An analysis of six key think areas to guide your thinking
|A piece of wisdom from the days of Henri Ford which will always be with me is that thinking is the hardest work there is and that is why so few people engage in it. But why should thinking be hard work? Highlighting the six key think areas involved in systems think to pursue your purpose will soon clarify this question.
Think about thinking is the first of the six key think areas that is of major importance. It is followed by think purpose, think emotion, think system, think process and think performance.
Therefore, unless think about thinking ends up in what you intend to achieve, success will remain in the distant future. Think about thinking involves techniques of both vertical and lateral thinking. I will refer to these techniques as primary thinking.
On the other end of the scale you have a type of thinking which involves the everyday thinking to do things at work, at home and so on. No primary thinking is required. And in numerous cases things are simply done by habit. But this is not all.
Very often the tendency is to externalize our problems and try to find why someone else is to blame for things that have gone wrong in our lives, i.e. playing the old blame game. In these cases you only think that you are thinking. In other words, the illusion of thinking is created. I will refer to this type of thinking as secondary thinking.
Although it will be practically impossible to do away with secondary thinking, you need to be constantly aware of it. It has a characteristic of keeping us in neutral - often bordering on sleepwalking - where we allow ourselves to be completely satisfied with the status quo. Why change anything if it works?
Of particular significance is that the two areas to think about thinking and think performance can only be activated and functional when you assume a leadership role to activate and drive the processes of both primary and secondary thinking.
With this arrangement I have established the three cornerstones of the system framework to practice the art to think, to lead and to perform. For convenience these cornerstones are also referred to as the philosophical, leadership and performance domains. Each domain plays a significant role in systems thinking in pursuing your purpose. In addition an essential principle in systems thinking is established, i.e. to first create mentally what you want to bring about physically.
You activate the system from the leadership domain by having a vision. But a vision without a purpose is of now consequence. Always make sure that you have a thorough understanding of the difference between a vision and a purpose. The purpose is at the apex of a purpose structure design which comprises a tier of output and input goals. Objectives are set to pursue each of the respective goals. The purpose structure design is particularly useful to see the big picture and a valuable aid in the process of systems thinking.
What about the other four key think areas? Think emotion should always be part of your think process. With this type of thinking you distinguish between think with the head and think with the heart. Knowing something is right in you heart is often an excellent guide for decision-making, because it reflects a more convincing kind of certainty than thinking only with the head.
But think emotion also entails that you should be in charge of your emotions, although this could be very difficult at times. The reason for this is that the emotional mind can sometimes spring into action, and cause you to react without you having the chance to think about what you are doing. And then you may do or say things which you will regret later on.
The think areas to think system and to think process are of specific significance in systems thinking in the pursuit of your purpose. Unless you have a system according to which you must think and processes that guide your thinking, your effectiveness in thinking will be seriously curtailed, no matter how well you are schooled in the techniques of thinking. The system framework to think, to lead and to perform meets this requirement.
The outcome of think work with you in the leadership domain of the three cornerstones, linked to persistence determination and enthusiasm, will greatly assist you to overcome risk and the fear of failure. These will always be hanging over you head like the Sword of Damocles. Overcome them by believing that you can because you think you can.