By now you are probably asking yourself what thinking is, or what is he going to say thinking is? Well ironically parallels can be made between thinking and being productive but I’ll leave that alone as I feel that it is overused at this point. To put it simply, thinking is the process by which you use mental activity to better yourself, your surroundings, or both. That is the positive aspect of thinking, now of course there is negative thinking as well and to get that definition, just take out “better” and put in “negatively affect.” The reason I prefer this definition over a more neutral one is because one I like the idea of positive thinking and I don’t believe there is such a thing as true neutral thinking. Everything you do and every action you take effects you or the world around you in a positive or negative light, there is no grey in this. Although I do believe in a grey area of life, in terms of your mind it’s either positive or negative and you sometimes have to deal with a little negative to deal out more positive.
Thinking is not what’s going on with your five senses and your brains interpretations of those stimuli. Which unfortunately is what most people think of when they think of thinking; thinking is brain based, its starts in your head and it ends in your head. It’s like planning, you see a situation that you either like or dislike and you begin to plan a way to both continue the situation and improve it or you begin to plan a way to turn it around and not get placed in the situation again. But although it starts in your head and ends in your head, it still affects the world around you because what you spend time dwelling on is what you in essence call into your life. Now some things show up that you can honestly say you didn’t expect, but how often do you find yourself saying you didn’t expect something to happen. I guarantee you spend a good percentage of your time dealing with things you expected to happen. Thinking is not it’s so cold today, it’s not that noise is so loud, it’s not what is he talking about, it’s not its too dark in here. Thinking is how can I get better, thinking is how can I fix this, thinking is what can I do to get there.
This is a tough concept to grasp but understand that the only difference between you and someone that is considered intelligent and successful is that they spend more time thinking and you spend more time dealing with your mental activity. Pay attention to yourself for a few days and take note of what flies through your head on a daily bases, worry isn’t thinking that’s panicking over something that is normally beyond your means to control. I would only consider reflecting as thinking if you glean something from it that can be used to better yourself or your environment. But if you find yourself constantly living in the past with no thoughts of the present or the future, then you still aren’t thinking and should probably go see a professional. Thinking is something that requires focus to block out distractions, and a lot of energy, that’s why you feel more drained after taking a test then you may feel after running some laps.
Block out your mental activity and ask yourself questions that will force you to think about the answers. Plan the direction of your life, I don’t believe you should sit down and plan your life in its entirety, but you should spend some time planning the direction that you want to go. Your brain is an amazing super computer but it will only work to your benefit if you program it with the right question. Just like a computer as well, If you can cut out some of the back ground task that suck up resources you will be amazed at how much clearer and how much faster your computer operates.