Thought for the Day – H. Ford on Thinking

Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is probably the reason why so few engage in it.”– Henry Ford

From the earliest words out of her mouth, my daughter has always been adept at keeping a conversation moving along. One morning, when she was very young, we were enjoying some alone time together. As she sat on my lap, I noticed that she was unusually quiet. “What are you thinking about?” I inquired. “Daddy,” she responded quizzically, “What’s thinking?”

Her question left me dumbfounded. Sometimes it still does; not the metaphysical or physiological question, but the motivational one—not disciplining myself to think constructively about my challenges and opportunities. In fact, I often find myself feeling more productive moving from task to task—the quicker, the better—rushing to get items knocked off the list. Without thinking, I respond and react to needs and events around me, like the Far Side cartoon of the wife amoeba saying to her TV watching husband, “Stimulus, response. Stimulus, response. Don’t you ever think?” I can get in my high-gear, hyper-productive mode for so long, I’ve forgotten to think about whether I’m doing the right things. “Don’t you ever think?”—it’s a good question. If I don’t take the time to do it, before long I’ll be asking, “What’s thinking?”

Your thoughts? Do you find yourself avoiding think-time by constantly doing or overindulging in entertainment?

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