Every day we think, this blog is asking you to think, at the workplace we think, as we read the news we think, as we hear what’s going on in the world we think. As we process all this thinking do we leave with some quick thoughts or do we dive deep into it?
All this thinking had me wondering about where we leave our thoughts.
Do we draw a conclusion quickly either by lacking a willingness to invest in thought, perhaps we respond quickly as a result of strong understanding and developed thought? Do we give it some time in the grey matter, read/research a few aspects and then draw a conclusion and just leave it there? Or perhaps do do all that has been mentioned with a continued passion to understanding constantly developing ideas/thoughts?
I have been saying think a lot, perhaps I need to find a thesaurus.
These same questions led me to construct an idea about the levels at which we process thought. More of a scale really and like all analogies they stereo type and brush wide strokes. So it is by no means a perfect concept.
I think it does give us a basic framework to perhaps give more or less to our thoughts. To be able to perhaps have greater understanding the limits we might be willing to take our ideas.
The 3 levels (and the grey in-between)
Level 1 – This type of thinking could manifest in (not always) a quick response, usually we receive an idea and do not invest in thinking it through and equally respond quickly and then move on. Someone might suggest that a Toyota Hilux is the best 4WD around and with a quick thought we agree and the conversation moves on. I think there is a caveat in this ide though; a person may respond quickly simply as they are well versed on a subject and have already applied thought. The difference here though is that in reality we dismissed thinking through an idea and moved on.
Level 2 – This type of thinking usually results in an initial processing of ideas and results in an established opinion/viewpoint on the subject. Since thinking has been done, little in the way of addition input adds to or changes the opinion/viewpoint of an idea. This could include significant research or investigation or for that matter working through possibilities and outcome to come to an established view point. We cannot overlook the investment in thought or idea development.
Level 3 – This type of thinking is often more open. A person has worked through level 2 and rather than “sit” on an opinion/viewpoint (but still may hold it) will be open to receive input into the subject matter and continue the process to weigh/update/strengthen their views.
While for the purposes of fleshing out the idea on the levels above, I’m being very clear cut and for lack of a better phrase “stereo typing”. The reality is that each of us on ranging topics I think work through these levels up, down and in-between.
Consider the way we think about the way we tie our shoelaces, we trust in those that taught us, there is little to no need to develop it further. We often respond in level 1
Or consider other topics such as the value of family, business ethics, euthanasia, gay marriage, equality of the sexes etc. etc. do we appropriately invest to understand/process these areas well? These deeper topics are harder to think through.
The point of this piece is not to tell you how to think rather a challenge to encourage us to understand how the investment in our thought life may contribute to the way we develop our opinions and ideas.
Let’s ask ourselves the question “Where will we leave our thoughts?”