Thinking About Thinking

Light-sabre: A fictitious laser-sword (imagined by George Lucas)
Light-sabre: A fictitious laser-sword (imagined by George Lucas)

When George Lucas created the concept of ‘light-sabres’ in his successful franchise ‘Star Wars’, he creatively substituted and imagined that controlled laser-beams would be the choice of ‘blades’ (of the swords of guardian-protectors known as Jedi-knights) of a futuristic premise. Imagination based on existing knowledge works on synthesising epistemology and technology, and together with vision help us create ‘alternate futures’. That is why – love it or hate it – science-fiction appeals because of this merger of ‘quasi-science’ and ‘pseudo-science’. There is a fair bit of thinking involved in writing a script, fashioning studio props, directing a film, or producing a film.

Thinking may sound so simple, yet it is not. Thinking is hard work!

Thinking about a problem, perspective, solution, relevance, decision to make, fairness of a group decision, or even, the next choice of meal – these can impact our brain in different ways.

Without delving into neuroscience (a grand area of massive development in recent years) and peculiarities of our brain, we learn  that how we think, affects how we feel. That is part of the relevance of Positive Psychology. Above all, we also learn to make better decisions through time.

The notion that ‘Practice Makes Perfect’ is out-dated. That was version 1.0, and in latter versions, we may consider that (through reinforcement, classical conditioning, and brute force practice) ‘Perfect Practice Makes For Perfect, But Wrong Practice Leads to Permanence’. So, how we learn, practise, rehearse, and reinforce our behaviours (of worth) matter a whole lot more than we used to think.

And, thinking is what we are supposed to do best. After all, we spend ruthlessly huge amounts of time, rooted to our seat, tapping away furiously at our keyboard. May I say that I am not surprised that you may have just done that, at your Open-Space Hot-Desk or mobile device recently?

There are many ways to think – and such methodologies, techniques and approaches are taught in workshop courses. If you are managing a project, you may need to enlist at least a dozen styles of thinking, including decisions, comparisons, reasoning, logic, analysis, synthesis, contrast, and numerous more. Our entire lives weigh heavily on using our brains to think, so we progress into more intellectually-evolved, smarter, creatures of habit. Yes, habit.

We are a cumulation of habits. Habits – Patterns of our Behaviours – which we reinforce though repetition, however complex or simple the tasks are. If we do not give much thought on what we do, how we do it, and why we do it, then we may be in amazement when things go horribly wrong. On reflection, we may realise our folly for doing such matters with poor research, impulse, carelessness – for we may not have been thorough, or have thought through the entire process.

I have actively returned to massaging my brain; I have begun reviewing material/content for authors and creators of intellectual material. This keeps me on my toes, as I believe that I have a responsibility to exercise my sense of fairness, sensibility and sensibility. Critics and reviewers can harm the potential commercial outcome and reputation of an author (who are authorised to share what they have expertise in), if we were to assume an air of callousness and carelessness. We have have to return to specific chapters, to ensure we did not miss the inferred points, or appreciated the points of argument or contention.

It is not about ego, just because you were provided with a platform to be express your intellect or share your expertise. We have to exercise personal leadership, engage our values, and demonstrate our competence. We have to suspend our personal interests from our professional ones. A clash of both will be deemed ‘unprofessional’ and inappropriate.

This reminds of a quotation: ‘Do not throw dirt indiscriminately around, as you may soon run out of ground.’ As such, our grounds for argument has to be sound in its reasoning, balanced in your perspective, and deliberate in your decision – before we toss the gauntlet or pound the gavel.

Think about how we think. And, then again some more.

Published by EnricoVarella

Enrico is a international leadership consultant who has trained and consulted with supervisors and managers in 20 countries over 27 years. A professional of myriad interests, he enjoys learning, applying new ideas, researching, and sharing. His complementary roles include Public Volunteer, Public Speaker, Gamification Facilitator, Playwright, Sports-Coach, and Magician. He is a 23-time Ironman triathlon finisher, and has completed the Ironman World Championships in Kona, and 3 X Boston Marathon. He enjoys the occasional fermented brews with friends, comedy (no joke is too lame or corny), and aspires for low body-fat. He is still a Work-In-Progress, chipping away at the unwanted pieces from the block of stone.

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