The Trouble With Traditional Thinking: Can You Afford It?

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Are you stuck in a rut of doing the same thing, the same way, with no hope in sight of doing any differently?

Have you ever heard something before but you can’t pin down the exact source?

Have you been enthralled by stories that seem plausible but you have no way of verifying them?

Is traditional thinking holding you back?

Is traditional thinking holding you back?

Chances are that you’ve inherited some ideas, some beliefs and customs, or some old, fanciful legends of mythic proportion.

Traditional thinking passes down such things… from culture to culture, and from generation to generation.
In many cases, they bind you to the status quo as they sidetrack you from your purpose.

The Trouble With Traditional Thinking: Can You Afford This?

We have been subsumed into accepted styles of thinking, and as a result, traditional thinking is the mindset of the mainstream.

It dares to tell you that mediocrity is acceptable, that nothing in life is urgent, that tomorrow will be here soon enough, so relax. What we don’t get done today will get done tomorrow. It justifies procrastination because it doesn’t consider beyond right now.

You dare to CHALLENGE CONVENTION because the images projected to you by those of the traditional thinking camp do not line up with your vision, with your purpose, or with what God has called you to BE.

Your VISION has you see exactly what John Oโ€™Donohue meant when he spoke “On The Secret Landscapes Of Imagination And Spirit”…

It is the unseen life that dreams us.

Traditional thinking often fails to look at the BIG picture, let alone the unknown or the unseen.

The words of Edward de Bono remind us,

Traditional thinking is all about “what is.” Future thinking will also need to be about what can be.

You’re not going to waiting around for something to happen, are you?

Not unless you are willing to have your creativity stifled, your talents shrivel, or your potential go to waste.

I’m fairly certain we can’t afford this, at least not anyone truly interested in succeeding. We know better than this.

Yes there have been countless ancient scholars and independent thinkers of the past… from Socrates to Plato, and Emerson to Thoreau. They’ve all got something to say. But that was then. YOU are now! YOU make things happen!

Traditional Thinking: One Size Fits All

How many times have you heard, “But we’ve always done it that way.”?

Traditional thinking offers one-size-fits-all solutions, but, as you know, not all hand-me-down clothes fit, so why force them?

Traditional thinking is window dressing for mannequins, and YOU, well you are not about to be draped in such thoughts, for you are cut from a different cloth… cloth woven of the finest threads of imagination, tailored to suit your needs.

Take A Stand Against Traditional Thinking

Traditional thinking instructs the timid soul that he is in lack and in disrepair, with no means of acquiring anything worthwhile, nor has need to, because he is not worthy. You see no sense in continuing the pattern that perpetuates low self-esteem and leaves you drowning in illusions.

You see no value in traipsing along the well-worn, weary paths that lead to obsolescence, obscurity and oblivion.
And good for you! You REFUSE to be bound by convention or allow the tools you need to succeed to become blunt.

Traditional thinking tells the timid soul to play it safe, to never take risks, for risks of any kind are much too dangerous and are likely to upset the apple cart and what little comfort one has.

But YOU, you are not given a spirit of fear, or timidity, but of love, power and sound mind. (2 Timothy 1:7)

Traditional thinking, with it’s overbearing, loud, obnoxious voice yells, “Don’t rock the boat. Don’t make waves. Go with the flow.

But YOU, your internal compass is set to True North, and you are determined, to ride out the storm.

While others are quietly accepting that they must go down with the ship, you are already manning the lifeboats because you know the only ship that will steer you clear of danger is LEADERSHIP.

Traditional thinking whispers, “All in good time, my boy.

But YOU, you are a FORWARD thinker and have never felt a greater sense of urgency to BE and to DO!

You know that true LEADERS…

  • INFLUENCE decisions.
  • INSTIGATE action.
  • INSPIRE confidence.
  • INCITE excellence.

Competition sets up the mental construct that it is “us” versus “them”, that it’s a cut-throat, dog-eat-dog world. The competition mindset would also have you believe that things are more important than people.

YOU know differently. You THRIVE on civility, collaboration, and cooperation.

Bryant McGill, in Voice of Reason says,

The real safety net of life is community, family and nature.

Traditional thinking is for the common man. Ah, but then again… YOU are anything but common!

For you know deep down inside you that you have much more to offer this world.

Because you have the unbeatable combination of:

  • dauntless determination
  • deep desires
  • driving dedication
  • high hopes
  • pure potential
  • priceless purpose

… you are unwilling to settle for average, mediocre or ordinary.

In conclusion… When you challenge the NORM, you define the new normal.

You Have A Voice… Let’s Hear It!

Has traditional thinking ever lead you to transformation?

What have you done to break away from this style of thinking?

You can share your valuable views here.

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Thank you kindly!

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About Bill Butler
William A. Butler is a John C.Maxwell certified coach. He loves to add value to others and aspiring to be a great humanitarian, lives by four words: BE LOVE TO OTHERS. William often goes by "Bill" and is a poet, a songwriter and has an upcoming novel.

86 thoughts on “The Trouble With Traditional Thinking: Can You Afford It?

  1. I have always hated it when people say, “No, I was raised to…” Raised to be a Republican. Raised to this, that, or the other. I always want to scream at them, “Don’t you have a brain? Don’t you think?” Thanks for giving me a place to rant. I’ll stop now since I’m preaching to the choir.
    Beth Niebuhr recently posted…How to Attract More People to Your BlogMy Profile

    • Hi Beth,
      That’s an interesting point you raise Beth. Many people do not travel beyond their own community, many do not think beyond what they’ve been shown. It makes me wonder how much more fulfilling their lives would be if they explored and experienced greater possibilities than the traditional thinking they inherited.

