How thoughts become clear
A few days ago I was reading Platform by Michael Hyatt. At one point Michael shares a quote from Dawson Trotman, founder of the Navigators.
Thoughts disentangle themselves when they pass through the lips and fingertips.
Trotman’s words caught my attention. Throughout the rest of the day, I found myself reflecting on the truth found within them.
Writing helps me clarify my thoughts and ideas. Speaking, whether with friends or in a teaching situation has caused me to think harder and clearer about a subject. My mind does become clearer, “thoughts do disentangle themselves as they pass through my lips and fingertips.”
What has helped me think clearly
Trotman’s words got me thinking about the other things that have helped me think clearly amidst the chaos of life.
- Be clear on what matters most: When I know what my priorities are I find I can think clearly in the midst of just about any distraction. If I am unsure of what is most important, I tend to move like a ship without a rudder. Taking time to get clear on what matters most is important. I am often surprised by what truly matters and those things I am willing to let fall away.
- A Yellow Legal Pad: I cannot tell you how many times I have returned to this tried and true friend. To begin I spend a few minutes clearly defining the issue I am seeking to discern. One or two sentences that define the issue. A line down the middle of the page. Pro’s on one side, Con’s on the other. For some issues I have dedicated time invested in the thought process. Others I just leave the pad on my desk and record ideas when they come to me as I work through the day. Reviewing my list later, the fog usually lifts and I see a clear path forward.
- Time of Silence / Retreat: Our world is filled with constant “noise.” From the moment we wake till the moment we fight our way to sleep we are bombarded with all forms of media and messaging. Thinking clearly amidst the noise is not easy. We need to find places of retreat and silence within our busy world to hear clearly from Abba Father.
- Sharing an idea with a trusted friend: I need someone to tell me when my thinking is wrong. There is nothing better than a trusted friend or mentor. I have found that sometimes even the shortest of conversations with the right person can clarify my thinking. If they feel encouraged, or allowed to push back and ask the right questions I often leave with new insight and clarity. Having such conversations demands that we invest time with people and give select people permission to speak openly about who we are. It is a worthwhile investment.
- Prayer: For me this is essential. There are moments when in the midst of a meeting or conversation I say a silent prayer because my mind is racing. I am not engaged or maybe overwhelmed by the conversation taking place. The moment of silent prayer centers me, reminds me of what is truly important and has a way of helping me think clearly in the midst of life’s chaos.
These are just a few of the things that have helped me think clearly amidst the chaos of life.
What helps you think clearly about the issues that matter most to you?
Leave a Reply