During a mentoring session a few months ago, a mentor of mine asked me an interesting question. He asked, how would you rate your thinking? Ironically, I thought about that question for about 10-15 seconds and finally I gave up on answering his question and decided to ask him a question of my own instead. “What do you mean?,” I asked him back.
He laughed and proceeded to educate me on the fact that an average American spends about 6% of their time on active thinking and the rest is spent on reacting, recalling/remembering, consuming information, relaxing/resting, meditating, searching/exploring and a host of other activities that don’t allow our brains to do one of the most powerful things it was designed to do – create.
He defined thinking as the active process that engages the function of your brain to create a particular outcome. The reason many of us don’t think as much, and I would venture to say live into our potential, is because we haven’t really learned how to think. We haven’t really exercised that muscle much at all.
You may be wondering to yourself, ok where is she going with this? I’m glad you asked. ?
The day before this new year began, my pastor delivered a powerful sermon entitled Rivers and Streams. He used an analogy of a river in the Garden of Eden that belonged to Adam. This river produced several other streams that created resources for Adam and he equated Adam’s river and streams to the different rivers we have in our lives that have the potential to produce streams for us as well. Yes, he was talking about multiple streams of income.
I would do him and his sermon a disservice if I tried to recreate the power of what he said but there was a huge take away that connects that sermon with what my mentor shared with me. My pastor talked about the danger behind depending on just one river (job/business) and encouraged us to think about ideas and systems that we could create that would meet a need or solve a problem and ultimately create different streams or revenue sources for our households and families.
Going back to my mentoring session, my mentor gave me an assignment to spend 45 to 60 minutes a day doing nothing but thinking. Thinking specifically about a problem that I thought needed solving and then asking a series of questions that lead to how to solve that problem.
Imagine if we all started to do this exercise. What if we carved out some time from our TV watching, aimlessly scrolling through timelines or any other activities that don’t really serve us in the long run and just had a productive thought session? Imagine what could be created, who we could help and how much better our lives could be overall if we all just started to think more. How many of us would stop living paycheck to paycheck? How many of us would be able to leave an inheritance versus bills to our loved ones when we pass on?
I mentioned in a previous blog post that not everyone is designed to be an entrepreneur, but we all have the ability to create something. Imagine what would happen if you teamed up with a mastermind group of people in your network who each had their particular expertise, one of which may be entrepreneurship, and you put a thought session together that created something that could both help people and generate another income stream for you all.
Many of us are sitting on untapped potential and believing expensive lies about ourselves (don’t have enough time, not creative enough, don’t have an entrepreneurial mind) simply because we just haven’t thought about what’s possible.
Transparently, I’ll share with you that I have done this exercise a few times and it was really hard at first. It felt like going back to the gym after an extended absence and rebuilding muscles that I hadn’t used in a while. But just like working out, it gets easier every time I do it. And I’ve started to have results. In fact, you’ll see the fruit of some of my thought sessions take shape this year.
I’m sharing this because I know someone reading this, even if it’s just one person, is going to have a light bulb go off and decide to do this exercise and create something great. And I’ll be cheering you on from the sidelines. But I must warn you, the starting point is the thought process. Once that idea and that plan has been created, you’ve got to then be able to execute.
But I want to encourage you to not get stopped before you even get started. Seek out a mentor, find an accountability partner, and recruit a mastermind group that’s going to help you with the execution. First things first though, let’s get started. Ask yourself…