      Have a great week!

  2. We all should think for ourselves. I always have liked to march to my own drummer ๐Ÿ™‚ It makes me unique that way ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Hi Sandy,
      I know you’re right about that. We all should, but not all will. It’s human nature for some people to accept whatever else someone has told them, so they accept those “facts” as their truth, and in many cases, those ideas do not align with reality.
      Good for you. I enjoy independent thinkers. ๐Ÿ™‚

      Kind Regards,

  3. As a risk-averse, lifelong procrastinator, this is something I needed to hear. Thank you!
    Meredith Wouters recently posted…Robin Eggs PaletteMy Profile

    • Hi Meredith,
      Please see my reply to Jeevan regarding procrastination. Perhaps it will help you too. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I admire your honesty. Fear holds a lot of people back from facing their bugaboos.

      Have a colorful week!

  4. Hi Bill,

    Traditional thinking was never a part of me thank God! When I was a kid, they called me a rebel, a weirdo, etc.

    Needless to say, that didn’t make me miss popularity. Most kids thought I was too weird to play with. I did manage to seek out one or two pals to hang out with that was accepting of my nature.

    In high school I had a boyfriend for those 4 years. He was “weird” too. But we had a heck of a lot of fun…just the two of us exploring Manhattan, doing creative things like writing poetry, etc.

    Somehow I managed to survive and eventually became proud of who I was and how I thought later in life.

    So I lived for the future and what I can make of it. So what if I was the odd ball as a kid lol!

    If I had to do it again, I wouldn’t change a darn thing!

    donna merrill recently posted…Facebook Is A Marketer’s DreamMy Profile

    • Hi Donna, I was the same way in school. I liked to hang out with the kids who thought differently. Some would call them the “oddballs” but they were the most interesting kids in school! Those are the kids you would learn something valuable from, not the “popular” kids who only talked about gossip.

      I think you and I would have been great friends in school, Donna! We would have liked the same kids.
      Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently posted…Amazon Fire TV and Dash – Your Voice Just Became Much More PowerfulMy Profile

    • Hi Donna,
      Thanks for sharing more about how you grew up and what your experiences were. I learned early this morning that Pharrell Williams has a second Twitter account called “I Am Other.” You may resonate with it too, as I do. Being “different”, labelled “weirdo” is okay.
      I think the more we recognize and learn to celebrate differences, the sooner the world will be happier.

      Thanks for being YOU! Have a beautiful week!

  5. Hi Bill,

    While I do agree to the concept you shared in this post, I am not sure if I would term it as a traditional thinking.

    Traditional thinking is a bigger umbrella with more good things than bad. Traditional thinking is something I respect and I beg to differ with you about the selection of words here.

    We have always respected our parents, God and elderly. But the modern thinking is very logical and I don’t think I would like to subscribe to a contrary thinking in this aspect.

    Traditional thinking always says family first but modern thinking seems to give career, ambition and money more importance and I wouldn’t subscribe to that school of thought either.

    If you pause to think, there are so many blessings if traditional thinking and I wouldn’t like to make an impression that traditional thinking is bad per se.

    But like I said, I am in agreement with the concept, just not with the the idea of marking these on the name if traditional thinking.

    Kumar Gauraw recently posted…65 Tips To Boost Your Website Traffic, Engagement And Brand ImageMy Profile

    • Hi Kumar,
      I certainly respect the importance of God in our lives and the traditions of family values. I also believe in placing people first.
      I see these as core values. The traditional thinking I’m referring to is the kind that has you accept what has been handed down to you that someone else thought best for you, without challenging yourself to be better. Traditional thinking in that regard cripples growth and leads to stagnation. That’s why such a small percentage of the populace are visionaries and forward thinkers.

      Best Regards!

      • Hi Bill,

        Like I said, I am not against the concept you are sharing. But I wouldn’t want to mark that as “traditional thinking”. It could be anything such as “stinking thinking”, “complacency” or anything thing (you can get way better words) but not traditional thinking because that is such a broad subject area as I see it.

        Anyways, we are on the same page as far as your concept goes, just disagree on your selection of words here ๐Ÿ™‚

        Kumar Gauraw recently posted…Top 10 SEO Bloggers To Follow For SEO, Traffic And Conversion TipsMy Profile

  6. Hi Bill,

    I love this topic. While I could answer yes, to all your 3 questions at the top, I can also tell you that I’ve been what I call myself a ‘soft rebel’ since I was a child for the very reason that ‘traditional thinking’ annoyed me for the most part.

    For example, my mom used to be very superstitious because of her own mother who was worse even. But me and my brother we broke that stupid pattern. My brother used to make fun of some of my mother’s superstitions, until it even made her laugh. Thankfully she dropped that ‘traditional thinking’ of hers over the years. As for me I did quite a bit as well ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s up to us to break the traditional thinking pattern and start thinking for ourselves and grow.
    Sylviane Nuccio recently posted…Finding Your True Identity And Breaking The Negative PatternsMy Profile

    • Hi Sylviane,
      As you related about your mother, I also thought of people who live with those who are eccentric or have OCD. I think of the movie “As Good As It Gets” with Jack Nicholson, how he portrayed a man who struggled with these issues. That would make it difficult to adhere to their behavior, their brand of traditional thinking as a part of your own growth and development. Thank God for freedom and independence.

