Friday, October 19, 2012

Thinking. Really neat stuff.

Ok girls (and guys?!) I dont' think I've EVER had a man comment on this blog.  WHAT is up with that?!
Anyway, today I'll be getting back to the John Maxwell book, MAKING TODAY COUNT.  And we'll be discussing another way that you can change your life immediately.  It is by changing your thinking and by making thinking a very conscious part of your day/ week/ year. 
These are the super cute Thinking Journals we made in this part of the MoZart Retreat.  As you know by now some "thinking" went into what each project would be as I wanted it to directly support the topic at hand. 

Let's begin... I have heard quite a lot about the book, As A Man Thinketh.  So much that it is now very much on my "I gotta have that" list!! (JinJin, you reading this?!  Christmas present idea!)  James Allen is the author.  HE writes, "All that a man achieves or fails to achieve is the direct result of his thoughts." 
So, how exactly do you become a great thinker?  Well, naturally, you have to first be a good thinker.  And before you can become a good thinker, you have to be a thinker!  So, that's it... start deliberately setting aside time on a daily basis to THINK and plan.  And if you have a very cool thinking journal like we all do now, you can start capturing thoughts... all of them... you never know which one of them might become your million dollar, life-changing idea!!
After all, as Riley so eloquently put in her journal... Trust your crazy ideas....
John Maxwell wrote lots and lots of books, but perhaps one of my personal favorites is Thinking for a Change.  I LOVE that book.  He outlines 11 different thinking skills that come into play when becoming a good thinker.  For instance, some that I am really good at, i.e. Big picture thinking, creative thinking, and possibility thinking.  And some I'd consider my weak areas: realistic thinking, focused thinking (oh. shut up your laughing!), and strategic thinking. 
John says it is perfectly fine that I have strength areas and weaker areas.  What I need to do is work on my STRENGTHS!  Why would a gymnast who is certain to medal in the olympics on the beam practice the mafority of her time on the parallel bars!?  She has the potential to become a WORLD CLASS beam gymnast.  And I just might have the capablity of becoming a WORLD CLASS thinker! Not that I don't have that realistic thinker around me (I live with him, actually), but also, my business director is very strategic in his thinking and both he and Todd are focused thinkers.  So, I encourage them to stay in their strength zones, and I'll stay in mine!  We should make a really good team!
Since reading this book, the idea of setting aside specific time to think every day has been plaguing me!  As well, one should have a THINKING PLACE!  I have tried a couple of spots, but they have not done the job!  One didn't have a table beside it, and that got on my nerves.  One had poor lighting.  I KNOW I think better with colored pens to take notes, and I like to use index cards or small cards vs standard notebook sized paper.  I am considering trying to make my cottage my thinking place.  I think I might need to have some Norah Jones in the background, so that is also a healthy alternative worth exploring. The only thing is is that I dont' know if I'll feel like trekking out to that cottage in the winter ( you know when it is FREEEZING and 40 degrees down here! ha)  Maybe I should explore installing a heater.  Todd is gonna LOVE my thinking place idea!
One must also determine the best TIME of the day to think.  Is it AM?  Mid morning?  Mid afternoon?  Evening?  or the last thing you do before you go to bed.  Think about that.  When are your juices flowing?! So many people say first thing in the morning.  But I dont' think that is the case for me.  I am NOT a morning person, and no matter how hard I've tried, 5:00 AM isn't in my repertoire! Period.  Unless I'm catching a flight to Hawaii.  Then, somehow, I seem to make it! 

To clarify, I'm not saying I CAN'T do it.  I'm just saying I haven't made the commitment to, as I have not seen the value yet in why/ how it can change my life to do so.  And sooooo....
Now as you are thinking, remember that even the Bible emphasizes the importance of thinking good thoughts... remember this?
"Whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things." 

