Home Personality Development THE POWER OF MIND; INTEGRATIVE THINKING BY Dr. Aparna Sharma
Wednesday, 04 January 2012 11:24


Dr. Aparna Sharma


The interdisciplinary approach is the trend of the day. This requires the comprehensive dealing which is only possible through integrative thinking. Human brain is having extensive potential, if given the right direction it can result in lot of positive outcome. The studies show that thinking over one particular issue with different perspectives brings out the best results. To confine we can say that when the sensitivity of heart is combined with the analytical and practical approach of mind integrative thinking is there.

In the globalised era one has to ponder over this issue. When the geographical boundaries are merging and collaborating for future perspective we should also take collective approach for the advancement of humanity and human beings in personal.  Interdependency is a known feature of society, which proves that for a successful life one has to touch every aspect of life. Why in Indian philosophy the family life (Grahast Ashram) is considered the best?  The answer is; it tests the multidimensionality of the individual.

The article will be focusing on how the integrative thinking becomes the power of mind and helps the one to pass the critical tests of life. Integration is the art of living and letting live. The relation between law of nature and integrative thinking can be seen everywhere, the politicians, administrators, literary laureates, scientists, economists, scholars, students, housewives, classes as well as masses, who so ever is doing best in his respective field is likely to practice integrative thinking. How one can enhance the potential with this power and can contribute to society will be the focus. As for creating wonders in materialistic world we need the serenity of nature too.

Life is like a tough field of battle, full of adverse forces. In order to combat the obstacles of path we have to make sure that all the adverse forces has to be tackled with vision and strategy. For that very purpose we need a systematic direction given to our thinking in an integrative manner. Thinking is a natural1 process of which no one can escape, and integrative thinking is an extended version of it to bring out over all positive results for prosperity. In the course of their existence all people have experiences, and responds to the roots and traditions of their culture, spirituality and the social, political, and economic conditions in which they find themselves.2 The observance shows that in every era there is need to touch all the aspects and fields as they are the part and parcel of success and prosperity. Whether we talk of an individual or we go to the level of Nation or even beyond that it can be easily seen that nothing could be left out due to interdependency.


When this is the case we can conclude that the power of mind lies in integration only. Take a simple example, ‘Democracy’ which is termed as the civilized order to run the system needs to be impartial in terms of caste, color, creed, financial status, qualifications etc. to work for the egalitarian concept. No doubt this to be followed requires the assimilation of ideas i.e. integrative approach.

The need to discuss this here is, that there is a misconception that thinking is a job of philosophers and no one else should poke his nose in this domain. But the fact is that the key position holder and a lay man of daily wages need to think for making both the ends meet, the only difference is that one thinking is meant for a confined group and for short term goal, and the other is for the human race and meant for the long term goals. In order to achieve positive and concrete results one has to go for the productive aspect of thinking as it is a way to shine a bright light on the potential connections that are waiting to be discovered all around us. To create the future, one has to be able to imagine it. It is a disciplinary approach to think more creatively and effectively3.

The emphasis should be on right training to think better. The more one practice the better he will get, resulting in more opportunities to make a better world, a better organization resulting in a better life. For the right training one has to think with the union of heart and mind. Unless one decorate the intellect with the emotions the solid outcome is impossible. Emotions organize intellectual capacities and indeed create the sense of self.4

The era is of Globalization, which varies from the expansion of cultural influences across borders to the enlargement of economic and business relations throughout the world. It is through global movement of ideas, people, goods and technology that different regions of the world have tended in general to benefit from the progress and development occurring in other regions.5 With perfect leadership irrespective of East or West, communalism or terrorism, cultural or scientific, developed or under developed every where the solution to vivid problems is possible through integrative perception. Integrative thinkers work to see the whole problem, embrace its multi varied nature and understands the complexity of its casual relationships. They work to shape and order what others see as a chaotic landscape. They search for creative resolutions to the problems typically seen by others as a simple ‘fork in the road’ or an irresponsible bind brought about by competing organizational interests.6

Making the solution through this choice is an indication of, some creative in progress for the bright future perspectives. The live examples are there in records of history in name of various revolutions like French, Russian, Industrial, Renaissance, Indian Independence and many more. The above mentioned achieved their goal because the integrative approach was applied. It is said that the world cannot run on gun point, rather the solutions can be there where we judge and solve the problem by considering both the sides of the coin. Assimilation of ideas for bringing out the best possible way is the need of hour.