      All the best!

  7. I have always been the guy who was cool with everyone but stayed by myself. I kept my business to myself and did what needed to be done to succeed. While everyone else stuck to the plan of the hood and went no where. Thanks for sharing..
    Jay recently posted…8 Reasons Why Men Should Practice โ€œShut Upโ€œMy Profile

    • Hi Jay,
      You should count yourself lucky to have had such independence of thought while avoiding social stigmas and peer pressure.
      I think that independent thinking, as opposed to traditional, can lead to more meaningful relationships, but it does require a deeper level of consideration too.

      Have a great week!

  8. I have never been one to be considered a traditional thinker. I started my promotional products business in the early nineties. I was told two things. Woman are not in this business and no one can sell promotional products on the internet. Well guess who is still on the internet and going strong. If I had been a traditional thinker I would have been stuck in a rut. Great post as usual.
    Arleen recently posted…Why Companies Trademark Everyday WordsMy Profile

    • Hi Arleen,
      Good for you! ๐Ÿ™‚ I admire your tenacity to go against the norm and define a new normal for yourself. It’s certainly not the followers who establish companies and realize their vision.

      Kind Regards,

  9. Hi Bill, Wow, what a powerful message! I agree thinking different is what changes the world. I think that may be one of the reasons I like tech, the successful people in the tech world are the ones who thought different. If 100 people look at a situation, the one who sees it differently may be the one who figures out the solution.

    As I mentioned in my comment to Donna, I like to hang around people who think different. Even when I was young, I was fascinated by those who had a different view of the world and weren’t afraid to share their thoughts. I encourage my girls to avoid traditional thinking and send them to a school that encourages creative thinking.

    Thanks for shedding a light on the value of creative thinking, Bill!
    Carolyn Nicander Mohr recently posted…Amazon Fire TV and Dash – Your Voice Just Became Much More PowerfulMy Profile

    • Hi Carolyn,
      Yes, indeed. Steve Jobs was also unconventional and actually did change the world in how we use communication technology.

      I also admire deep thinkers and thoughtful people, who add value by sharing their ideas. I started my daughter off in Montessori school at 3 years old to help her in the same way as you’ve done with your girls.

      It would be nice to train an entire generation of young people to be visionaries. My pleasure to contribute. Thank you!

      Have a wonderful week!

  10. What you’ve highlighted here in regards to traditional thinking reminds me of some issues surrounding the clinging to traditional pedagogy (teaching practices) in the classroom. My teacher program over a decade ago filled my mind with so many great ideas, styles, and approaches to teaching, but the reality of most schools is they are still stuck to isolating skills and not teaching 21st century learners. Wish I could say I fought the good fight, but I got out while I could.
    Jeri recently posted…Collaborative Poetry inspired by The Song of the Banana Man (#Poem Video)My Profile

    • Hi Jeri,
      Thank you for sharing from your perspective. While it is important to sharpen skills, it is also important to instil values that translate into real world experience. My daughter is a teacher and I think the set cirriculum in many institutions also overlooks the importance of many subjects that would give students a greater understanding and appreciation of life.

      All the best!

  11. Agree with you about the dangers of traditional thinking, above all in the West. If you are Chinese though it is an assett. They are used to rice farming and hence have a tradition of working 24/7 in order not to starve. And not to forget, constantly finding ways of harvesting more rice.
    Catarina recently posted…Do you drive leadership through ambidexterity?My Profile

    • Hi Catarina,
      Thanks for adding the cultural component. I know Kumar talked about how things were for him in India, so it is an important consideration. In writing this post, I had not considered communism or other isms as a factor, but in such cases, one would not wish to be seen as a dissident.

      Kind Regards,

  12. Nice write up william… I personally believe in a mix of traditional & modern thinking because of the world we stay in… total traditional thinking might not work here…. My blog:
    Pragya recently posted…Ooty – The Queen of Hill StationsMy Profile

    • Greetings Pragya! Welcome!
      Thank you for sharing what works for you. I’m all for thinking that challenges us to NOT be complacent, to stagnate, or to procrastinate. When we are willing to learn and grow and keep moving forward, that is the kind of thinking that motivates and inspires me to be all I can be.

      Blessings for a beautiful week ahead!

  13. Hi Bill

    I have never been a traditional thinker which drove my parents crazy but which allowed me to do things that I never would have done if I had followed the traditional path. Great post.

    • Hi Lenie,
      I’m getting an image of what your growing up years may have looked like. ๐Ÿ˜‰ Good for you!
      I was influenced early on by Self Reliance by Ralph Waldo Emerson, so I have never considered myself a traditional thinker either.
      Thanks Lenie. Have a great week!

  14. I have this habit of questioning certain traditional systems and rules for which I face criticism from various people! What irritates me the most is when people say “This has been in our culture for ages. Do not question this…”
    One reason of generation gap(according to me) is the questioning tendency of the youth which offends the elder generation…
    Nice post!

    • Hi Tuhin,
      I think you’re right to question, and only you can know for yourself if the answers you derive align with your values, your purpose and your passion. I hear you… that’s the “Don’t rock the boat” line of thinking. “It’s always been done this way.” While that may be true, perhaps there is a more efficient way, a cost-cutting method that will make everyone more productive. It never hurts to ask questions. How else do we derive knowledgeable answers?

