Early up and late in bed. Sometimes work seems like an endless string of tasks and projects. When we close on this side of the Earth, they open on the other. Things change constantly. If you are not in front, you risk being left behind.
Nobody wants that, so we do our best to fit in and deliver as promised. We sense it could be different, but feel unable to change the structure and culture, keeping us trapped on the treadmill. We are locked in and goal directed, with no space left for experiment and exploration.
At least that is the story we tell. In fact, a new start is just a thought away. Take a breath. Become present and aware. Shift your mental gear from fast thinking to slow thinking to no thinking at all. Enjoy the stillness. Ignore the familiar thoughts, and focus on new thoughts arriving. Voila!
Moving from thinking to having thoughts can do magic: breakthrough ideas, improved conditions, and transformed life paths. Let me explain.
Thoughts are mental representations of the world. Thinking is the mind processing thoughts to understand and manipulate the world. Thoughts are neutral events until our thinking labels them. Thoughts are not essentially right or wrong, good or bad. Thinking makes them so.
Thoughts are random, unless you think they are not. They arise naturally, which you can do nothing about. A thought may take form as an idea, an image, a sound, or any other mental content. Thoughts don’t require effort, but they may stress you. Thought produces more thoughts.
Thinking is a mental activity that you can engage in or not. It takes an effort to process information, as you form concepts, engage in problem solving, reason and make decisions. Thinking can be both positive and negative towards new thoughts, and either defend or attack them.
When in the fast system 1 thinking mode (Kahneman), we are operating routinely in a predictable environment. We look for confirmation of our predictions, ignore alternative choices, or label them irrelevant. The only thoughts we accept are the familiar ones. We reproduce and repeat.
Unforeseen events or active choices can bring us into system 2 thinking mode, where we slow down to take in information and analyze fresh data. We have new thoughts that we…