The Salience, Causality, Sequencing & Resolution, the 4 steps7 according to choice cascade model are the mandatory units of success, even if followed in the reversible direction. It is said that success is something in which you find meaning of your life, your goal. If one knows the ‘why’ of existence he may find ‘how’ also. One who finds the meaning of this why & how is successful and content. In order to search for this we have to think and practice multidimensional. This is the only power of mind which is essential for leading a milestone making life.

Power of mind is not only a term; it is an experimentation of virtues and caliber, their testament and then implementation. In order to be unique one has to follow the saying of Swami Vivekananda, ‘strength is life, weakness is death’, i.e. to live a life one has to overcome the barriers and obstacles through will power and mind power. We can take an example, the people suffering with severe diseases are treated physically as well as psychologically so that they should integrate and assimilate their thoughts, think positive to fight with adversities and should think for a bright future, and this is the power of mind. The plans should be a combination of continuity, diligent hard work and perseverance, and religiously strived for fruitful result.

To keep thinking about our problems beyond a certain point is bound to create confusion and worry. There comes a time when any more investigation and thinking are harmful. There comes a time when we must decide and act and never lookback.8 The turbulent billows of the fretful surface leave the deep parts of the ocean undisturbed, and to him who has a hold on vaster and more permanent realities, the hourly vicissitudes of his personal destiny seem relatively insignificant things. The really religious person is accordingly unshakable and full of equanimity, and calmly ready for any duty that the day may bring forth.9 the integrative thinking of the background is responsible for this.

What more to say even the law of nature and the perception of our historians defends this rule, it is said that traditional Indian values must be viewed both from the angle of the individual and from that of geographically delimited agglomeration of peoples or groups enjoying a common system of leadership which we call the state. The Indian state’s special feature is the peaceful or perhaps the most peaceful , coexistence of the social groups of various historical provenances which mutually adhere in a geographical, economic and political sense , without ever assimilating to each other in social terms , in ways of thinking or even in language10. Thus the role of integrative thinking is there since ages for all the fields of life, when revolution was required then it emerged out as Bhagat Singh , when strategic attack was needed it was in Gandhi. When some concrete result is the requirement then we need productiveness as it is specifically for those times when you need new ideas to address challenges11. If we really want to create a high performance organization, department or team planning and implementation must fit and work together as a system (result of integrative thinking). The word system is made up of a set of components that work together for the overall objective of the whole output12.

Integration of body, mind, heart, and spirit is the power by which all set ambitions can be fulfilled. A deep thought can make it clear that in absence of collective approach no one can workout for the attainment of success; that collective approach is nothing but the power of mind. Mind plays an important role in fulfilling our desires. To focus on mind power, first we have to think what exactly we want to get or want to do. But this is not very simple rather requires deep thinking, investigation and time which is utilizing the power of mind, as thoughts possess power13.

In order to make changes in life we have to make changes in thinking process to make a change in our behavior, actions, attitude and then results. Thoughts are the part and parcel of our subconscious mind, keeps on affecting our lives, atmosphere and the society we belong to. Since ages of Ashoka to the era of Obama the power of diversified thoughts are seen, it is only the thoughts that rule the world no matter which the time period is or who the personality is, the names which are to be written in golden words as a record are nothing but the out come of systematic approach towards positive strategic and integrative thinking. This works to solve business problems, clarify situations, develop technical solutions, suggests new products, reduce conflicts, map strategies, enhance relationships, reduce frustrations, orient careers, and resolve personal dilemmas14.

