Independent thinking does not make you reject ideas that already exist. The point is, you have to be critical about decision making.
1. There is no Dogma that Can Reflect Reality as a Whole
People usually keep up to traditions and views that are dominant in their country. These views and traditions determine which behavior is correct and how a good life looks like. Bu when you are influenced by only one cultural or ideological system, your mind is limited by a very poor collection of values.
Chinese philosophy influenced Bruce Lee a lot, and he tried to bring Eastern values to the West. Nevertheless, he always knew about limits of a single tradition, and combined ideas from various cultures in order to make his own conclusions.
Any dogma is claimed to be the only truth. But if to look onto history, one can see that each of them has its own advantages and lacks.
People usually keep up to a certain dogma accidentally: because it is spread in their place of birth, or is thought to be correct among people in their environment.
This does not mean one can’t believe views supported by the majority of people at all. You just need to think. Every culture or ideology can teach you something. But never forget that neither of them reflects the whole reality.
Bruce Lee was asked during one interview: who does he think himself to be, American or Chinese. He answered that he thinks himself to be a human.
2. Develop Intellectual Confidence
If any idea exists for quite a long time, then there is a serious reason for that. So, to reject any part of an existing dogma, you need to have intellectual confidence. You need to believe, that the reason for you to accept or reject something is good and not leading you into false suggestions.
Bruce Lee thought that his confidence about his physical abilities came from the intellectual confidence. Due to the confidence he gained through mind development, he could rely on his own way of thinking and actions.
Independent thinking will help you develop yourself and move forward. To think on your own, you need to work upon yourself and your beliefs.
3. Dare to Express Yourself, Not to Copy Others
Studying is not just copying or gathering knowledge and ability to adjust to them. Studying is a process of constant discovery that is never going to end.
First, you need to understand yourself to know what fits you and what does not. And only after that you’ll be able to develop what is important for you, and not to waste your time for everything.
Any progress starts from the lowest level: from knowing who you are and what you think to be right. Of course, that can change, too. You need to dare towards becoming better, always. The main thing is, do not try to become someone else. People often get tied to the source of their inspiration, or to somebody they think to be their example too much. Sometimes this can be useful, but the most often thing here makes people lose their originality.