The Assault of Sustained Thinking

“No problem can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.” – Voltaire

I have found that critical, deliberate thinking takes great emotional strength and discipline. We have a society that leaves no room for thinking.

With the I-Pod going every spare moment, DVR’d TV programs at your disposal in excess, the internet and radio you could go a whole week without a minute of quiet time to direct your own thoughts.

Creating the space to think and then having the fortitude to intentionally direct your thoughts as opposed to letting them wander is a much more difficult practice than it appears.

I went through a phase, in an attempt to strengthen the power of my mind, where I would pick a topic and try to focus on it for the entire shower each morning. It is amazing the tangents you can get off on. If you don’t believe me, try it tomorrow morning. I would start out with a topic like golf. Next thing I knew my mind had meandered to beautiful scenery to Hawaii to beaches to surfing to sharks and my fear of them. I couldn’t believe that I was able to make that journey in 45 seconds, while consciously trying to focus just on golf.

Voltaire has spoken a profound truth, if we can learn to create some time each day to think and if we can learn to channel our thoughts in a focused direction, there is not a problem in our lives that can withstand the assault of sustained thinking.

Instead we have become lazy in hoping that our problems will resolve themselves without any real thought on our behalf. Critical thinking is key to effective action and satisfying results.