In society admiration is there for the people who are keeping a balance of materialism and spiritualism in their life, who work on a deeper level of thinking – a paradigm based on the principles that accurately describe the territory of effective human being and interacting to solve the deep concerns of life. Philosopher Herb Shepherd describes the healthy balanced life around four values; perspective (spiritual), autonomy (mental), connectedness (social), and tone (physical)these values can be seen as essential and interrelated part of life and only integrative thinking is there behind the attainment of these four values15,

  1. Physical ; exercise, nutrition, stress management
  2. Social/ emotional ; service, empathy, synergy, intrinsic security
  3. Spiritual ; value clarification & commitment, study, meditation
  4. Mental ; reading, visualizing, planning, writing

Though the integrative thinking is not a necessary condition for success16 but still best minds use integrative thinking to find profitable and innovative resolutions to seemingly irresolvable conflicts. It is practiced by leaders who have the predisposition and the capacity to hold two diametrically opposing ideas in their heads; they are able to produce a synthesis that is superior to either opposing idea17.

Your thoughts, which are part of your mind, possess power. The thoughts that you most often think tend to come true. If you pour your mental energy into the same thoughts or mental images day after day, they will become stronger and stronger, and would consequently affect your attitude, expectations, behavior and actions. These thoughts and mental images can even be subconsciously perceived by other people, who would then offer you help or opportunities. Your thoughts can also create what is usually termed as coincidence. They can attract into your life corresponding events, situations and opportunities. The life is full of problems today in our haste to learn and teach Problem solving skill (PSK) we forgot to nurture Problem preventing values (PPV)18, the need of time is to nurture the art of integrative thinking. This requires the DTC method of discipline, thought and control introduced by Frank R. Wallace in The Advanced Concepts of Poker19 to perform actions that increase the bottom line, an intense focusing of one’s brain is required.

The brain is naturally tuned to point out what is wrong and what is right. Then the creativity and modifications are required i.e. provocations and movements to produce new ideas. Then after this a control and check is also necessary for management of thinking process.20 One can go for various methods of keeping a check on thinking like the company of good people, going through good literature, practicing exercises and meditation  etc. this will enhance the overall caliber.

The poetic lines are,

There is no time to lose, cash your dreams before they slip away,

Dying all the time, lose your dreams, & you will lose your mind21.

In each strata of life the show is running because mind is there in absence of thoughts (dreams) nothing is possible. It was only a thought years back to land on moon which was turned to reality. This was possible because of creativity only, which is an important aspect like food for mind. The essential characteristics22 for creative decisions are strong emotions, artistic, boldness, innovative solutions and need to be different. These are the features inculcated in one only through integration of thoughts.

Everywhere there is a clarion call for quiet firm and balanced people; it can be easily nurtured to the young minds if we give them the roots of culture and tradition and the wings of innovations. Integration works for centering our lives on correct principles and creating a balanced focus between doing and increasing our ability to do, we become empowered in the task of creating effective, useful, and peaceful lives…for ourselves and for our posterity23. This way it can be said that the power of mind is utilized. Integrative thinking is an art followed through analysis, judgment, argument, criticism and then the result, with the equal participation of mind and heart. It’s that skill of thinking that determines the happiness, success and prosperity in life for family as a unit and for the whole world too.

Those who value integrative thinking comprehend the nectar and become a cesspool and conglomeration of success; they easily overcome the extreme rigidities of life, piercing all darkness. Integrative thinking is an art; thinker develops a stance that embraces not fears the essential qualities of enigmatic choices. He is a relentless learner who seeks to develop the repertoire of skill that enables him or her to engage the tensions between opposites long enough to transcend the duality and seek out novel solutions. They understand that they are engaged in creative process that avoids easy, pat, or formulaic answers. In fine, Integrative thinking is the management style we need if we are to solve the enigmatic problems that face our organizations in the new millennium.24. It gives an opportunity to explore the world from different dimensions which favors the philosophy,

“We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time.”

Last Updated on Wednesday, 04 January 2012 11:30