So what helps you think better? For me it’s three things.
First is creative stimulation. A couple of weeks ago I saw Cirque du Soleil’s KA, Mystere and O, and then the “So You Think You Can Dance” tour in a five-day period. When you expose yourself to creativity like that, it can’t help but get you thinking differently.
The average person has about 60,000 thoughts a day. Unfortunately for most people, about 59,000 of them are the same, day after day. Studies has shown that these same repeating thoughts actually follow the same neural pathways in your brain, in essence making the figurative rut we talk about literal. When you expose yourself to something fresh and new, you actually create new neural pathways in your brain.
The second thing I do is learning. As you know I love to read books, listen to audios, watch DVDs and expose myself to critical thinkers. When you’re learning you’re thinking. But not if you’re just memorizing facts. You need to be learning from sources that CAUSE you to think. When you get exposed to something and say, “I’ve never thought about it that way before,” you know you’re on the right track.
And the third way is I actually schedule time just for thinking. I will go onto my balcony and just stare at the water. I’ll take a long drive with no radio, phone or music. Or I’ll sit and journal.
So those are my three things. What are yours? What do you do to facilitate your critical thinking skills?
Do you ever do that for yourself? Do you have a special chair, or special place you go—just to think? Do you schedule any time specifically for thinking time? Think about thinking.
And since you’ll be thinking a lot today, here’s a mental aerobics for you. There is a nine-letter word in the English language, that every time when you remove a letter from anywhere in the word, it still makes a common English word. What is the word?
Hit me with your best shot!