Or Do You Care?
What we are today comes from our thoughts of yesterday, and our present thoughts build our life of tomorrow; our life is the creation of our mind. The Buddha
We create our life with the thoughts in our mind. Yet we don’t often ask; “What do I think?” Maybe because we don’t want to know, or we don’t care. We probably don’t have much experience questioning our thinking. But it is an important question because what we think determines what we do.
The challenge of this blog is to encourage you to think about your thinking. This could be an exercise in better understanding yourself — and others. It could be a beginning of caring more about what you think. Do you know what types of thinking you do — most often? Least often? Never? What types of thinking are you most noted for? What types of thinking do you wish you did more? Can you identify types of thinking by others better than by you? If so, why?
Here is a test to help you think about your thinking from my Process Of Illumination essays 11 years ago, and from speeches and workshops much earlier.
The Thinking Test
____1. Have you ever had thoughts that were not total rational?
____2. Have you ever had unrealistic fantasies about the future?
____3. Have you ever made up your mind and then changed it?
____4. Have you ever said, “I don’t know out loud?”
____5. Have you ever been taught any of these skills in school?
I have asked these questions enough to know that most people answer “yes” to the first four questions and “no” to the last. Although we were not taught these skills in school, we all seem to have them, which means that either they are innate skills or we learned them without being taught. Actually these skills are now being taught today in adult workshops and executive training programs and even in some schools. These thinking skills expand the capacity of our minds, increase our ability to make creative decisions and promote the use of both sides of our brain.
We probably pay more attention to what others think because we wonder why they do what they do. Maybe we should engage more in wondering why we do what we do. Or do we care? We have often been told about our different kinds of thinking. For example:
- Edward de Bono: Six Thinking Hats: Objective thinking, Emotional thinking, Negative thinking, Positive thinking, Creative thinking, Controlled thinking.
- Roger von Oech: logical thinking, conceptual thinking, speculative thinking, critical, foolish, divergent, convergent, reflective, visual, fantasy thinking.
Is there a best way to think? How does your thinking differ during routine decisions versus times of crisis? Do your emotions or attitudes color your thinking? In other words, do you ever think about your thinking? Is it worth the effort? Do you care?
There is nothing good or bad, but thinking makes it so. Shakespeare.