NOTE: PART TWO NOW AVAILABLE!
I know this doesn’t apply to you, esteemed reader. Consider sharing it, though – you may just be helping someone in need…
- Set your goal as being the kind of person who spends half of their waking hours thinking. More than this is possible, but only with sustained practice. It is not as difficult as you think – but you should start small and easy, and commit to slowly increasing the time you spend thinking.
- Start with just a half-an-hour a day of sustained thinking about any aspect of your daily routine. If this is too much for you, try breaking it down into about six daily tasks and spend five minutes thinking about each. To avoid straining your brain, ensure that you give yourself a rest of an hour or so in-between tasks. (Ensure that you do not take these breaks while you are doing anything really important.)
- Think about how you drive, what you say to other people, what you buy at the shops, what you read in the newspaper, what you watch on TV, your opinions about politics, the things you say and ‘like’ on social media, what you do with your recreation time, how you discipline your children and what you eat. Once you master these, you can also start thinking about your seemingly natural emotional responses to certain situations, and perhaps even some of the beliefs you hold dear. But again, start small. You do not want to get overwhelmed too soon into the process.
- Try not to think about the same things every day. You know how easily you get bored.
- Once you have gotten into the habit, try to increase the amount of time you spend thinking by just a few minutes each week. By the end of your third month, aim to think for about two hours every day. (At this point, you can take most of Sunday off.)
- Now try reading a non-fiction book. Avoid ‘self-help’, ‘home decorating’, ‘alternative medicine’ and religious / spiritual books. These are also fiction. Try reading something on science or contemporary affairs. Remember to think about what you read. (Watch this video on ‘pseudo-science’ to find out more about mumbo-jumbo pretending to be science.)
- Watch a little less TV every day. Or at the very least, try to watch a few more documentaries. (Reality television shows are not documentaries. Neither is most of what you see on the Discovery channel.)
- Before you know it, you may actually be thinking about what you do and what you say and what you believe for more than a few hours a day! (Which is far more than about 70% of the population.)
- Try to surround yourself more and more with smart people. And learn to listen to what they have to say. If you cannot find any smart people at any of the regular places you frequent, try following them on Twitter. You can then follow any of the interesting links they post to find out more. Note: Do not follow celebrities!
Here are just a few of my recommendations (please ensure that you are logged on to Twitter – that way you can just click each link and then click ‘follow’):
Remember, that as soon as you get out of the habit of thinking, stupidity can seize hold of you like a dog sensing fear. Show it who is boss.
Don’t forget to look me up on Twitter (all the cool people do.)