The 18th century French philosopher Voltaire put it perfectly, “No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking”. Thinking is a skill. It can be practiced. Creativity, innovation, intuition, and problem solving are all forms of thinking. The more you use them, the stronger they grow. Thinking is a talent that can be developed.
Early in my career, I had a colleague that struggled with “being strategic”. Stan had received his annul performance review and his supervisor told him he needed to be more strategic. He was lost because he did not know how to be strategic. Thinking strategically is not something normally taught. The only way Stan could become more strategic is to practice thinking strategically.
I think Stan’s obstacle is a lesson for all of us. Taking time to think is not time wasted. It is time that develops our ability to think.
Our thoughts drive our actions, our results, and our very being. If we have a desire to improve ourselves, our ability to think is probably a good place to start.
Set aside ten to twenty minutes a day for focused thinking. Then use that time to think. Don’t do anything else. Just think. Think about your challenges, your projects, your dreams, your ideas, your successes, your relationships, your goals, or your life. Think about whatever is important to you at the moment. Not only will you discover new ideas, you will improve your ability to think. As humans, we get better at what we practice, and this world could use better thinkers.