I have a saying ‘we all think, but do we actually think about what we think about, when we think?’ We all have thousands of thoughts going through our minds daily, anything from 10,000 to 50,000 thoughts. That is indeed a significant number. However if you cannot capture a single thought, separate it and think about the thought, well then frankly what is the value of all the thoughts you are thinking? It is assumed that all thoughts are banked in memory, filed systematically and that they could be helpful at some later stage. Who knows when that could be? In fact that kind of thinking is futile, and we know we have far more power at our disposal.
How can we take a thought captive? Is it even possible? Yes it is, simply by limiting the amount of information you chose to receive, be that visual, audible or sensory. Once you have limited your inputs, it becomes easier to choose the thoughts that are worth thinking about. The simple way to start this process, and train your brain to focus, is to write thoughts down – but don’t worry, you won’t be writing thousands of thoughts down. Your brain will already begin filtering for you, almost in the same way a search engine like Google will filter searches according to your previous search history. Your brain will filter things according to your wants and needs.
Write the thoughts down, and write them down as quickly as possible. Try to write as many down as you can without questioning the thought or the reason for thinking it – just try to get your thoughts on paper.
At this point in the process you will begin to ask yourself questions about what you have just written. You will wonder why you thought the thought in the first place, and begin processing the thoughts. Practise this and continually challenge yourself to think. Keep writing the thoughts down and think about them – you will soon find yourself thinking, questioning and processing. You will teach yourself to think without needing to write things down. This could be viewed as thinking on your feet!
The more you do this type of activity, the more you will notice in your surroundings. This can be particularly useful in understanding the people you encounter on a daily basis, or even in risky situations where quick thinking is vital. A similar process is what they call a risk analysis, where you write down all the identifiable risks and then communicate them. However, if the brain is trained to think is a certain way, then the person can be a walking risk observer, helping to keep people safe in their surroundings and situations.
What then is Self-Disruption? Disruption is the disturbance or problems which interrupt an event, activity, or process. Disruption itself forces our brains into a left brain state, immediately analysing the possible threat that the disruption may bring. Therefore we have our total focus at that moment on the disruption, and we are able to analyse the possible scenarios. If we can’t identify an actual threat we normally disregard the disruption instantly, however this is actually where the opportunity lies: Not all disruptions are life threatening, many just arrive to get our attention and teach us something. We can use disruption to our own advantage if we are looking for the opportunities it brings. Likewise, when we think a thought that may be disregarded as a random thought, can we think more about the thought? Do we allow that simple thought to disrupt our thinking, so that we can derive a benefit from such thoughts?
Seemingly random thoughts that bring about self-disruption, may just be the answer to simplifying your thinking.
I look forward to hearing about how disruption has benefited your thinking processes.