      I think the generation gap will become smaller as both sides become more understanding.
      Have a great week!

  15. In the last few years I’ve realized that Thinking out the box >>>>> traditional thing. At least it has worked better for me. I have been able to make a lot of things happen.
    Jason B recently posted…4 Ways For Students To Find A Summer JobMy Profile

    • Hi Jason,
      Good for you! Some people even challenge the notion of there being a box in the first place, but the First Law of Leadership is the Law Of The Lid. It states that leadership ability is the lid that determines a personโ€™s level of effectiveness. The lower an individualโ€™s ability to lead, the lower the lid on his potential. The higher the individualโ€™s ability to lead, the higher the lid on his potential. This is also why it takes more than traditional thinking to be a leader.

      Have a great week!

  16. Hey Bill,

    Now I agree with the way you explained it in your reply to Kumar’s comment because I was fixing to agree with him.

    What I don’t like though is when I’m told “but we’ve always done it this way”. I had this talk with my Mother just yesterday and I get so sick of hearing her say this. She’ll gripe about her sister who is so damn set in her ways but she won’t look at herself.

    I’m constantly reminding her that she has a brain and she has feelings. So do with them what you may and it doesn’t have to be because your mother told you so. She’s gotten upset with me numerous time because I’ll tell her that’s how you were raised and that’s fabulous but I don’t believe that and here is why… In that respect hell yeah!

    Thanks for bringing this up, very interesting conversations.

    Adrienne recently posted…Why Blogging Relationships Always Win Over TrafficMy Profile

    • Hi Adrienne,
      Thanks for your understanding and for relating your experience with your mother. I think we’ve all had dealings with people who
      are resistant to change. One thing I did not mention in my post was that in the military, the leadership sets the standard to be followed, so it’s another example of where one does not have a say in how to think or do otherwise.

      But where we have a choice to learn and grow, I say take it. As in my previous post, Helen Keller did not allow herself to be held back, even though society, at large, would have told her it’s impossible. She listened to the voice of her own inner beauty that told her to shine on!

      I appreciate your input. Yes, it seems this post has triggered various reactions, but it’s all good. I love learning ๐Ÿ˜‰

      All the best for a terrific week!

  17. Fortunately I was raised with a father who told me all the time, ” Always….Be good, be careful, be curious” That is a tradition I am happy to maintain. It’s that curiosity that has lead me places that I never imagined for myself. In our house, tradition had more to do with custom ( dinner at 6, holidays with the family) but never in the thinking realm. I’ll always be grateful for that…however, I’m reminded sometimes how much courage it takes to buck tradition. Wish Dad had talked more about that ๐Ÿ™‚ LOL

    • Hi Jacquie,
      Thanks for providing more insight from another perspective. I had not considered the wisdom of parenting to be tradition per se, but I see your point from it being something that you were accustomed to. Regular routines, as you’ve spoken of, are important, especially more so among the elderly. Being thrown off their routine can be quite upsetting.

      When we allow our curiosity to roam, we enter the realm of fresh new possibilities, we entertain new solutions.
      Meditation also brings people greater clarity. Creative imagination has one envision a whole new world of ideas. ๐Ÿ˜€
      These kinds of things are methods of non-traditional thinking that enliven us, that keep us invigorated and balanced.

      Yes, it does take courage to go against the grain, but I think as with much of life, fear restrains people from being all they can be.
      It is in daring to be think differently that we become more than we are.

      Kind Regards,

  18. Hi Bill; thanks for sharing this. I can’t think of any time where traditional thinking has lead to a break through. In truth i wish i had not gone to college and gone straight into the family business instead. I wish i had realized the failure of the carnival business we owned was coming sooner than i did so i would have started my own business sooner. I wish i had done the gastric surgery sooner instead of continuing to try to lose weight unsuccessfully on my own. Keep up the great work, max
    maxwell ivey recently posted…Wednesday night meet up recap April 2, 2014My Profile

    • Hi Max,
      You’re very welcome, my friend. ๐Ÿ™‚
      I agree with you – traditional thinking does not lead to breakthroughs. That ties in with a popular phrase (attributed to Albert Einstein, Ben Franklin, Mark Twain and Rita Mae Brown)… “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result.” The problem is, if you’re in that cycle, it’s hard to think otherwise.

      As you know, none of us are exempt from making mistakes and not of us can change the past. But as Malcolm S. Forbes reminds us, “Failure is success if we learn from it.”

      All the best to you, my friend.

  19. Hi Bill,

    Interesting. I have not always been a risk taker. I was definitely a follower when I was younger, but just by the nature of who I am, I was bound to come out and ‘be’ something different. I have never been a traditional thinker, because I was never ‘traditional.’ I looked different than my peers as an African American woman so it started there. I learned to be a risk taker because I looked different and that followed on through life.

    I do know the followers though and those who think traditionally and never want to come out that box. Personally, I wonder how boring life can be if you don’t take any risk and if you don’t sway from the traditional.

    This definitely makes us take a good indepth look at ourselves, our lives and our traditions.
    Good post.

    Barbara Charles recently posted…A Special Blogger StoryMy Profile

    • Hi Barbara,
      I appreciate learning of your experience and how it has shaped who you have become. I think certain experiences inform us of a better way to live or a better way to be. For example, the wrongness of child abuse helped me to understand what it takes to be kind, compassionate and considerate; not angry and vengeful.

