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4 Steps to Focused Thinking

Have you ever practiced Focused Thinking?  

I hadn’t until recently as I was reading John Maxwell’s book Thinking for a Change. Focused Thinking is one of his 11 Thinking Skills.  In this chapter he says, “Focus can bring energy and power to almost anything, whether physical or mental.”

I have always been a thinker, but typically I find that my thoughts are all over the place. It is hard for me to get a lot of clarity because I don’t ever take the time to slow down and collect my thoughts.


The other day I was Thinking about what to do for my wife for Mother’s Day.  I am typically not very good at this sort of thing.  I struggle to come up with thoughtful, meaningful gift ideas.  Last year was not my best performance to say the least.  So this year I thought I would test out Maxwell’s principle on Focused Thinking to see if I could come up with an idea or two that would be both meaningful and thoughtful.
So I did.
I got up early in the morning (I have 3 small children so this is about the only time it is quiet in my house) and I went down to my office.  I sat there with a blank journal page and a pen with a header that simply read “Mother’s Day.”
It was slow going at first as my mind wandered but as I began to settle in I began to come up with some pretty good ideas.
I began by writing down whatever i was thinking on the topic.  These were typical things I have done in the past like flowers, photo book, etc.  All these things are good but did not have any real meaning or thought behind them as they are my “go to” ideas.
However, what I noticed was, as I began writing down exactly what i was thinking I began coming up with ideas that were different and much better.  I eventually came to one that I really like and that I plan to use this year.  This idea would not have come to me had I not taken the intentional time to get away and spend some Focused thinking time.  Now, don’t get me wrong, the idea is not earth shattering or anything, but it is thoughtful and it will be very meaningful to my wife.  All it took was 10-15 minutes of focused thinking.
So, if you are looking for an idea for Mother’s Day, or have something else you need to think about and wish you could have a breakthrough or find a way to collect your thoughts on the matter, I suggest trying focused thinking on the topic.
1.     Getting alone
2.     Going to a quiet place
3.     Beginning with a blank page and a pen
4.     Beginning to write down everything you are thinking on the topic
I believe you will be surprised at how the ideas will begin to flow.
Have you tried focused thinking before?  How did it go?  Leave a comment below.

This post first appeared on Parent Intentionally, please read the originial post: here

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4 Steps to Focused Thinking


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