“Dialogue is balancing advocacy with inquiry.”
Image from Unsplash by Priscilla Du Preez
In his book, Dialogue: The Art of Thinking Together, William Isaac describes this critical skill as the intention to reach new levels of mutual understanding.
Doing so, he indicates we can form a totally new basis from which to think and act.
He further states that this capacity for talking together constitutes the foundation for democracy.
Where are you observing and participating in true dialogue in your various communities?
How could a better balance between advocacy and inquiry improve communities throughout the world?
“You cannot look in a new direction by looking harder in the same direction.”
Image from Unsplash by marianne bos
Many of us are doing a lot more thinking about our thinking these days. With things changing all around us, most of us are taking significantly more time to explore our perspectives, attitudes, and values.
Where has this expanded and broader view taken you? Where are you simply looking harder in the same direction, hoping for the old normal?
How and in what ways can you move beyond looking harder in the same direction to take some new and courageous steps in a better direction?
Please reply to this post with any insights you are inspired to act upon today.
“Eons of natural selection coded you to act first and think later. You must adapt to a new world that demands the opposite.”
—Jennifer Garvey Berger & Keith Johnson, Simple Habits for Complex Times
Image from Amazon.com
To what degree are emotions running high in your personal and professional communities? Where are you and others on edge, frustrated, angry and upset?
What behaviors are being demonstrated toward a better, calmer and more workable future? Where are you seeing your fellow men and women at their worst?
Our ancestors were coded to survive and live another day. Emotions clearly played a critical role, and pondering one’s situation could actually be deadly unless acted upon immediately.
Today, we like to see ourselves as thoughtful, reflective, and far more perceptive beings, whose reasoning minds can clearly override those animal instincts.
Where is it necessary to tap or slam on the brakes in your world? How and in what ways can you more fully awaken to think far more clearly before acting?
“Life is actually an essay, not a series of responses to someone else’s agenda.”
—Seth Godin, American Author
Image from Unsplash by Thought Catalog
In order to flatten the curve of the COVID-19 pandemic, most schools and other learning institutions closed for the year.
Once the initial “extended summer vacation” excitement wore off and the reality set in, we were given an extremely important assignment.
Our homework is to write and experience the next chapters of our life stories. Some of us might look to the limitations and constraints. But we can also see new levels of creativity, innovation, and freedom to express ourselves through the amazing examples set by others in our various communities.
What will you include in your Hero’s Journey essay? How can you continue to influence your communities, expand your capabilities, and make an even more purposeful difference in the world?
What would happen if more of us put down the remote and picked up our pens to pursue our personal agenda?
“Few is the number who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts.”
Image from Unsplash by Nathan Dumlao
How are you and the people in your personal and professional communities doing relative to today’s quote?
With far more time on our hands due to social and physical distancing, I’ve observed a lot of people thinking and feeling more deeply than ever before.
When – perhaps in the past – have you gone along with the crowd instead of trusting your own heart and head before making an important decision, or taking a significant action?
How has the world grinding to a halt versus the frenetic pace we usually keep given you greater clarity on life?
How can and will you use the lessons from these challenging times to help you count yourself among the “few more” people who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts?
Please reply to this post with whatever thoughts and feelings you care to share.
“Perhaps the truth depends on a walk around the lake.”
—Wallace Stevens, 20th Century American modernist poet
Image from Unsplash by Greeshma Gangadharan
In recent months, I’ve had considerably more time to think. My daily routines have changed a bit with my health club closing, and working from home.
Instead of my normal fitness efforts I have introduced a 50-minute walk. Although it is not around a lake, it allows for significant, peaceful contemplative time.
Although I am getting plenty of steps and fresh air, of greater interest and value seems to be my mental, emotional, and spiritual explorations. Taking this time to look far more closely and clearly at the truths of my life and our world has been profound.
Consider taking a walk around your own lake or neighborhood and see what truths are revealed. Feel free to reply to this post and let me know what you discover.
“Common sense is the collection of prejudices acquired by age eighteen.”
Image of Albert Einstein from Public Domain
When we think of great minds, few people top the list more often than Albert Einstein.
If you investigate his life through a wide variety of sources, you will see that he was fond of what he called “thought experiments.”
I guess you could say that he thought a lot about thinking!
What about your own mind?
How much do you think about your own thoughts and how they influence your view of others and life in general?
What prejudices, biases, mental models, and paradigms have you ingrained that support and in many cases limit what’s possible for you?
How can and will you conduct some of your own expanded thought experiments to realize a less common and more extraordinary life?
“Learning how to think really means learning how to exercise some control over how and what you think.”
—David Foster Wallace, late American writer and university professor
Image from Unsplash by Thought Catalog
In late January, we reached our 2,000th Quotable Coach post, which represents eight years of Monday-thru-Friday posts to you, our loyal readers.
Beyond making these nuggets of wisdom available to others, this daily exercise is part of my own cerebral workout for my mental muscles.
Posing a wide variety of questions to you (and to myself) has increased my self-awareness and ability to guide my life professionally and personally for the better.
In the weeks and months ahead, please consider replying to at least one post that assists you in your own thinking efforts.
A weekly reply would be great!
Please also consider sharing The Quotable Coach resource with others in your communities who might also wish to exercise greater control over how and what they think.
“There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path.”
—Morpheus, portrayed by Lawrence Fishburne in The Matrix
Image of Morpheus from Wikipedia
Morpheus was the Greek god of dreams. The Greek work “morphe” translates to “form” in English. Morpheus is, according to legend, the god who shapes and forms our dreams.
Although most people dream, for some reason many of us seem to forget them, including the insights they may provide, when we wake.
One strategy to consider is to keep a notepad near your bedside to fully capture the ideas and insights you wish to act upon.
What insight, dream, or priority matters are you still “in the think” about? When will you begin taking action to walk the path to realize your dream?
“Being able to think about how you think, is a sign of higher intelligence.”
Image from Unsplash by Jordan Whitfield
When was the last time you changed your mind and reconsidered your point of view?
How often do you find yourself frustrated by others because of their stubbornness or being set in their ways of thinking?
If you are brutally honest, you may quickly see that our paradigms, mental models, and biases run deep. We rarely stray from the path worn by many years of experience.
Today’s quote suggests that we can all exercise our thinking muscle and think about thinking to build the important capacity to improve our lives and better our world. We may also add a few more IQ and EQ points by doing so.
Feel free to respond to this post with tools or strategies you use to exercise your own thinking muscle. Consider picking up a copy of my book, The Quotable Coach – Daily Nuggets of Practical Wisdom, to explore 365 thinking exercises to use over the next 12 months.