Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it. (Henry Ford)

A friend froze me in my tracks the other day. In the midst of a conversation we were having, he said: “I have a thought.”

I couldn’t believe it. I wouldn’t have been surprised or found it in any way remarkable if he’d said, “I have an idea,” or “How about this?” or “Check this out.” But he didn’t. He had a thought. And he told me so. Think about the significance of that:

I don’t think we think about thinking anymore. We’re too busy to think. We plan. We project. We forecast. We anticipate. We react. We plot. We scheme. We hope. We worry. Think?

We don’t have the time … or so we think. We say things like, “There aren’t enough hours in the day,” convinced that every one of all of our days is full. Are we sure? Is that even possible? How do we define full day?

If you laugh, you think, and you cry, that’s a full day. That’s a heck of a day. (Jim Valvano)

We have more people than we need writing, talking, lecturing to and about us to be happy, to balance work and life, to work hard and play hard, to disconnect, to shut down, to blah, blah, blah, blah. We get all that.

But when’s the last time anyone suggested you stop and think? That’s all, just stop — then think. If we did, and if we accepted our own thinking, I wonder what kind of thoughts we’d have.

In every work of genius we recognize our own rejected thoughts: they come back to us with a certain alienated majesty. (Ralph Waldo Emerson)

What do you think we think about thinking that causes us to avoid it so? Maybe we’re so conditioned to thinking we’re too busy to think that stopping to think makes us uncomfortable. Maybe in the midst of lives chaotic and cacophonous, the quiet absence of commotion makes us anxious. Maybe we’ve become so driven by circumstances and so desperate for distraction that solitude disquiets us.

I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments. (Oriah)

What do you think makes us so uncomfortable about thinking? If you have a thought, please share it with us in the Comment box below.

“Rodin Thinker Kyoto” by Rdsmith4 – Own work. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 via Wikimedia Commons