thinking ideas


“The thoughts we choose to think are the tools we use to paint the canvas of our lives.”

Louise Hay



This is about thinking.

Louise Hay is a motivational author who writes a lot of bullshit about ‘How to Love Yourself’ in self-help books. That said. This is an outstanding quote and thought.

We paint the canvas of our lives with thoughts.

Which leads me to thinking and happiness.

Thinking, happiness, and how all the researchers & self help analysis and rules to follow truly impinge upon our overall happiness.

Bottom line?

Those sonofabitches are facilitating our grumpiness; not happiness <aside to myself: ‘bastards’>.

“The third-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the majority. The second-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking with the minority. The first-rate mind is only happy when it is thinking.”

A. A. Milne

If I could have sat down with A.A. when he said this I would have suggested that he add “the 4th rate mind is only happy when its over-thinking thinking.

Academics and researchers tear apart thinking to an absurd extreme.

Rational versus irrational.

Logical versus intuitive.

This versus that.

think think thinkSum it all up and you get a confusing picture of a human mind that is alternatively strong and weak, pliable and inflexible, constantly overwhelmed yet inevitably insatiable and … well … always contradictory.

After all this research, inevitably they all shake their heads and say ‘how we think is often irrational.’

Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm …

Labeling thinking as ‘irrational’ is, well, irrational.

And silly.

Not because we don’t make irrational decisions when we think <because sometimes we actually do, but I would also suggest that irrational is in the eyes of the beholder>, but rather that we invest so much energy trying to analyze thinking.

In all of this analysis we obscure the true beauty and joy of thinking, in other words, the happiness found in thinking.

Thinking is expansive not constrictive – and we should discuss it that way.


It often shouldn’t even be constructed.

And there certainly is no “how to” guide for everyone to follow <oops … a bunch of self-help authors are gonna send me some nasty emails now>.

The guard rails, or the steps, are pretty basic.

We hunt <for information>.

We gather <the information>.

We consider options <information>.

We cook up an idea or a thought <typically as informed information>.

** note: this can happen in 5 seconds, 5 minutes, 5 hours, 5 days … but the process remains the same>

Some people call this ‘stimulus – response.’

Some people call it common sense.

Beyond that?

It’s maddening if you try and analyze how people think.

Is there an art and a science to taking time to gathering more input versus making a decision?

Or how to sift through all the information you have?

Or how to make big decisions versus small decisions?

Or, shit, how to even identify a small versus a big decision <and how often do we get that wrong looking in hindsight>?

It seems kind of maddening to try and unravel all of that.


Its mental masturbation.

You really cannot do anything with the information you gain from all the research and analysis <there will be no “how to think” pamphlet to hand out to everyone when they are born>.


The best thinkers tend to need both logical and analogical thinking. They use subconscious and intuition combined with logical analysis. Sometimes even using what you don’t even know that you know as you utilize linear thinking and pattern recognition.

And the best of the best recognize some level above the logical. They somehow recognize an elusive “why” that will drive the idea.

Sound maddeningly unteachable?

It should,

Because it is not teachable.

In the end.think

You have to consciously fill your brain with experiences, facts, knowledge and learning and then it is really the subconscious that makes all the breakthrough thinking.


It is really the subconscious that makes all the thinking good.

It’s the subconscious which sifts through everything you have gathered and, well, you think.


Doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do the thinking hard lifting or the analysis or the background work necessary because that stuff is the nutrition for healthy thinking. But. Recognize that the maddening part in really good thinking resides somewhere in the unplanned, i.e., in the subconscious.

By the way that’s the stuff that really cannot be taught or analyzed or researched or shared in some business book.

In a world where we put such a high value on completion and destination and results, thinking’s value is most likely found in the journey … the ‘looking.’

“Thinking is more interesting than knowing, but less interesting than looking.”


We seem to try and teach thinking, and analyze thinking, with the intent of improving results. Uhm. This ultimately suggests you should be unhappy with your thinking if you do not generate results.


We should encourage more looking; more thinking.

Thinking makes us happy.

If we listen to all the self-help pundits we begin thinking that thinking is an unhappy experience without results.

think you knowNuts <again>.

Our thoughts, and thinking, create the canvas of our lives; not results.


Here is the only thing I truly know <without gobs of research>.

Thinking is good.

Thinking well creates happiness.


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Written by Bruce