Notwithstanding current trends in pop psychology, I disagree with the superficial, falsely dichotomous, and demonstrably facile characterization of human thought processes as "linear" versus "non-linear (or global)." The human mind is way too complex to describe it in such naive and simplistic terms.
Below is a transcript of Leary Gate's Youtube video, "Have you succumbed to linear thinking?" followed by my modification of it from the so-called "non-linear" point of view. Keep in mind that I disagree with both descriptions, and I've only employed these specious terms and their descriptions for the sake of parody.
"Do you remember your ABCs? Of course, you do. And you know your 123s as well. You've learned them in 1st grade, 2nd grade, 3rd grade; well, you get the idea. You know, it seems, everywhere we look there's seven steps for this, three steps for that, first this, then that.
"We're so used to seeing sequential, linear steps, we don't stop to think how it may be affecting how we pursue our dreams. You know, most of us have some aspiration in our lives, some dream we'd love to see become a reality, yet how often does our linear thinking stop us from taking action?
"Maybe I should wait on that idea until I have more money or the kids have left home."
"That'd be a great job, but I'd never get it. I'm not qualified."
"Ugh; I have so much to do right now. I can't possibly think of starting something else."
"Linear thinking like that is safe. It's goal is to reduce risk. Non-linear thinking, on the other hand, is random and messy. It's goal is to produce outcomes, not perfection. It can embrace working on step one, and then three, and ten, and really, all at the same time because doing so increases learning, and learning trumps ordered perfection.
"The next time you find yourself putting off your aspiration till something happens first, ask yourself if you've succumbed to linear thinking. Then take some awkward, out-of-sequence step to pursue your dream instead. Why wait until all of the letters of the alphabet have passed you by?"
I love it when so-called "Global Thinkers" try so hard to be "non-linear" and don't even realize how "linear" they have to be in order to get there. Here's my favorite part of the above transcript [with a handful of commentary annotations by me]: "[STEP ONE] The next time [not the last time, not this time, but the NEXT time] you find yourself putting off your aspiration till something happens first, [STEP TWO] ask yourself if you've succumbed to linear thinking. Then [STEP THREE] take some awkward, out-of-sequence step to pursue your dream instead."
So here's my modification of the above transcript:
Do you enjoy fast food on occasion? Of course, you do. And you know how to surf channels and use the 'On Demand' button on your television's remote. In today's world, we rarely have to wait very long for many of the things we want. You know, it seems, everywhere we look, there's "instant downloads" and "get yours now!" and "you can have it today!" You get the idea.
We're so used to getting what we want, when we want it, that we don't stop to think how it may be affecting how we pursue our dreams. You know, most of us have some aspiration in our lives, some dream we'd love to see become a reality, yet how often does our non-linear thinking stop us from taking action?
"If I can't have it right now, I don't want it."
"Why should I have to jump all these hurdles to get what I want?"
Non-linear thinking is safe. It's aim is short-term goal-oriented, immediate gratification. Linear thinking, on the other hand, is orderly and organized. It's goal is to produce outcomes, in the most efficient way possible. It can embrace the pursuit of a long-term goal, as well as the achievements of short-term goals along the way, and really, all at the same time because doing so increases learning, and long-term learning trumps short-term gratification.
The next time you find yourself abandoning your aspiration, ask yourself if you've succumbed to non-linear thinking. Then take a more systematic, sequential approach to pursue your dream instead. Why would wait until your goal presents itself as a "dream on demand"?