      But at the time, when that was all I experienced, I thought it was “normal.” I grew up and find out how far from the truth that is.
      I guess in that sense, I wasn’t a traditional thinker either. I know many people who have suffered abuse continue to think in ways that don’t serve them very well, likely as a defence mechanism they have never discarded.

      I agree with you. I think life is meant to be explored, to take risks, to learn and to grow. Yet there are countless people who have never left their home town. I find that strange why they wouldn’t be the slight bit more curious. Thanks so much for contributing to the conversation.

      May your burdens be light and your blessings heavy!

  20. Great post, Bill! I think I’ve always been a non-traditional thinker in a traditional family and in traditional workplaces. I’ve only recently gained the courage to follow the non-traditional path of blogging and creating my own career. I was hunting for a traditional job through traditional channels until a couple of months ago, when I decided I was tired of companies bashing my self-esteem. I don’t think my very traditional mother yet understands why I wouldn’t want to continue to apply for regular jobs. But since I’ve decided it’s blogging or bust, I feel better and more empowered than I have in a long time!

    • Welcome Jennifer!
      You did what most traditional thinkers would never consider. You took a risk, that you’ve had the courage to try something new, something that you can be proud of. You deserve to be respected, and obviously weren’t getting that from those you worked for. At least working for yourself, you reclaim your power and your peace of mind. Good for you! ๐Ÿ™‚ Perhaps in time your mother will understand. Anyway, it’s her issue, not yours. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      All the best!

      • Thanks for your kind words, and for retrieving my post from the spam depths!

        • Hi Jennifer,
          You’re very welcome. I am happy for you that you are on track to be even happier in your life because of the changes you have made.
          Changes that many people are afraid to make. It takes courage to go against the grain, to stand up for your own rights, and your personal value and dignity as a human being. Something many traditional thinkers don’t do. Full steam ahead Jennifer! Let nothing hold you back. ๐Ÿ™‚

          Enjoy your weekend!

  21. One of the greatest compliments I ever received was not a compliment at all. Someone read my blog and offered the statement, “This is not a blog”. I could have left upset but I replied “thank you”. With so many music blogs in the world I aspire to be different from the others. If it means I do not fit the traditional thinking of the masses, so be it. Thanks for your post.
    Edward Reid recently posted…Relentless!My Profile

    • Welcome Edward!
      I like how you think. ๐Ÿ™‚ Traditional thinking does not call on anyone to be creative, to have original ideas; only go with the flow, with what is expected.
      Some cultures exploit people under the banner of ‘traditional thinking’ for their productivity… sweat shops, forced labor. I’m glad there is such a thing as freedom of choice that distinguishes one from what Thoreau called “the miserable herd.” That’s makes me very glad for you! Different is fine in my books.
      Thanks for your contribution. Much appreciated.

      Kind Regards,

  22. Confucius said, “The one who would be in constant happiness must frequently change.” I can get into my old habits, not want to branch out, and try new things. However, life is always changing. I want to grow and change with it. I agree with your article and thanks for sharing .=)

    • Welcome Crystal ๐Ÿ™‚
      You’re very welcome. I’m glad to contribute ๐Ÿ™‚ That you have come to realize that you desire to grow and change is all that is necessary to begin.
      Add action to that desire and you are on your way to achieving all that you can imagine.

      All the best to you!

  23. Bill! You throw me back in gear with this writing. I guess I forgot that I have always been a “radical thinker” since early teens! I needed to remember this and stay TRUE to myself now entering my 60s!!!
    When I was a senior (in high school – YES I can remember that far!!), I was designated to serve as the editor for our Yearbook Club. My school was a black high school with a small student population in 1971 .. and we met with the representative from the Publishing Company to give us guidelines for publishing our yearbook. The gentleman sharing with me and my group that black schools typically produce their books in black and white when I asked how much it would cost for color printing. He said we could possibly afford it. Well, that rationale did not support what I saw in my eyes… I loved color and I saw that we would be willing to work to get this accomplished. We accomplished our goal as the first senior class to produce a yearbook with color… I am very grateful to have the memory right now… for I need to review that I am a noncomformist and a person of vision who likes to excellence in a different, higher level. I cant afford traditional ways of thinking for it limits me from being who I truly aim… no afraid to try to fly… never ashamed for even considering to do so… always seem to be able to achieve what I envision… thanks to God… I believe I shall continue being so for God loves me just the way I am! Be Blessed! You have blessed me!

    • Hi Marian,
      I’m glad to hear you’re inspired. ๐Ÿ™‚ I really appreciate hearing your story. It took cooperation, determination, and the mindset of a winner to accomplish your goal. As you focus on excellence, it will be made manifest. God calls those things that are not as though they are. Are we not made in His image?

      Kind Regards,

  24. That one size fits all section reminds me of the Monkeys, bananas and water story. Today’s world can never afford to be in that situation. I never drive the same road all the time. I am all for change and new thinking.
    Welli recently posted…Where is your speedometer?My Profile

    • Hi Welli,
      Yes, there is a lot to learn from that story. It’s typical of traditional thinking… that’s how things are done here, but no one knows the reason why.
      You’re right. This world needs more consideration, more understanding, more wisdom acted upon and not just dispensed. Otherwise, we’re all in for a major soaking.


