Taking time to think about the way you think

Happy New Year! I hope everyone’s year is off to a prosperous start. There is something about the start of a new year that get’s everyone motivated to change, improve, or reflect. This has been no different for me and surprisingly I woke up this morning ready to hit the ground running. I was in a very reflective mood today which lead to this post, which is all about how I go about changing the way I think to get more progress in my life.

For those of you who know me, you know that I am a pretty analytical person and I spend a lot of my time thinking. I’d like to consider myself a very self-aware person. I often reflect on my strengths and weaknesses and how I am tracking on the goals I have set. Although, one thing that I really wrestled with today was the concept of thinking about why you think or perceive certain things the way you do. For anyone who has taken an introductory psychology or sociology course, you know that we all have a different lens that we view the world through. Many of us are even keen observers of other people’s lenses and what biases they have. One thing that most of us do not do as often (myself included) is reflect on why we think the way we do.

Some of the most brilliant people I know are really big thinkers. The way we think influences the way we behave, how we decide to spend our time, and what we consume. Lately I have really been attempting to challenge myself by reflecting more on my own thoughts and my own emotions. What I have discovered is that what surprised me most wasn’t what I spent time thinking about, but rather what I consciously spend time trying to avoid thinking about. If you really want to change the way you behave on a sustainable level, then you have to change the way you think. Although some behavioral change experts would argue that you have to first change your behavior and the way you think will follow. This is similar to the question “What came first, the chicken or the egg?” question.

Needless to say, to really start understanding how to change your behaviors you have to deeply understand what your barriers are to actually doing what you want to do. This takes reflecting on yourself and knowing yourself and why you do and think the way you do. For me, I make an effort to focus only on the things I am doing well and consciously make an effort not to think of the things I am not doing. This works out really well for my ego, but not my progress towards my goals.

Today I finally finished a mockup to a major component to a software as a service application I have been dying to execute. I have really just been avoiding thinking about it, because when I do the thought of the lack of progress just burns in my stomach. However, by forcing myself to really think about those barriers and topics I am avoiding I can turn that anxiety into passion to get moving. It’s all about taking the time to understand how you are perceiving the situation.

Normally I write these thoughts and details of progress on my goals in my private written journal. Now I realized that there are others out there who may be struggling with some of of the same barriers or attempting similar things. I’d love to share my struggles and details as I enter this journey.

I plan to update this as much as possible given my time. I hope to hear any insight or feedback along the way!

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