Today, I’m talking about thinking.
I give you permission…
I’m not sure if you need it, but I give you permission to think bigger.
I’m pretty confident most people don’t think big enough.
Quite often we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of daily life, going through the motions, checking things off lists, but we never actually take time to think.
In order to think big, you first have to think!
Here are 9 random thoughts on thinking better and bigger.
1. It’s a skill.
Just like any other skill, it must be taught and it must be practiced. Like I mentioned above, most people don’t actually take time to think. If you want to get good at thinking you have to practice it.
2. Dedicate yourself to it every single day.
Whether it’s 5 minutes or 5 hours, we need to take to just think every single day.
I’m not talking about just the random thoughts that run through our heads, but actually finding a time and a place every day, where all you do is think.
It seems so small, but when was the last time you let yourself slow down for even 5 minutes and all you did was think.
3. The brain is best at creating ideas, not storing them.
Let me repeat that, it’s gold. Your brain is good at coming up with ideas, not storing them. How many times have had you had this great idea or thought, but then a day, an hour, or even a minute goes by and you forget it?
As soon as you have an idea, you must write it down.
I carry a notebook with me at all times, I have a small one next to my bed, and when in a crunch, use the notes app on my phone. Then, about once a week, I gather up all the notes, clean them up, and see what I’m going to take action on. However, without writing it down in the first place, it just becomes lost in your brain. Also, when you start to clear ideas out of your brain and onto paper, it clears up more “room” to creatively think.
4. Don’t strive for certainty, but instead strive for action.
As ideas run into our heads, we want to make them “come to life” or be perfect right away. Doing that is setting yourself up for failure. You want to see what you can put into action right away (see #5), but big thinkers are okay with ambiguity. Think broadly, and be open to multiple ways of doing things.
5. The entire purpose of an idea is to create action.
I call it the squirrel.
Most people have 1000 thoughts running through their heads and because of that never actually take action on anything.
We spend all our time complaining, or waiting for things to be perfect (see #4 above) before we end up taking action on it. I strive for imperfect action. Some may call it the ready, fire, aim approach. For every idea, I want to know the next step right away. I can envision what the end result or perfect looks like, but I don’t’ want that to cause analysis paralysis. Action always trumps any good idea.
6. You can accomplish 100x what you think you can.
I’ve mentioned before that I’m a productivity nerd. I constantly try to study why some people can get so much done in a day, and others just seem to always look busy but nothing actually gets done. There’s a lot that goes into that, but since we’re talking thinking today, I definitely see how that plays a role.
People that are unproductive probably fall into two categories.
- Ideas people. They’re great at thinking, but never write it down or take action on it, thus, they have dozens of “tabs” open in their brain and never actually get anything done. These are the people that think multitasking is good, and chip away at everything but never actually make progress on anything.
- People that never actually take time to think, thus they don’t have a clear direction of where they’re going.
Which ties nicely into lessons number seven…
7. Thinking creates a blueprint for your life.
Way too many people fly by the seat of their pants, wake up 20 years later, and say, crap, where did life go?
Taking the time to think, and to think big, allows you take control of your life and create a plan to live your dream life.
This applies to all aspects of life. We want more money. Why? What’s your plan to get it? Are you just complaining that you want more money, but you don’t actually have a plan to get there? Do you know when you want to retire and what life looks like during retirement? How much money (not a random number) do you need for retirement? Do you take them to reverse engineer that number to see what you need to save this month to stay on track for that? This stuff doesn’t just magically happen. Fitness. What does success look like a year from now?
Really think about what your life looks like. What brings you happiness? What do you need to change today to keep that one year vision on track? Create your own life through bigger thinking.
8. Learn from every single experience.
This is a skill I’ve been constantly trying to develop.
I get business ideas from everything ranging from the books I read to the experience I just had pumping gas.
Pick up your head, and learn from every single experience. Every single conversation, every single experience you have, there is something you can learn from it. Megan makes fun of me because I literally rip apart (in my head) everywhere we go. Not necessarily negative, but no matter where we go I look for ways things are being done and think to myself “how can that be done better?” Whether that’s making it faster, more efficient, more appealing, etc. If you want to think big you have to learn from every experience.
9. This will be the final one. Surround yourself with bigger thinkers.
I really don’t want to spend my time around negative people. I also try to surround myself with people who think bigger than I do. People who think changing the world is something they can actually do.
I think there’s a lot we can learn from anyone, but I really try to limit my day to people who are positive big thinkers, because that will only elevate me.
If you’re spending your day arguing on the internet, stepping over dollars to pick up pennies, complaining about how bad you have it, or thinking more than 30 seconds about what you’re going to wear that day or cook for dinner that night, you need to think bigger. There’s a reason why people like Mark Zuckerberg wears the same outfit every day. It’s just one more thing he doesn’t have to think about and can spend his time thinking about how he’s going to change the world.
That’s my thoughts on thinking.
I’d love to hear yours.
Keep thinking bigger.
By Doug Spurling