7 Ways to become a Deliberate Thinker

Your ability to think is your primary asset. There is only one thing which we have complete control over and that is our own thinking. Earl Nightingale revolutionized this concept in his audio “The Strangest Secret” when he said “You become what you think about.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson said “You become what you think all day long.” If thinking is so important doesn’t it make sense to become better at this skill? Most of us don’t think of it as a skill and hence we take our thinking for granted. However it is what is present between your ears which will determine everything in your life.
Here are some ways to super charge your thinking
Write your major goals in life - The only way to start the thinking process is to first be clear on exactly what you want in life. As Wayne Gretzky said "You miss 100% of the shots you don't take."  Be crystal clear on what you want in your life. There has been a lot of talk about law of attraction which basically says you will attract into your life the things that are thought in your mind. Some people have taken this to the extreme to say think about money and it will happen. However for me you attract into your life only the things that you think and take action on. So take action on your thoughts to improve your life
Keep track of your ideasI find it easy to keep track of my ideas on the notes app in my iPhone. We get so many ideas but the reason we don’t take action on them is because we haven’t taken the time to write it down. Some of the ideas of writing on different subjects for me have come about as the result of my thinking and noting the idea immediately on my notes app. Once you get the idea take immediate action.
Detach yourself from your day to day routine – We get our ideas not when we are working but when we are detached from day to day activities. Allot one day in a week where you don’t do any work related activities and pursue something you like. For me this is going to the book store to read, working out, running and writing. Usually when I am on the elliptical an idea pops out. This can also happen during a vacation when your mind is completely relaxed. The key is to break up your routine and fill it with activities you enjoy.
Practice solitude – I really struggle with this one. Basically this idea is to completely do nothing for 30-60 min and just let your mind wander. This is tough for most of us in our over stimulated world. We suddenly have the fear of missing out and something might be happening in social media. However if we detach ourselves and completely relax it generates ideas that can astound us.
Brainstorming – The best way to generate ideas is to be around other creative thinkers. Get around people who you consider creative and then start brainstorming with them. Our role models have a strong effect on us so being around world class thinkers will eventually lead us to generate great ideas. Of course brainstorming also helps in formal settings in organizations where you need to generate ideas for revenue generation and increasing client opportunities.
Find a dedicated place to think - You might have a specific room where you feel most peaceful. If that is the case then make sure you go to that room on a daily basis and spend some time there. The environment is a great stimulant for great ideas. Once you go to your thinking place have a notepad with you and keep writing whatever comes to mind. There are no bad ideas.
Keep a journalI have been writing in a journal for the last 5 years and the results have been great for me. I used to write daily but now I write once or twice a week. What I do is write what happened in the week, what went well, and what can be done better. This writing provides clarity to my life and I know where I am heading. Once I start writing about my week and what went well it triggers other ideas which are useful. Try that habit if you are not already doing so.

We all think but if we become deliberate thinkers our lives will become far more meaningful. Every great triumph was a result of great thinking by someone. That someone can be you. As a wise man once said most people would die rather than think. Thinking is hard but it generates amazing results.

The views expressed in this article are my own and don't represent my organization.

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