thinking greatly influences how we approach our own problems. In the next week I want to encourage you to look around and become aware of how others think - think about what their thought process is and how they approach their problems. I can assure you that the way you think will be very similar to those around you. Then, ask yourself, are these people helping me develop my full potential or are they slowing me down? Reflect on this throughout your week, as well.

The second way you can become a better thinker is by becoming a learner first. Whether I like to admit it or not, this is one of the aspects I struggled with the most. I was a great student and never had major problems with any of my classes, but after graduation, I soon realized there are so many more things I want to learn. For example, I want to learn more about my faith; I want to learn not only how I can become a better Catholic but also why I am a Catholic and what my mission as a Catholic is. I want to be more confident about it when I talk to other people, especially those who don't have the same beliefs as me. I also want to learn more about how to live a more fulfilling life, and I want to keep learning about my career in Structural Engineering so I can make a true impact in society. It has been hard to admit that even to myself that I need to seek help and guidance from others in order to learn more about these areas, but that is one of the most important places to start. We must understand that we cannot learn by ourselves. With that being said, be humble and never stop learning. Money and power come and go, but the satisfaction of teaching others the knowledge you have gained through being a lifelong learner stays with you forever. 

Finally, train your mind as you train your body. If you don't push your mind to continuously learn new things or think differently, it will start to get weak. Our mind, like our body, needs to be trained to maintain its health. Training your mind is not as hard as it may sound; you just need to adjust your daily routine to keep your mind active. Some examples of this include taking a different route to work, going to a relaxing and quiet place to think over lunch, engaging in thought-provoking and engaging conversations, or simply playing challenging mind games. These are things that are so simple and yet so many people fail to put them to practice. By doing the same things over and over everyday we are doing harm to our minds - we are not taking full advantage of our mind’s capabilities. One way I have been training my mind lately is by simply writing my own thoughts on these blogs or by reading more every day; both of these activities keep my mind active, and I am learning so much more about myself through these reflections. 

I hope this post has made you think a little more about how you are approaching your daily life. Feel free to reach out to me - I would love to learn more about how you are thinking. 

Have a great day, and God bless!

About Luis Duque

I am currently working as a Bridge Engineer at Foothills Bridge Co. Foothills provides engineered solutions for the erection, retrofitting, and dismantling of bridges. During graduate school, I worked on a project entitled "Evaluation of UAV as a Bridge Inspection Tool". This research was conducted to promote and develop new and innovative techniques to inspect bridges to decrease costs and risks involved with current inspection practices. I also host a podcast, the Engineering our Future Podcast, where I share meaningful and educational conversations with some of the best and brightest engineers and professionals around the world so you can stay ahead of the curve in your career. Learn what the best engineers are working on, creating, and teaching so you can develop the skills needed to maintain your role as a key member of society.

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