(3 mins read)

Let me ask you a question at the beginning.

“Are you an ACTION Man or a THINKING Man?”

What was your answer?

How long did it take to decide?

Did you think for 3 seconds or the answer came to your mind immediately?

Did you answer it at all?

In the majority of cases we, humans, are ACTION MEN. It’s rooted deeply with our past experience. It’s like an instinct. In the past, humans had to run away from different dangerous situations. Predators’ attacks, fire, natural disasters, and other hostile humans pushed us towards one action: RUN AWAY! There was no time to think, there was no need to reflect, or tie our shoelaces. We had to run as fast as we could!

Nowadays, the situation has changed dramatically. Usually, we are not threatened by predators or natural disasters. We use technology and we set high standards for safety. So, instead of running away, we could spend a bit of time on … thinking.

Although our situation has changed significantly and there is time to think and make optimal decisions, many of us still behave like cavemen. There is nothing wrong about it; it’s natural. However, we would benefit massively if we break this natural cause-and-effect relationship by putting “thinking” between situation and action. This is an easy thing to announce, but more difficult to implement as the “situation => action” paradigm is more like an instinctive reaction. If we aim for success on our journey in becoming a THINKING man, we need to use a trick: ask yourself to think about how to disturb our inclination to take immediate action, and instead stop for a while to think.

There are several simple techniques which will disturb our natural “situation => action” process. We will call them CONTROL VALVES. Putting something between situation and action will give us a bit of time to THINK and this is exactly what we wanted to achieve.

The simplest and the most common CONTROL VALVES are in our reach: take a sip of water or a deep breath. They are available all the time and cost you nothing. If we face a more complex situation, maybe we should stand up and take a piece of paper and a pen? This is perfect and actually, my favourite disruptor. It helps me to disturb the “situation => action” relationship and it takes me smoothly to a critical activity which is: THINKING. If the situation or challenge we face is more complex, then taking a walk or sleeping on it is the right way of distracting our natural way of proceeding.

Introducing any of those little habits of disconnecting situations from immediate action, will give us a chance to reflect, collect additional information, ask questions, analyze options available and finally, to make an optimal decision. Sometimes we would need a couple of minutes to think, sometimes a couple of hours or days.

With introducing little habits we will be less emotional and more rational.

Start practicing new techniques immediately and become the THINKING MAN who takes optimal and smart decisions.

At the end, let me ask you another, slightly modified question:

“Do you want to be a THINKING MAN?”


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