Most of us do not spend enough time just thinking – engaging in solid thought for a period of time. I know I do not. It is too easy to get caught up in all the busy work we have to do. Yet real thought is vitally important to success and since it is vital to success it is vital to creating wealth.
The Consummate Thinker
No one was a better thinker than Abraham Lincoln. He was famous for spending hours on end seemingly withdrawn into himself and lost in thought. When faced with a problem he would turn it over in his mind a thousand times, carefully examining every aspect of it. His regular deep thought made him a very effective trial lawyer but also a great public speaker and a great politician. (Yes, this was when politicians thought)
Today we are so busy that we seldom take the time required to do that kind of thinking. That is very unfortunate.
Two Kinds of Thinking
There are undoubtedly more than two kinds of thinking but the two I think most important to achieving success are Critical Thinking and Creative Thinking. They are very different but can be complimentary.
Often when we need to come up with a solution or a new idea we need to abandon the critical thinking approach which can close important doors before they have been fully explored. Creative thinking requires opening doors – leaving ideas open and brainstorming as many possible variables and solutions as one can imagine. Do not abandon anything, no matter how crazy it may sound, when you engage in creative thinking. Many ideas that changed the world and made fortunes were “foolish” ideas to begin with – others called them pipe dreams.
Henry Ford imagined building a very affordable automobile that the common man could afford and that would revolutionize transportation in the world. His friends and many of his relatives called him an idle dreamer and a fool. Ford’s idle thinking and dreaming went on to begin the automobile revolution in the world and built himself a massive fortune.
Critical thinking involves careful and meticulous analysis. It requires you to question every premise and every conclusion which underlies any idea or proposal. The more critically you think the more effectively you can discern what is valid, what is true and what is false. Because so much thinking today is shallow or sloppy a good critical thinker will run circles around sloppy thinking and get to the essence of a problem or a challenge.
The next time you are presented with a proposal or an idea, or the next time you have an idea worth pursing, emulate Lincoln – spend some serious time carefully thinking about it from all every angle. If you do not have enough information get the information. Think it through until there is little room for doubt. Then you can be comfortable pursing the idea with persistence and fearless effort.
Using Both Types of Thinking
Once you have done the wild and no-limit creative thinking you can apply creative thinking skills to refine it into something that can work. It is this combination of creative thinking to create break throughs and critical thinking to refine them into something feasible which creates success.
There is only one way to develop these skills of creative and critical thinking. You must do it. Set aside some time each day, even if it is only 15 minutes a day, just to think. Get rid of the distractions and the interruptions, shut yourself away, and think. Make notes, keep a journal or use any other method you like to capture and develop these thoughts – do not lose them.
Schedule some time each day to think and in time you will harvest amazing ideas the implement wonderful plans that will lead you to where you want to go.
Wishing you success…
Daniel R. Murphy
Daniel R. Murphy
Daniel R. Murphy
Educating people for building wealth, adapting to a changing future and personal development.