Thinking About Thinking

Thinking about thinking sounds like the name of a ridiculous self-help book that would (maybe I should be embarrassed to say) greatly interest me. It’s actually the thesis of a recent post I read that doubles as one of the most important things you, creative worker, or your organization can do.

But few organizations think seriously about thinking, which, after all, really is the fundamental value-producing activity in knowledge work, just as divine communication was the metaphorical money-maker for the pious medievals.

The monks were on to something. Concentration is hard work. It requires, for lack of a better word, more serious attention. [Cal Newport]

I *try* to block off parts of my week just to think because I believe it to be one of the most valuable paths to working smarter (not harder) and probably the biggest way I can add value to my own work and the work of the people around me.

You need friction to come up with new ideas and modify existing revenue streams, yes, but you also need time to think about how exactly you want to implement or build those into your workflow.

What I Want My Kids to Know About Having Something to Say

I love the idea that leadership and solving interesting problems are the two most important things we can teach our children (other than the Gospel of course). Here’s what Seth Godin wrote about that today as he tied it to technology.

It might be that instead of spending more time looking for a louder platform, you could profit from digging in and doing the hard work of figuring out the change you seek to make. If you’re unable to influence one person in a face to face meeting, all the tech in the world isn’t going to help you change a million people. [Godin]

The fallacy of technology is that you can be ubiquitous, which I confess is certainly compelling. But there is absolutely no value in being ubiquitous if your content and knowledge aren’t good. It’s far more purposeful to be in one place at one time and to own that place with a deep and thorough wisdom of whatever it is that you’re interested in.