  25. Hi Bill, I think we do need to change our thinking from time to time or we never grow and end up stale and stuck in our ways. I know someone who keeps on doing the same thing for years and always complains, the victim story as I call it. I get frustrated because you can’t change unless you MAKE change and change your THINKING.
    I’ve been thinking much different lately as my mom has terminal cancer,it gives you a different perspective on life altogether.
    Love the topic as it always amazes me how some are so stuck in ruts!
    Lisa recently posted…Comments – Do You Allow Backlinks with One Comment, Several or None?My Profile

    • Hi Lisa,
      I agree with you. Otherwise, our brains don’t make as many synaptic connections, and we start to decline. Staying interested in many things helps to be open to change. Of course, greater resistance to change becomes more prevalent as we age, unless we are determined otherwise. The person to which you refer with ‘the victim story’… I’ve encountered many like this as well. I always wonder what is the source of their pain? We also cannot change anyone else, they must see it as a need within themselves, or they won’t ever consider changing.

      My heart goes out to you. I went through the same experience with my Mom, so I empathize with your situation. It certainly does give pause for reflection.
      On her deathbed, my Mom said, “I know I must go, but how do I get out of my body?” I didn’t know how to answer that. I felt like a little kid. I kissed her on the forehead and cheek and said, “If you must go Mom, go in peace.”

      Ruts… yes… they out to be told – “Quit digging.” ๐Ÿ˜‰ Thanks for adding to the conversation here.

      All the best!

  26. My parents, especially my father, were anything but traditional. In a sense, my rebellion was to be fairly traditional—-went to law school, married a physician. However, one thing I did inherit from my father was wanderlust. I think travel shows us that there is more than one way to live, to accomplish, to be happy.
    Suzanne Fluhr recently posted…Hawaii Quilt Guild Show: E Hoโ€™onanea I Ka Mili KapaMy Profile

    • Hi Suzanne,
      Thank you for sharing your experience. Many traditional thinkers stay in their own backyards. But I got the same sense of wanderlust when I went in the military fresh out of high school at 17. I was fortunate to travel to many places then (stationed in Pearl Harbor, for one) and have continued ever since. We have been fortunate to see many beautiful places in the world. I agree with you. I think travel is a wonderful way to learn and meet really wonderful people, too.

      Best Regards,

  27. Mary Stephenson says:

    Hi Bill

    Hummm…I am one that turned everything on its ear for what I was supposed to be like.

    I remember as a youngster that dad would say “you always want to bite the hand that feeds you.” Well yeah but the hand that fed me was abusive. So everything he believed in soon was no longer part of my way of thinking. When I was an adult for my mom said “her daughters would not do that.” Can’t remember what “that” was, but she was wrong as this daughter did.

    I always went to a different drummer, although as much as I wanted to be part of a group I did not bend because they tried bullying me into something. Oh heavens though I made some poor choices and did buckle for a few things I wish I never did. But I come out stronger because of it.

    Yeah everybody expects you to act a certain way and believe a certain way, but if it really doesn’t feel right maybe one has to make a stand to be different.

    If the values and traditions are also yours, then by all means keep them, but one should never feel because this is the way they were raised, that it is correct.


    • Hi Mary,
      I’m with you on that one. My father had little interaction with me (no games, no fishing, no playing ball, nothing like that) and more often than not, his anger would boil over and spill into my life. From all that, he taught me hundreds of ways how NOT to be. I wouldn’t call that traditional thinking either.
      Not everyone learns from what is missing in their life, but it’s easy to understand the wrongness of abuse when you receive it.

      You’ve made an important point Mary. Everyone should learn to stand up for themselves, to voice their concerns. It simply takes courage.

      On your last point, I think if your upbringing did not make you whole as a person, then you owe it to yourself to be decidedly different and make the changes in your life that are wholesome and meaningful to you.

      All the best!

  28. Very well written and motivational. I liked the hand-me-down clothes analogy. With the loss of a job, I’ve had the opportunity to explore different possibilities. I had to think outside of the “traditional” views of how I defined myself and capabilities based on the job I had for 10 years. I am now taking on roles of photographer, author, and entrepreneur- all things I wouldn’t have considered from the safety and comfort of my traditional job.

    • Hi Christina,
      Another soul with an independent spirit. Good for you! Yes, I used to wear hand-me-down clothes, but I outgrew the experience. ๐Ÿ˜‰
      Isn’t it interesting how many people define themselves by their occupation? We are all so much more than that.
      I’m glad that you are able to bless others with your photography (another passion of mine too) and enjoy what you now do.

      Keep up the good work!

  29. Hey Bill. Well said on Traditional Thinking or traditional not thinking for oneself as the case may be. There is much to be drawn from conventional wisdom but I agree we need to question it, ask whether it is really applicable to our current situation and not allow it to become intellectual laziness. After all, in order for it to become traditional thinking, someone had to open their mind and come up with it in the first place and it serves us best to do the same.
    Paul Graham recently posted…Chinese Takeaway. Food For Thought !My Profile

    • Hey Paul,
      My apologies for the late reply. I sometimes wish there were 72 hours in a day. Thank you for adding value here. I agree with you that we need to question conventional wisdom, as well as other things, such as our own assumptions, and where our biases have come from. Laziness certainly doesn’t lead to an authentic life of value, and if we go down that rabbit hole, we get stuck trudging through the same muck over and over again.

      Have an enjoyable weekend!

  30. Hello Bill,

    I have never been a fan of traditional thinking…in fact, growing up, my father always had to caution me that a man cannot change the world.

