Peace Be Unto You Fellow Creative Comrades,
The sun is shining in Brooklyn! I’ll be headed to the park soon. And you know what I’m going to do? Think. I’m going to resist the urge to just zone out to my iPod (I’m obsessed with Frank Ocean right now.) and I am going to “employ my mind rationally and objectively in evaluating or dealing with a given situation.” Thanks Dictionary.com.
Purposeful, intentional thinking–especially after an event or experience–can open the gates for ideas to flood through your mind. You remember those questions you had to answer after reading a chapter in school? The first couple few were just to see if you actually read. Then there were some (ours were in a neat little box) that required more than a yes or no. Those questions forced you to really asses what you read.
If you are looking to spark new ideas in your home, work or free time, start giving yourself a little quiz after an activity. You just may glean a revelation or become inspired by the things around you. For me, it’s taking a few moments after watching my favorite television show to ask myself “Why am I so invested in these characters?” or “How did the story progress in each scene?”
For you, it can be just taking a few moments at the end of your day to asses the highlights and lowlights or reviewing a really good conversation with friends in your mind. What did you learn? What should you act on? Leadership Expert and Author John Maxwell, writes about the art of reflective thinking in “Thinking For a Change.” Check it out if you are looking for ways to engage your mind differently or you want to start impressing folks in meetings at work.
Don’t you hate those people who always ask the good questions in a meeting? Always have solutions no one has thought of? Those people are good thinkers. And learning to practice reflective thinking is a good way to build your creative muscle. After some time, it will become a habit.
I know you are thinking, “I ain’t got time to just THINK!” Well, start small. Take a moment to ask yourself one question after you see a movie, read an article or on the way home today. Give it a try and let me know what you come up with. Mahatma Gandhi said, “Those who know how to think need no teachers.” And that guy had some good ideas.
For more on “thinking”, check out this video in my Listening to the Ordinary post.
Smelling the roses,