The Art of Thinking

Recently, I was in New Orleans and couldn’t resist touring one of their beautiful old cemeteries. They had people interred there from as long ago as the 1700’s and as recently as the day we visited. It is a thing of beauty and soul. Someone asked me what I would like on my headstone. My response? “She made me think”.

Not very glamorous I realize but in my line of work I observe that¬†most of us have little time for thinking–we are so busy doing. The great Henry Ford said, “Thinking is hard work; that is why so few do it.” Our days are full; we run along at a fast pace. Thinking takes some time, solitude, reflection–all very scarce resources. Without it, we just react–base on experience or habit. Doing doesn’t advance our cause–thinking does.

My work is based on helping people consider things they haven’t considered before–it is where breakthroughs come from. Why can I see it when others don’t–because I am not “doing” in the daily business, I am seeing and thinking about the entire business and how it fits with the marketplace. Be honest, how often and how well do you do that?

I am a fan of John Maxwell, and I am reading one of his books on the topic, “Thinking for a Change: 11 Ways Highly Successful People Appoach Life and Work”. It reminds me of the value of good thinking and reinforces it is well worth the time.

The point is, we need to be purposeful about that in which we invest our valuable time, and to be purposeful requires thinking.

For all of you Maxwell fans, John’s 11 ways to think are:

1. Big Picture Thinking vs Small Thinking

2. Focused Thinking vs. Scattered Thinking

3. Creative Thinking vs. Restrictive Thinking

4. Realistic Thinking vs. Fantasy Thinking

5. Strategic Thinking vs. Random Thinking

6. Possibility Thinking vs. Limited Thinking

7. Reflective Thinking vs. Impulsive Thinking

8. Innovative Thinking vs. Popular Thinking

9. Shared Thinking vs. Solo Thinking

10. Unselfish Thinking vs. Selfish Thinking

11. Bottom-line Thinking vs. Wishful Thinking

Are you a thinker?

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