    Though I often let him have his way, I knew he wasn’t correct – its mere men that change the course of history. And when such people actually succeed in doing so, they become immensely great themselves!

    Your entries are always uplifting… keep up the great work!

    Akaahan Terungwa recently posted…HOW TO BE THE GREATEST BLOGGER EVERMy Profile

    • Hello Terungwa,
      I can think of many people, both men and women, whose life’s work and contribution to our betterment stand out. Those with insatiable curiosity, combined with a fierce determination to make a difference, are not traditional thinkers. When one’s aim is to add value, that is usually the result.
      Thanks for your encouragement! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Have a wonderful weekend!

      • I completely agree with you, Bill.

        Such men as Einstein have reported that fate punished them for their ‘sin’ of contempt for authority by making them authorities themselves.

        The question is: would Albert have succeed in his contributions to Physics in the mannner he did were he a mortal thinker?

        Akaahan Terungwa recently posted…MYTHEMESHOP GIVEAWAY: GATEWAY TO THREE PREMIUM THEMESMy Profile

        • Hi Terungwa,
          It’s a tricky subject, especially being made an authority on anything. You look at Socrates, and Plato too, if I recall correctly, who advised against suicide but then committed it themselves. I wouldn’t make them an authority on the subject, but I think both of these understood the human condition perhaps better than others. The interesting thing about Einstein is that he is called a genius, but in his day they had no way to measure IQ. That his creative imagination in the area of his interests compelled him to explore the unknown, is his legacy to the world. I think it fair to say he lived an inspired life.

          Kind Regards,

  31. I had to break out of traditional thinking. This was something I did to myself. I put myself in a box even though I really wanted to be free I conditioned myself based on the fact that my significant other at the time couldn’t think outside of the box. Now I refuse to limit myself.
    Niekka McDonald recently posted…Spring CleaningMy Profile

    • Welcome Niekka ๐Ÿ™‚
      Thank you for sharing your experience. Influence exerted on you by another to think or act a certain way, peer pressure, social taboos, all play a role in whether or not we “go along with the program.” Those that think on their own two feet are able to stand up – not so much in defiance – but because they know it doesn’t fit with their personal values and vision for their life. I’m glad for you that you’ve reclaimed your power.

      Have a great weekend!

  32. Hello Mr. Bill

    I hope you are well. It’s Friday and the weekend is ahead.

    In my growing up years, there were many religious traditions that were not sound or wholesome.
    There are positive traditions and values that I will always keep, one is God and the other one is my family. These are traditions that are valuable and speak volumes to me.

    But in who I am, I have to think outside the box because I was placed in a box where it was labeled. “No good”. I am a forward thinker and I always use the analogy of a parachute with the mind. When the parachute is closed, it cannot soar, but when it is open and takes off, it begins to soar to heights. Our mind is the same way…. some of the old traditions that have not benefit us, we have to let them go.

    Mr. Bill thank you for this inspirational post.


    • Hello Gladys,
      Thank you for reminding me about your upbringing. While some customs, such as observing religious holidays, are honorable family traditions,
      I distinguish core values from traditional thinking, in that traditional thinking has us learn little by being or becoming creatures of habit.
      It is always the personal challenge of being better in all areas of our lives that we break free of it.

      I think for those of us who have had people in our lives who did not end a cycle of violence and chose to exact the same on their children, simply because they experienced it themselves, or did not think about how the impact and influence that would have, were ignorant of the fact that they had a choice to think and behave better.

      I agree with you. We find out what no longer works for us, and we opt for those things that do. My pleasure to contribute Gladys. Thank you for contributing. Blessings for a beautiful weekend! ๐Ÿ™‚

  33. Intriguing post! I agree that most innovation and growth comes from untraditional approaches. Traditions give us a good foundation but it’s vital that we apply critical thinking to choose for ourselves how we will live and why we will live that way.
    Jen Weaver recently posted…PaintMy Profile

    • Hi Jen,
      Very well stated, and I agree with you. The thing I think about are the visionaries who were raised in a traditional thinking environment.
      Many people have had expectations foisted upon them by parents that they will make something of themselves, to be a doctor or a lawyer, for example.
      And yet something within them told them those ideas don’t work for them, that they need to be free to decide what is best for themselves, that there is a better way of being or of doing something. I don’t know of any visionaries or forward thinkers who are traditional thinkers.

      Have a great weekend!

  34. Hi Bill,

    This is a powerful way of saying…’be creative and think differently’. I admire your idea but we are all raised in a traditional manner, same old values and I agree so much with the views of Kumar and Jeri.

    I have always felt that we cannot discard traditionalism nor can we turn away from modern concepts. Those who carry on with a healthy mixture of both and give the freedom to think freely are less confused and more balanced. Even now those who try to break away from some of our old traditions are considered to be ‘weird’ or different. They have to deal with the raised eyebrows and a lot of resistance, especially in case of parents.

    Yes, we can make a lot of difference to the world around us if we make those changes positive, without being self centred and self obsessed. Lets not confuse cultural and religious traditions with progressive thoughts.
    Sorry for coming here so late as I have been travelling in a different time zone and disconnected with the world too due to social obligations.
    Balroop Singh recently posted…Are you Enlightenedโ€ฆin the real sense?My Profile

    • Hi Balroop,
      No apology necessary. I appreciate you taking time to contribute to the discussion here. To save you looking up my reply to Kumar, I briefly stated that there is a distinction between core values and traditional thinking that has you accept what has been handed down to you, that someone else thought best for you, without challenging yourself to be better.

