How do I feel when I think?

By | June 10, 2014

Wow, what a great question. I’m with Cindy on a lot of points, it’s not an easy question to answer. At first, I wanted to glibly say, “Great! I feel GREAT when I think!” but a my over-riding skeptical side knows that’s just not true.

To work it through, I charted out my “logical” thought processes so that I could pay closer attention to how I feel when I think.


creative commons licensed ( BY-NC-SA ) flickr photo shared by giulia.forsythe

It is messy. It is complicated. It is unformed, slippery, and partially inaccurate.

It’s embarrassing.

But it’s compelling and pulls me and demands my attention. My associative trails are strongly intertwined, sometimes very nonsensically.

With stern self-discipline, I try to force myself to seek clarity, organization and structure but another part of me romps about like it’s a playground, summersaulting over fascinating connections that delight and amuse me. I am rewarded by a good idea just enough to not ever get fully organized. The mess brings serendipitous collisions of insight which are so pleasant they over-ride the anxiety and fear of the chaos. Even though sometimes, no insight comes, and only entropy remains.

Sometimes the vast array of possibilities paralyzes me and I am in no position to write it out. At this stage, I usually consult friends, colleagues, the network and The Search begins. Finding results from The Search is one of the most exciting parts of thinking as new, unknown or unconsidered trails suddenly appear and the connections deepen, re-associate, re-align, or fade away altogether.

Normally, I would never click publish on a mess of a post like this but these are my #thoughtvectors and that’s how I feel when I think…

5 thoughts on “How do I feel when I think?

  1. Gardner

    I am grateful that you clicked publish on this post. Really grateful. To me, it doesn’t seem like a mess at all. It’s like looking at someone else’s book or record collection and finding many bright spots of discovery, many resonant notes of connection.

    I’m truly humbled by what this question elicits and by your willingness to launch this thought vector into our concept space.

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  4. Michael Branson Smith

    More high fives from over here for click publishing (vs. letting your thoughts remain in draft post purgatory). I so relate to the potential ’embarrassment’ factor when putting out thought vectors. As the concept space is seems so often too vast and scary.

    My thought vector vice is to choose/create a bunch of animated GIFs and hope they communicate well enough my thinking. And I recognize it’s not enough, so I’m a fan of this open course/event as I really appreciate the peer support to work through it all.

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