Where do you do your best thinking? For me it’s at the beach, which is only a short drive away, and I make it a priority to get there regularly and alone.
Good for me, what a luxury to regularly get to the beach. Not so much, I have moved mountains to make quality thinking time a priority, even then it only happens in short bursts, but anything is better than nothing.
If I’m at the beach and my kids are in tow, well, it’s unlikely much of my attention will be focused anywhere other than them. The same applies if I’m with a friend, or anyone else who is going to need my attention.
It’s not just people who distract you from your inner world though, it’s all the thoughts that are swimming around your head about what has happened, what is happening and what needs to happen.
That is what makes some form of regular meditation so vital, to quieten the less useful thoughts, the fog, and get some clarity and perspective on what is important. There’s no need to make a meal of meditation, the point is to do it regularly, 15 minutes is all you need, allow yourself to get in the habit of noticing and switching your thoughts instead of running on automatic pilot.
These last few years I’ve written a lot about how we cloak ourselves in layer upon layer of others’ beliefs and expectations, derived mainly from our early childhood years and societal expectations, resulting in us not really dancing to the beat of our own drum. But what is it that leads to these expectations and how do we break free of them?
Well, for a start, think about your beliefs. Do some quality thinking. These days with so many working outside the home, and so much media vying for your attention, it’s easy to get sucked along and not really do much thinking at all.
As I read about the leaders of a country being so busy that they really didn’t get the time to make quality decisions, it led me to memories of the corporate world and all the unnecessary meetings and truckloads of email and other nonsense that constantly stood in the way of allowing enough space for quality thinking and, therefore, quality decisions to be made.
It leads you to wonder who is shaping the thinking of today’s leaders? I read a thought provoking statement about Hitler the other day, that while his generals were held to account after the war for their actions, what about his advisors, his spiritual advisor for example? The whole thought pointed to Hitler as more of a puppet than a puppeteer.
So setting aside that particular example, it does raise an interesting question - who are you, the puppet or the puppeteer?
My mum, always so worried I’d be led astray by some dogma or other, asked me quite a few times when she read my early articles about who and what was influencing my thinking. I told her what I’ll repeat here, I do my own thinking and encourage everyone to do the same. Sure, listen, read things, read the opposite just to challenge yourself, but go with what feels right for you in that moment.
I recall a conversation at two in the morning with an old mentor of mine (we were in different time zones) who was a whistle-blower on the leadership of an Amway distribution group that had been deceiving people about the extent of their profits coming from the personal development system, rather than the Amway products themselves. He said to me “If something feels off, Shona, trust yourself, it probably is”.
That resonated, and it was a turning point for me in terms of self confidence. Over the last 20 years I’ve largely shut myself off from sources of distraction and persuasion – like TV, newspapers, social media etc, and tend to shun any kind of ‘group think’ in favour of my own thinking.
You might wonder that I am therefore not abreast of ‘important’ current affairs, believe me it’s amazing what I seem to pick up by osmosis through everyone around me. It’s more amazing what people think is important, yet those same people aren’t taking the time to think about what is truly important.
Those who read my articles regularly will know I’ve been encouraging people to start thinking about the big stuff – the “Why am I here? What is life about? What is my purpose?” stuff. It’s important; it will kick you into a different mode of thinking, one that can be less influenced by the plethora of media out there.
It’s just as important – more so probably – for our younger generations to think about these things, they are leading us into the next evolution of our world after all.
If you get caught up in the drudge of life, before you know it you’re at the other end, wondering what happened and wishing you’d spent more time dancing to the beat of your own drum, rather than doing what was expected of you by others.
So what of all this? You do your best thinking and what? Well, you make better decisions, pure and simple. The kind of thinking and decisions many only make once a year (if that) when on holiday.
This is how I like to live life. And right now I can tell you I’m happier than I’ve ever been, it’s been that way for a while.
It doesn’t mean I don’t have challenges or that I don’t want more from my life, quite the opposite. It just means I make it a priority to make sure I have perspective, so I don’t get bogged down in drudge and get back on a hamster wheel.
You are important, you are unique, you are worthy and you are enough.
What do you want for your life? How do you want to feel day after day? Only you can make you a priority. If you don’t, no one else will. I can tell you something though, if you will make it a priority to give yourself the space to do some quality thinking on a regular basis, you will absolutely change the momentum of your life for the better. And that is good for everyone.
I’d love for you to like, comment on, or share these thoughts with others if they inspire, or contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org, I’m always happy to help if I can. To be the first to receive these posts, you can also subscribe to my newsletter and, as a special thank you, you will receive the link to my video 3 Steps to Becoming You.
By signing up you will only receive emails from shonakeachie.com and you can unsubscribe at any time. This is a two-step process, you will have to verify your subscription by clicking the link in the email you should receive after clicking this 'Subscribe' button. If you do not receive the email please check your Junk mail, thank you.
Please note if you are using the Google Chrome browser and want to subscribe to the RSS Feed you will first need to get an RSS plugin from the Chrome Store.