Why thinking is better than doing? by Suf Alkhaldi

The habit of thinking
The habit of thinking

Thinking is the most creative habit a person can develop. Thinking finds relationships among objects normally hidden in our busy minds. We enjoy the thinking process though, and our mind needs this breathing space to wander in different directions regardless of the time restraints. The need to focus or concentrate to accomplish a task is not important or true anymore. Our mind needs the freedom from daily physical and mental tasks. Cognitive jobs — jobs which need thinking (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math, STEM) and not physical work– represent 35% of available jobs and could reach up to 47% in one or two future decades in the US. These white-collar jobs usually pay better than blue-collar jobs.

As I have stated several times in my blog, I have avoided physical work throughout my life. I developed this hatred to manual work when I was a teenager and had a summer job watering cinder blocks in a marina. The work was hard and daily high temperatures reached over 120 degrees. By the end of summer, I was very happy to go back to school and to have all the pain of watering cinder blocks over. From that day and after, I decided to avoid physical work and focus on studying.

Bill Gates is famous for his love of thinking for long hours. His father described this in his book.  The young Gates would spend many hours thinking in the basement and being late to get to the car when they traveled [1]. He would take retreats during summer breaks in his grandmother’s house where he would read and think while his grandmother took care of his meals. Gates continued his habit of thinking even when he started Microsoft. He takes retreats for two to four weeks every year when he reads and thinks for some time in front of the fireplace. Although Steve Jobs was not an avid reader as Walter Isaacson published in his book [2], he was an avid thinker. He thought about everything — sometimes to the limit of craziness. Thinking is a great path for creativity.
When R. W. Paul wrote his book on critical thinking [3], he explored many factors which affect thinking. In his book, thinking creates confidence by increasing your ability to be sure about your reasoning abilities used to analyze the situation. It pushes you to consider the whole situation, mining the complex relationships, background, and environment. It allows you to measure all these relevant factors and explore if they should be taken into account or ignored.

The challenge of thinking
The challenge of thinking

As you think and explore things, your thoughts will discover and restructure old ideas into new ideas and find alternatives when you are stuck. The mind stretches and becomes flexible to modify the behavior. The habit of thinking will increase inquisitiveness and force you to seek knowledge and understanding and even to pay attention to deep questions, leading to alternatives and breakthrough solutions. As our thinking habit matures, we become an avid seeker of the truth, willing to accept results even if they contradict with our previous belief system. Our intuition sharpens by gaining insight very quickly. Because of our sharpened intuition, we become open to other views which contradict our thinking and we become aware of our own biases. The mind pursues several courses to overcome obstacles. All of this is done with joy and fun.

This blog is published every week on Saturday before 10:00 pm. US Eastern time. Thank you for reading my blog. I would love to hear from you.


[1]  Bill Gates Sr., Mary Ann Mackin, Showing Up for Life: Thoughts on the Gifts of a Lifetime. May 11, 2010.
[2] W. Isaacson, Steve Jobs. Simon & Schuster, 2011, p. 656.
[3] R. Dobelli, The Art of Thinking Clearly. Harper, 2013, p. 384.

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