How Deep is Your Thought?

Inspired by Calvin Harris & Disciples; How deep is your love ... is it like the ocean?

The other day I was going to the gym and I realized that I always tend to commute with my headphones on - whether I'm listening to music or watching a show - and sometimes even running them in the background while I flick through my newsfeed. I seem to always need a distraction of some sort. But the more I escape this reality and drift to a fluffy world of tumblr and memes - I realize that we rarely push our minds to the point of deep thought on a single topic.

There is a mathematician/philosopher with the name of Bertrand Russell which once said "Many people would rather die than think; Many do".
It's funny but at the same time, it's also sad. People rather spend their whole life distracted and postponing decisions, than jumping and giving them real thought. I can't give a blanket statement on everyone - but I can probably claim that the majority of people enjoy being told what is right and wrong, rather than dive independently and think for themselves. You read A's article - you think its controversial so you go and read B's article - it sounds reasonable and conforming to your line of thought so you stick to B. Rather than expand your reading and start thinking deeply on forming your own possible approach/opinion.

I can probably even say that the quality of our life is determined by our thought and our process of thinking.

Everyone these days talks about Artificial Intelligence and Computers Deep learning - but what ever happened to people's actual Deep learning and Deep thinking. They don't teach us that at school. And most probably not something encouraged at work - you are probably better appreciated following what your boss asked you to do.

I come from a family of engineers and my father always prides himself by saying - engineers are taught how to think and how to deeply process information to come out with results differently.

So how can we develop habits to start improving our thinking?

Personally I don't really know!! but I have been lately testing out this method of brainstorming and taking notes. Communicating to myself in the form of notes and scribbles. It's not a diary but its a breakdown of a situation - it helps clear your mind to focus on what elements there are in a current matter and break them down to their core. 
It can take you only a few mins. But to me - it's a start.

The more I researched the topic the more I started to learn about this method called "Thinking in Zero Seconds" and there is a book written on it called "Thinking like the Elites of Mckinsey".

I am still exploring it more and more but its quite minimalistic and interesting;

In 1 minute take a piece of paper (A4) and write down all the thoughts that surface to the top of your mind. Don't think too slowly, just have it as natural as they come. The more you practice, the more you should try to write 4 - 6 lines - each 20 -30 words on the matter to fill up the paper in that 1 minute time frame. Think of it as a method of free writing.
You can try it for anything from work, your future, relationships, learning ...etc.

The ultimate holly grail from this - is through practice you will be able to analyze a situation into a few lines ... and through "Zero Thinking" as they call it, you will be able to express your self and focus fully on the matter at hand prior to even writing. Taking notes is just a plus helping you dig deeper on the points that you find important and that have been identified through your subconscious mind. 

Whether the above works for me, is still a works in progress, but it definitely inspired me to;

  • Take notes anytime and anywhere.
  • Think deeply rather than always look at topics at their surface. Ask more questions. Research more.
  • Understand that thinking needs practice - it's a habit that we must work on improving. Similar to speed reading.
  • Make the decision that I will free up time in the day and dedicate it to myself.

My Closing Note: 
I was watching an interview conducted by Charlie Rose with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet. Gates was talking how his calendar is always booked with back-to-back meetings and how he efficiently fills up every single day of the week. However, he was surprised to see that Warren Buffet on the other hand can have full weeks in a month completely empty. ZERO MEETINGS.

The reasoning behind that, is he purposely dedicates time for himself to read, be alone, THINK strategically, ... rather than just be sucked into life's daily distractions. He found that that time/space can benefit all CEOs and can add more value on their long term tactics.

Apple once said Think Different. I say Different isn't enough but Think Deep.


Ali Darwish

Business Development, Hyflux | an entrepreneur at heart | inspiring presenter | graphic designer | challenge junky | dreamer