“An hour of effective, precise, hard, disciplined and integrated thinking can be worth a month of hard work. Thinking is the very essence of, and the most difficult thing to do in, business and life. Empire builders spend hour-after-hour on mental work… while others party. If you’re not consciously aware of putting forth the effort to exert self-guided integrated thinking… if you don’t act beyond your feelings and you take the path of least resistance, then you’re giving in to laziness and no longer control your life.” Ė David Kekich
What a brilliant Quote. The crazy lives that we lead these days leaves us so little time to think. Do you have thinking time marked out in your calendar? But even if you have taken your time out, what do you think about? Should you let your mind go racing behind whatever mental rabbit trail that it comes across or should you have a structured format through which you should apply your mind to? Here are some tips in random order to help you Think More and Think Effectively:
1. Take a Walk. Every once in a while, stroll alone. Be it the Mall, a Park. or just the High Street. Have no agenda, no friends, no nothing. Just you, yourself and 40 minutes of just allowing your mind to wander where ever it wants to.
2. The Write way to Think. Visit a cafe alone. It’s one of the most relaxing and therapeutic exercise you can do during a stressful day. Don’t take a book with you. And for Heaven’s sake don’t lug that laptop. However do take a notebook (once again not the laptop kind, but the old fashioned one with paper in them) with you. And liberally list out, whatever thought occurs to you. It might be something that you need to do today. It might be some strong hostility that you are feeling towards someone, whatever it is just keep that pen scratching that paper. While you are scribbling stuff out, build the thoughts already put on paper. So for example if you have put down the anger you feel towards somebody, think, why is it that you feel this anger? Put that answer down. Next you may consider, what is it that you can do about the situation, well then put down your options. The Rule here is not to write all this out neatly in calligraphic style but more about the quality of the answer as well as the speed in getting those thoughts down real fast. Keep at it, and an hour later of this thinking and you will emerge a much more focused, confident, stronger You.
3. Think about the Purpose of your Life.
This is my all-time favourite question. I just can’t get enough of it. Me and Ali are always thinking on this question.
Think on Why you are here? What’s the meaning of it all?
Think what is it that will give you the greatest fulfilment, meaning, satisfaction and happiness right now?
Then Think what is it that you need to do to today to move closer towards experiencing that fulfilment and meaning?
Think, How would you be leading your life if you had just six more months to live?
5. Think long term Goals.
Where do you see yourself 2 to 3 years from now?
Where do you see yourself in your Professional Life? In your Career. Any new skills that you feel you should add to your arsenal that would be essential a couple of years from now? Any new experience that you should go through?
What about goals for your family life? For your Children? Skills that they should be acquiring now, that they’ll thank you for a decade later? (On that note, read this post on Six Wonderful Skills that I am glad I picked up after School.)
What about any new hobbies that you’ve been thinking of acquiring but haven’t got round to? Some sport that you always wanted to play or some classes that you wanted to attend?
6. Think through your short term projects
If you are already in sync with your long term goals but it’s the out come of your Short Term Projects that are bothering you, take time to think through them. A Project is any activity that takes more than one step to complete. Projects could include getting your child to School, changing something that’s bothering you in your car, or getting a car, or getting that report out at work, all of these activities have more than one step to it. Take time to make a list of all the projects that you are currently handling and what do you next need to do about them.
7. Think of the different roles you are playing in your Life.
Think through the different roles that you play in your life. Your role as a Father or Mother, your role at work as an Executive or an Administrtor, your role as a Husband and Wife. How are you doing in these roles? What changes would you like to bring?
8. Think about habits, thoughts processes that you want to acquire and change.
This is another thing that I’m thinking about constantly. Think about how you are thinking. Are you mostly negative? Beating yourself up all the time? Regretting on how the Past should have been and Worrying how the future will turn out? You know you have complete control on your thoughts. You choose what to think all the time. A little bit of reflection and you can choose to think differently.
Similar take time to reflect on your Habits. What habits you’re proud of and like to keep. Feel good about those and pat yourself on your back. Now what are those that can be done away with or can be changed? Make a note of it, and pick any one habit to start working on.
9. Think of the wonderful creation that our world is.
A Quote from Hadith-e-Muffadal:
The sky is like a canopy; the earth is spread like a carpet, while the stars set in stratum upon stratum, appear as lamps alight in their places. The gems are treasured as if the house has lots of collections. Besides these, everything is readily available to meet individual needs. Man, in this world, is like the masterful owner of the house, having in his possession everything therein.
And there exist the different plant species available for meeting; individual needs – some as fodder for the animals, others as drugs for human beings; some merely for ornaments, some to supply fragrance to man for his recreation; some as drugs for animals, some as nutriment for man; some for birds only and others for the quadrupeds alone and so on. Different species of animals have been allotted functions for particular exigencies and interest.
10. And most importantly, Think of the Poverty, Oppression that’s there in the World today. What can you do about it? What ARE you doing about it?
We are the luckiest people that ever lived; we have abundantly and manifestly the capacity to address human problems if we care.
It is a matter of vision and courage and compassion.- RAMSEY CLARK, former United States Attorney General.
Watch your thoughts,
they become your actions,
watch your actions,
they become your habits
watch your habits,
they become your character,
watch your character,
it becomes your destiny.