As you will have heard if you took a look at Rob’s short video, Reflections on rather a Long Walk, one of his goals in taking an 800 kilometre walk from France to Western Spain, apart from actually reaching his destination, Santiago de Compostela, was to completely “unplug” from his hectic business life and spend some time just reflecting and taking stock.
It wasn’t that Rob wanted to stop thinking. He just wanted to disconnect from the everyday and apply a different type of thinking for a while—something that an 800 kilometre journey on foot provides ample time for.
Why We Need To Think Differently Sometimes
In fact, what Rob was doing is something that all of us should practice from time to time—thinking differently. The problem is, we rarely even take time to think about thinking or rather, about how we think; and that’s a mistake. You see, by making a conscious effort to apply our minds in different ways, we can all gain new perspectives on issues and problems which, apart from being refreshing, can be invaluable in arriving at a solution.
About Thinking Differently
It’s entirely possible make changes to your thought process, but it does require a conscious effort. To ensure you can apply alternative thought processes when required, it’s a good idea to practice thinking in different ways, even when you don’t need to.
To get you started, here are a few quick examples of how to apply different thought processes. If you recognize any of these as the way you normally think, then of course you can disregard them, since practice will not be necessary:
- Utilize “what if” thinking. When trying to decide on a certain course of action, ask yourself questions such as “what will our customers think of this? Our suppliers? Our partners, employees, the community? What will be the impact on these different stakeholders?”
- Try some critical thinking. When you see or hear a statement, question it. Ask yourself “Is the statement really true?” Don’t jump to a conclusion one way or the other according to your beliefs. Instead, do a little research and then determine the strength and accuracy of the statement based on the weight of evidence.
- Stand in others’ shoes. When you have some situation to think through. Try doing so while imagining you are a customer of your business, or an employee? How does the situation look when you view it from those perspectives?
The Benefits of Thinking Differently
Okay; enough thinking about thinking. Now it’s time for action. When you apply some different thought processes to a problem or situation, you’re increasing your chances to arrive at the best solution, rather than just any solution. That’s a good formula for success in your business, your career and perhaps more importantly, your life in general.
The best thing of all is that you don’t need to walk 800 kilometres to start thinking differently (although as Rob will tell you, it’s a hell of an experience). You can start right now. What do you think about that?
You can contact Rob through email or +61 417 417 307.