Ok then, any questions?  If the Bible says it, I believe it, and that's the end of it!
Have you noticed the more ideas you are exposed to, the more your thinking improves? I will tell you, I have been in a major growth mode lately.  I have listened to no fewer than 30 hours of personal growth information over the internet and my car CD this week.  And my mind has been ABUZZ!  I have found myself wittier, more creative in the use of my language, and generally thinking more deeply. I'm just curious, can you tell in my writing?  I really don't want you to blow smoke up my rear, but I DO feel that I have been able to just spit words right out of my fingertips and onto this computer screen at lightning speed! And that is because I have been feeding my brain with the right stuff!! 
Do you ever find your mind just going crazy with creativity after spending time on Pinterest?! I tell you, I go to Pinterest just to get that buzz of inspiration!  It makes  me feel alive!  And I feel like I can conquer the crafting world, when all I've done is LOOK at exciting art through only my visual system. 
And one more important thing John discusses... If you really want to be a good thinker, find yourself a good thinking mentor!  Who do you know who is a deep thinker?  Someone who stimulates YOUR thinking and gets your juices flowing?!  If you spend time with good thinikers, you will find that the exposure sharpens YUOR thinking.
"As iron sharpens iron, so a man sharpens the countenance of his friend."  Oh yeah, baby... and that came straight from Proverbs!
Very few people intentionally THINK. In fact, I doubt if you'll find anyone who actually schedules themselves thinking time (except me, and now you know!).  It's important.  It can change your life.  Remember the Daily Dozen are the 12 things in MAKE TODAY COUNT that John says can make an immediate impact on your life for the better.  And who doesnt' want that?!
So, let's recap... you need a thinking spot.  A thinking time.  A thinking journal. 
You need to think on the right things.  You need to find a thinking mentor or partner.
And I think that about sums it up!
Are you ready to get serious about thinking?!
I want to hear from you this weekend on how you are planning to start intentionally thinking.  Come on girls (and boys!  Hey, you out there?!), let's do this.


Bj said...

I am definitely a morning person...I had to get up at 4:30 for so many years, that even though I retired 1-31-12....I find I have gotten used to that time of day being my "quiet" time...just me and God...AND I LOVE IT! Once I get into the day's activities, there doesn't seem to be much thinking time.....loved the post Mo...keep up the good work! BJ

Mbeaty19 said...

As always I got lost in my thinking because of your post. If anything lately I think you are my thinking mentor. Your posts always get me thinking about various aspects of my life. All your John Maxwell posts have been very thought invoking for me. If anything I would say before going to bed is designated my thinking time. This is good because it allows me to sit quietly ( after my boys are asleep) and take note of the various thoughts traveling through my mind. The only bad part of this is that sometimes my thinking goes in overdrive and sleep doesn't want to come. Maybe I will look into scheduling another time during the day to try to designate thinking time.
YES Pinterest certainly leaves me feeling in creative overload. So many things catch my attention and I will find I have to take time to come 'down' from my create mode. I have pinned and liked so many projects that I've considered making a separate account just dedicated to my creative side. I find it funny that sometimes my creative side goes on and I have to go to your page because I know you have some many boards that foster my creative side. Those that 'fear' art should go on Pinterest for just a bit and I believe they would feel they could create anything.
I think i have a lot of the same strengths and weaknesses in the thinking skills. Thank goodness for my husband because, like Todd, he balances out some of my weaknesses ( and I his).
Would love more details on how you create the thinking journals as I think I'd like to create one that's a little motivating than the notebook I usually write my thoughts!

Holly said...

Melanie! You're right up there with Oprah as people who make me think and shake up my world! This is a very fertile growth period for me right now. I have had some very hard things happen in my life this year and I REFUSE to let them define me! I will be 65 in June, and baby I'm DECIDING exactly what this last chapter of my life is going to look like! What are my intentions, how can I serve, what brings me joy, what is truly important to me! Thanks for helping me, for "joyfully sharing your gifts with me" ! A thinking spot - I'm on it!

Holly & JakeDog

kimybeee said...

i can certainly "feel" your enthusiam about this JM stuff coming through in your blog. i don't really pay much attention to how eloquently you "speak" when you blog. some days are short and just quick pic captions - and i also feel the emotion you put into those busy days. and other days you seem to be wistful, wanting more time with the kids or wanting to please everybody(which is impossible).

i am the kind of person that will be consumed by what i read. if i am reading a book and it is cold or rainy, i feel that mood. i can also bawl like a baby reading sad parts in books - my husband knows i am insane. i become so involved in what i read that i don't indulge my passion to read. i can't put a book down when i start - no sleep or anything else till i am done, so i avoid.

i have always felt like a close friend of you and your entire gang - because you are so great about sharing your life and ups and downs that I "know" you all. i am guessing from the gang that shows up for retreats that you have that effect on a lot of people!!

i live vicariously through you - so you need to have as much fun as possible!!!!!!!

kimybeee said...

and i refuse to go to pinterest because i don't want anything on the internet that will take more of my real world time!!!

Shannon said...

Loving your John Maxwell posts. Through him - you're inspriring me. Before I even finished reading this post I began a journal. Wanted to do it for a few years. Let's see if I can stick to it. Had a really emotional weekend - and it's something I really don't want to 'think' about. Maybe through my written word - I'll be more inspired to think. Thanks Mel.