What Does A Good Mind Do?

I receive messages and emails from university students asking me for advices almost daily. Many of them made my heart sunk, and being left unanswered intentionally.

A person’s question reveals more about him than his answer. It tell whether a mind is inquisitive, active, and simple. By all the How-to and Please-tell-me-what-to-do questions I have received, I can say that most young people’s minds are rather inactive. Their inquisitiveness is at a superficial level. And they tend to complicate.


Let us re-examine this poverty mentality. We often condemn what we have inside worthless. We are frightened and afraid. We are lazy to think with our own brains, and make choices on our own terms. When we face a challenge, we don’t put in the work to figure it out ourselves. Instead, we run to authorities we thought know better to ask for advices: parents, teachers, friends, a guru – without the slightest suspicion that if they had knew better, the world wouldn’t have been so messed up. We want answers fast, and we want answers now. Why is it?

It is because we are used to being spoon-fed by our society and our education. Our parents and teachers tell us what is right and what is wrong, what is good and what is bad, what we should or shouldn’t do. And if we dare to question, we are considered the troubled ones. However spoon-feeding results in an infant, handicap mind.

So what does it mean to have a good mind?


A good mind solves problems by itself. 

In my opinion, all the How-to questions aren’t worth asking. Google them. If you want to go deeper, read a book on that subject. Because it’s important, I will repeat: Never ask a question before you Google it. Or read a book. Watch TED

Google and books are a portals to the collective knowledge. With researching and reading, it can give you enough information to come up with your own answer.  Or forming a better question. In this way, we can find almost any information and study almost everything by ourselves.


A good mind listens.

The other day a confused male student asked me “what do you think I should do?” I replied, “what do you think you should do?” The following 4 minutes, he went on answering my question –  which is in fact his own question. All I did was listening. Even when they told me they really didn’t know, I wouldn’t give in:

Imagine that you know, what would you do?

This is what teachers should do. A true teacher awakes the inner teachers of his pupils. Jiddu Krishnamurti was a true teacher. This revolutionary thinker and educator taught that:

It is very important to go out alone, to sit under a tree - not with a book, not with a companion, but by yourself - and observe the falling of a leaf, hear the lapping of the water, the fisherman's song, watch the flight of a bird, and of your own thoughts as they chase each other across the space of your mind. If you are able to be alone and watch these things, then you will discover extraordinary riches which no government can tax, no human agency can corrupt, and which can never be destroyed.

That’s how we awake the teachers within us. When we face a puzzle, have a conversation with ourselves, and call upon our inner richness. The legendary director Steven Spielberg said: “I've always said to my kid, the hardest thing to listen to - your instinct, your human, personal intuition - always whisper, it never shouts. Very hard to hear. So you have to every day in your life be ready to hear what whispers in your ears.”

steven speilberg

If it tells us to seek advices, do it. But if it gives an answer, we must take action with gut.

Lock yourself in the chamber of your intelligence and see what you can find.

A good mind does these two things well: it solves problem by itself, and it listens to its inner teacher. And precisely because of this, a good mind never stops growing.

What about you?

What does your mind do?  

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