“You’ve got to realize that influence is not influence. It’s simply someone’s idea going through my new mind.”

Jean-Michel Basquiat


Thinker doers.

Doer thinkers.



Somehow, someway, the world makes this an either/or discussion. You are either a thinker, or a doer. Yeah. The other word can get attached to it, but once someone has labeled you the main one, well, in a world where we have convinced everyone being great at one thing is the key to success, everyone will think of you as a thinker or a doer.

And this is where it all falls apart.

Pick your preferred formula, but in today’s eyes, without doing there is no real value. Thinking is for “those who must have time to not do.” Yeah. Doing, or what we do, is what defines us in the outside world. In turn, that means it also defines, at least in some significant way, our thoughts, our attitudes, our beliefs and, yes, even ourselves.


Before I tell everyone how much bullshit that is, let me let you in on the truth.

You may not like it, you may even debate it, but, in the end, you will be defined by doing – it could be smart, doing, stupid doing, mindless doing, mindful doing, pick your type of doing. But you are stuck with it.

Which leads me into my topic today – using thoughts versus doing, or, using thought. In other words, be smart, be thoughtful, and use it. I would argue your biggest value as a thinker, because conceptually it creates the biggest impact, is derived by actually using thought rather than just thinking thoughts. This is a nuanced version of doing, but its more like “insight to action” rather than some simplistic ‘doing.’

It is the cycle of value.   

Great thinking.

Great thoughts.

Great impact.

**  note. This means education, or feeding the mind, is a long-Term Multiplier in that it not only is the engine to great thought but is also the velocity TO the thought (which makes impact exponentially bigger & better). I’ve always thought the greatest long-term multiplier was qualified people permitted to do the right things (‘need versus want’ decision making), but in thinking community terms, information input honed through critical thinking (even better thru Hegelian dialectic). 


Which leads me to the Hegelian dialectic. There are a shitload of people thinking different thoughts with the intent to use them and it benefits us all if they crash together in a process (let’s call that “positive friction”) wherein progress of thought occurs through the exchange of ideas, i.e., Hegelian dialectic. That progress can happen in small steps and in big steps. That said. Ideas create large markets and large markets benefit everyone.


We often tie curiosity to thinking/learning, but we should also be doing so with ‘using thought.’

Being curious is awesome.  And gaining knowledge makes you a better person (not just smarter).

Uhm.  Is it all completely wasted if there is no action involved? Well. It depends. Cause and effect is a myth, but does your idea and thinking inspire another, and another, and the action occurs somewhere down the road (another idea or another time). Yes. Using thought is an inherently nonlinear activity. This becomes more important if you think about the fact thinking has layers in and of itself (yes, even thinking, and ideas, can be applied in pace layers ). So, if Kahneman is right and the truth is even if you live in the present and you have maybe 600,000 ‘moments’ in a day and even 600,000,000,000 (billion) in a typical lifetime you will never not only remember all you offered in thinking in each moment (although you may remember some more than others), but you will certainly never be able to translate some specific doing to some specific thinking (the majority of the time). Here is where it gets weird for thinking. In a world laser focused on doing, your ‘memory self’ will reflectively dive deeper into thinking moments that appear to have ‘doing aspects’ tied to the thinking EVEN IF THEY REPRESENT LOW LEVEL IMPACT THINKING. My point? The world squeezes thinkers, and their thinking, so we tend to overlook the thinking that scales out to a larger market because it must pass through multiples layers before it shifts into any significant doing phase. The thought, the thinking, is multiplicative in traction with others until it has a critical mass to be ‘done.’ Yeah. Even ‘thoughts’ are getting squeezed by short-termerism. And maybe that’s where thinkers are stuck in today’s world. Scale. That horrible word which twists anything meaningful into ‘grow it or it sucks.’


“A squeeze occurs when people have no choice but to do something, and do it right away, regardless of the costs.”



Scale creates a ‘false squeeze.’ You almost get forced to scale, through doing, the thinking. This most likely occurs before the thinking has been forged well enough to withstand the scrutiny of growth. Alternatively, you can get squeezed into using a thought which doesn’t translate into optimal potential, but rather immediate proof.


Personally, I believe the highest value of individual meaningfulness is founded upon “using thought.”

We think.

We use.

But. That’s me.

And, if I am right, imagine having a resume that didn’t list all the things one has done, but rather all the interesting thoughts one has had. Ponder.

Written by Bruce