On thinking…

“I don’t need to do more smart things. I just need to do fewer dumb things. I need to avoid making emotional decisions and swinging at bad pitches. I need to think!”

Keith J. Cunningham

Your brain.

It’s the last and grandest biological frontier, the most complex thing we have yet discovered in our universe. It contains hundreds of billions of cells interlinked through trillions of connections. NCBI


How often do you actually sit with that tool, and use it?

Sure, it’s constantly working to keep you alive, but 95% of that is done by your subconscious.

So, let me tell you about “thinking time.”

“Thinking time” was first formally introduced to me by Keith J. Cunningham in his book, The Road Less Stupid.

On average, 70% or more of people’s thoughts are negative.

What’s the first thing you do when something “bad” or hard happens in your business?

For example…

You lose a sale.

You miss a call.

Your team drops the ball.

You drop the ball.

You miss your goal.

When these things happen, most people do something called “worry.”

Worry: give way to anxiety or unease; allow one’s mind to dwell on difficulty or troubles.

This is quickly followed by negative self talk.

Enough of this will break you and your business.

Instead, take the road less stupid.

I want to invite you to start thinking.

Sit with the powerful tool in your head for 5, 10, 30 minutes tomorrow.

See what happens.

Nothing may come of it your first few times, but then you’ll see.

Here are some questions to ask yourself

  • What skills do I need to learn and what resources do I need to acquire to [insert goal].
  • What are the major constraints preventing me from achieving these outcomes?
  • Where have we let adequate or average be our performance standard?
  • What do I need to change to create excellence?

The 5 Core Disciplines of Thinking

  • Find the Unasked Question — Create a question that will result in clarity and generate better choices
  • Separate the Problem from the Symptom — Identify the real obstacle that is blocking my progress
  • Check Assumptions — Differentiate the facts from the story
  • Consider 2nd Order Consequences — Clarify the risks and the possibility/cost of being wrong
  • Create the Machine — Create the executable plan and identify the resources (people and money) required to solve the real problem and make forward progress


Fun brain fact.

A typical computer runs on about 100 watts of power. A human brain, on the other hand, requires roughly 10 watts. That’s right, your brain is ten times more energy-efficient than a computer. The brain requires less power than a lightbulb. Crucial.com

Happy thinking.