      For example, what happens if your parents expected you to be a doctor, but in a moment of self-awakening, you desire to be a freelance photographer?
      Out of respect for your parents and to not upset them, do you restrain yourself from becoming what you had your heart set on?
      Do you have the right to pursue your dreams, and allow your parents to see everything working in your favor because you were being true to yourself?

      I agree with you. I think all positive change in the world comes when the ego has been tempered.

      Have a beautiful weekend!

  35. Traditional thinking is something with which I always stick when my family , religion comes but at my work I am not sticking to it at all. I always try to experiment with my work to improve quality.

    In my childhood I was a traditional kid , sticking to our customs and still now I am the same never thought to rebel.
    But at work I try to be creative and try to think out of box.
    Both styles of thinking are needed by our world sometimes have to stick to traditional and if we are trying to bring something new to world we must have to adapt to un traditional thinking.
    andleeb recently posted…I am sorry – ApologyMy Profile

    • Hi Andleeb,
      The beauty of this is that we are all different, and yet our differences are to be celebrated. ๐Ÿ™‚ A mix of traditional thinking and creative thinking is fine, whatever works best for you. Sometimes the answers we seek elude us, so it requires unconventional thinking to discern a solution.

      I believe that God gives each of us particular talents and abilities. There is the possibility that if we do not explore those gifts because of traditional thinking or the expectations of others, that we are not living up to our own potential. Do you agree?

      Kind Regards,

      • Yes I agree , if we can not explore our talents then it is surely a dishonesty with us and our Created who gave us abilities to be benefited.
        andleeb recently posted…I am sorry – ApologyMy Profile

        • Hi Andleeb,
          It helps to take pause, every once in a while, to reflect upon the things not made by human hands. This restores our childlike sense of wonder.
          I think doing so helps us keep things in true perspective.

          All the best!

  36. As I read through the comments I couldn’t help but note how many people agreed with your perspective, too many when you consider that most people in the world adhere to what you have called traditional thinking. Then I realized I was mostly reading the thoughts of bloggers… definitely not a group that believes in colouring inside the lines. ๐Ÿ™‚

    As to traditional thinking, isn’t it funny how the same thing that was intended to help us navigate the world has the impact of making us less effective at fully living in it?
    Debra Yearwood recently posted…AnticipationMy Profile

    • Hi Debra,
      Thank you for your astute observation. That’s one of the things that makes this world so interesting and beautiful; that each person is a universe of thoughts in a multiverse. The flow of ideas is at its peak within the realms of creativity, imagination and wonder, and its ebb in the stagnation of bad habits, procrastination and the cycle of thinking that leads nowhere.

      All the best to you!

  37. While there is something to be said about not recreating the wheel every time you want to do something.. always accepting the way others do it is just as bad.

    Think outside the box! Find the best way to get things done that work for you.
    Loved all the thoughts and suggestions.
    Sherryl @ SimplySherryl recently posted…Mohawk Rug GiveawayMy Profile

    • Welcome Sherryl ๐Ÿ™‚
      I agree with you. Recreating the wheel is akin to spinning your wheels and getting nowhere fast. We all have the capacity to think on our own two feet, yet many people lean on others as a crutch. That’s no way to stand out from the crowd. ๐Ÿ˜‰

      You summed it up nicely… find the best way that works for you. Thanks Sherryl.

      Kind Regards,

  38. Hey Bill,

    Just from reading this post, I’ve seen how much I’ve grown from traditional thinking.. or you say the “pop culture” of thinking. Looking back, I’ve noticed this way of thinking was put on me. By the time I graduated from college, that’s when I knew I didn’t like this way of thinking. I thought that there should be more to life than getting a great job, getting married and buying a house and living “happily ever after”. The media, teachers, pastors, may have tried to conditioned me to think like this, but to me there was something wrong with this. Something that just didn’t register.

    Now Im finding more and doing that things that resonate well with me. Although there are many people who disagree and look at me “side ways”, they can say how happy I am. Some like it, while others show me their bitterness. All I can do is keep doing the things that make me happy and be the example whether they like me or resent me.

    Thanks for sharing! I hope you’re having a fantastic weekend!

    • Hey Sherman,
      I think, for the most part, people intend well for you, but their intentions, no matter how pure, may simply not align with your vision. Of course, it takes a certain level of maturity before we realize this. We often hear of parents or authority figures who meant well or who exerted influence, but they themselves were not given the tools or the wisdom from their forebears to make an informed decision on our behalf. Breaking that mould is difficult for many people, especially when deep emotions are in force. To explore every ounce of our potential while we are here, to live in concert with our highest purpose, one could hardly call that traditional thinking, as so few truly manage to. As Thoreau observed, the mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.

      Kind Regards,

  39. I would love to say that I am not a traditional thinker, however I think to some degree many of us are. I am glad that for the most part I try to be own person and make my own mind up on things, but it is hard not to conform to some thinking when you have grown up with it for many years. In many instances, you don’t even know it.
    Becc recently posted…Writing crisisMy Profile

    • Hi Becc,
      I agree with you. It is difficult to overcome the years of teaching of things we were taught, not all of which was good for us. But as you know, we also adopt certain habits and ways of thinking that are not in our best interests and that hold us back. That’s where conformity to traditional thinking needs to be challenged. It takes a higher elevation of thought to rise up to the level of being better.

      Have a great week!

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