Twenty Thousand Feet
Thinking is a Verb
Contributed by Steve Fales
“I’ll think about that,” they said. But did they follow through? What does the phrase even mean? Here’s something to ponder: Thinking is a verb.
Thinking … it’s an action. Like mowing the lawn, baking a cake, or carrying a piano up a flight of stairs. The true act of thinking requires at least as much effort.
Observation indicates, however, that many people don’t view thinking this way. They expect thoughts to come pouring out of thin air. Thinking, to them, isn’t something you do – it’s something that just happens.
I suggest we treat thinking like our other activities. That we set aside specific time for it. Then enter the most conducive environment: maybe a favorite chair or park bench, a walk somewhere, a computer program designed for brainstorming. We’ll have to engage the proper muscle, which to call it “the brain” is probably too simple, but you know what I’m talking about.
There, in the hard work of intentional cogitation, the magic happens. We uncover solutions to problems … new ways of accomplishing objectives … paths through personal dilemmas. Our minds become more clear and able to navigate difficult situations. But aside from rare moments when mental lightning strikes unexpectedly, all this is only possible by consciously, purposefully engaging in the manual labor of thinking.
Thinking as a verb is a highly beneficial concept for anyone who wants to be productive. How can I be so sure? Simple – I’ve thought about it.
For more than thirty years, Steve Fales owned an advertising agency dedicated to the HVAC industry. His company was acquired in 2020 and he now devotes himself to corporate consulting, individual coaching, and written and spoken communication.
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