Apparently, I’m Not Good At Thinking – Josh Journal
Each time I hear someone say, “let me go and think about it”, “I was deep or lost in thought”, or “I was thinking about…”, I am left in bewilderment.
I normally would have believed people say all these to sound adult-like, serious, important, intelligent, or thoughtful. But then I know enough people who actually “think”, to know that “deep in thought” is actually a thing.
Apparently, people take time to process information. They need to assess, reassess, compare, contrast, evaluate, and reevaluate each point, merit, and demerit, before coming to a conclusion.
Many times, people unload a large chunk of information on me, and they are surprised I have a response, conclusion, or decision just as soon as they are done.
Some would tell me, “go ahead, take as much time as you need to think about it, and decide.”
Whenever I insist on my initial position, they seem to be left as confused as I am when people take long to decide.
As soon as I am getting information, my mind is already processing and aligning them. In my opinion, as long as you give me all I need to know at the time, I will come to the same conclusion immediately, or a year later.
Time would only affect my choice if it unveils more information.
Rather than thinking, I spend my free time imagining, simulating and creating.
Some would argue that all these are different versions of “thought”, but in practice, we know this is not what people mean when they say they are thinking.
There is nothing wrong or to be ashamed of in requiring more time to process information. What is more important is the quality of the decision you come to at the end.
We can all benefit from thinking faster though. Saving time and reallocating resources to other tasks.
I’m not an expert at this, but I could have a few suggestions in this regard.
To begin with, don’t sweat the small stuff.
People spend too much time thinking about decisions that have no consequences.
You have limited hours in a day, and there will always be something else to do. Spending time thinking about something unimportant is accumulating unnecessary stress. If a decision changes nothing about you or someone else, then there is no right or wrong answer.
The same decision that holds no value now could be consequential later. Like deciding what you will eat versus what a group of twenty people will eat.
Or dressing up to sit at home, or visit a friend, against dressing up for a job interview or business meeting.
In such a situation, take as much time as you need to come to the right choice.
Enjoy entertainment with an eye for detail.
The books you read, the music you listened to, and the movies you see are often professionally put together.
Experts in different fields were recruited to help with verifying information, location design and setting, color choices, diction and pronunciation, ambiance, and other things.
By taking note of these “tiny” details, you wouldn’t have to start afresh whenever you have to decide on things like that.
You can subtly remember the emotions the color of a room in a movie gave you, so you design your room with that in mind.
You should also be more conscious of conversations, word choices, character traits, and the psychology of characters.
Movies, music, and books are a mirror on life. That guy showing the same violent tendencies as that guy in a movie you saw will likely be violent too.
The fine girl that says the same thing that one lady in a movie said that turned out to be a long stream of lies is probably lying too.
And the psychotic, abusive, manipulative, and noncommittal patterns you see in movies, are the same signs in real life too.
If that guy or lady is showing the same sign as the character you detest and have vowed to avoid in movies, don’t stress yourself. They have the same tendencies.
Thinking about it for longer will only result in you defending them, finding excuses for them, and justifying their actions.
Keep educating yourself. Not everyday fictional books, movies, or comedy.
Sometimes watch the news, documentaries, special reports, and investigate reports.
Read opinion pieces, educational write-ups, and nonfictions that have nothing to do with rumors and gossip.
The more preprocessed information you expose yourself to, the less you have to process information.
Listen to experts. When they change their stance or correct themselves, that doesn’t mean you have to throw out everything they’ve said.
Which would you prefer, an expert who claims to be infallible, though proven wrong repeatedly, or an expert who is always the first to come out with his own mistakes?
Facts change. Allow specialists to adjust as necessary too. Unless you alright with them teaching you that the sun revolves around the earth.
Let go of your bias and prejudice. Don’t allow your pride to prevent you from acknowledging the truth.
Some people’s definition of thinking is rearranging their biases until it aligns with what they originally wanted.
Most importantly, don’t equate thinking to wallowing in negativity or self-pity. Your thinking is incomplete if you focused on the problem but skipped out on the solution.
Acknowledge the problem. Diagnose it. But don’t allow it to become your sole focus.
As soon as you know what the problem is and its origin, move over to the solution.
Don’t spend too much time trying to understand multiple dimensions to the problem, ways and places it could pop up again, or even on the why.
Sometimes you find a solution first, then if time permits, you retrace your step towards coming back to the root of the problem.
But only if that would help improve the quality of your solution.
At the end of the day, thinking is an essential aspect of being human. There is no hard and fast rule to doing it though.
The quality of your thought would go a long way in determining the quality of your life.
Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
– Philippians 4:8 (KJV)