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Thinking as a Tool
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A tool serves a purpose. You pick a hammer when you want to hit a nail into the wall. After nailing, the proper thing to do is to put down the hammer. What will you say about the person who after nailing carries the hammer about without dropping it. That would be insane.

Thinking is a tool that serves a purpose in the creative process. It is a part of the main thing not the main thing. It is a tool that should be dropped when its use is over. But what do many of us do? We think and think and think. Not to think now seems abnormal. For such people, thinking has possessed them. The problem therefore is not that we do not think; the problem is that we think too much. Overthinking makes you pay too much attention to unimportant things.

It gets hard when we try to apply our thinking ability to events that does not directly concern us. This could be deciding which action among several alternative actions that will lead to a particular outcome in future or interpreting a particular event that occurred in the past. For the former, I remind you of the “winner take all” process of neuron clusters in competition earlier discussed. The action you decide to take may not be the best action. You decide to take the action based on the evidence you already have. There are evidence you do not have. In interpreting events that occurred in your life, it is you, the individual, that gives them meaning. Two people may experience similar situations and one comes out motivated and another depressed. The point is that you form your thoughts. You are therefore not your thought.

While I was schooling, I was more concerned about passing exams and when exam time came, it was all about figuring out the right answer. Going through this for over a decade did not teach me how to think. In fact it left me as an individual who hardly reflects on the ideas he has. Here comes the problem: In real life, we have to continuously deal with challenges that do not have clear solutions. We deal with ambiguities that confuse our brain and we act without being sure.

 


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