Today I’m thankful for taking time to think.
Usually I love to jump right into action, adjust on the fly and figure things out as I go. While this is a great strength in the ride cases it has also been known to be a huge weakness that has caused all kinds of disasters and bigger challenges. As I’m faced with a couple of new challenges I reviewed my timetable and know that I have the time to pause, think, and determine the best course of action as opposed to diving right in.
Father Mark turned me on to one of the greatest quotes I’ve ever heard that fits so perfectly into today. It was a quote by Blaise Pascal that started ringing through my head this morning and caused me to pause my audiobook in the morning and drive with no background noise. The statement so gripped me that I drove the entire two and a half hours home from Rice Lake in total silence (except for a quick call to Becky letting her know I was on my way home). This quote from a mathematician in the 1600’s was my focus during my driving time today.
Sometimes, when I set to thinking about the various activities of men, the dangers and troubles which they face at Court, or in war, giving rise to so many quarrels and passions, daring and often wicked enterprises and so on, I have often said that the sole cause of man’s unhappiness is…
As Father Mark asked us a while back, what is “it”? You probably don’t want to answer it aloud, the answer would probably say a lot about you and your mindset, wouldn’t it?
…that he does not know how to be quiet in his room.
Too often in life I fill my drive time with stuff. I listen to audiobooks, sometimes ESPNRadio, sometimes I’m on the phone, sometimes I’m listening to music. Too often I’m paying attention to distractions and diversions and not spending quiet time in thought.
Today as the quote kept ringing in my ears I knew what I had to do. I needed to focus on thinking about my current challenges and situation(& driving of course!). I turned off my phone and turned off the music. Taking time to think about each of the few things I needed to focus on I kept going back think about why they were important, what options are available, and what certain courses of action would mean. As I hit a roadblock I moved into the next challenge and before I knew it I had an idea for the first challenge pop into my brain. This process repeated and I got into a great state of flow as I was charting my course. I was motivated and excited, ready to kick these challenges in the butt and turn them into opportunities. It was awesome. Taking time to sit quietly in my room (or my car) and think yielded some pretty excellent results.
It would have been easy to jump right in and apply an immediate fix in most of these situations, but I’m glad I took the time to think. They may not all be solved yet, and my ideas maybe wrong, but I’m farther along and better off now than I would have been without taking time to think.