Who watched the Superbowl 2011? And who watched the commercials? If so, you’ve seen the Chrysler commercial for sure. If you haven’t, do it. This commercial, these 2 minutes, PURE GENIUS. A 2 minute tribute to the Motor City: Detroit, Michigan. Together with Eminem, church singers and a beautiful car this commercial have been making my day for the last week.

There is one sentence in particular, a quote which is older than the commercial of course: ‘The hottest fire makes the hardest steel’. This sentence has captured my attention immediately. The hardest worker makes the best product. The most heavy machinery makes the most robust products. And the deepest thinker has the most beautiful thoughts.

The hottest fires makes the hardest steel

Thinking deeper to get the most beautiful thought

Remember the last time you’ve been sitting with a blank sheet in front of you and a pencil? Remember the last time you planned in some ‘thinking time?’ Probably not. Let me share something with you. My most productive hours are the hours spent with a pencil and paper. With nothing more. Maybe a cup of tea.

I do this every week. Preferably on a Sunday, which is a slow day in general. After breakfast I grab a sheet and I grab a pen. I am going to sit in a quiet place and start thinking. First: Where will I be thinking about? Second: Thinking about the subject I want to think about. Just me and my thoughts for around half an hour. Most of the times I am thinking about what I am doing, where am I heading? Where should I be heading? Last week I thought about this blog, where is it headed? Where should it be headed? What changes can I make to make the goal more clear. How can I attract the right audience? How can I make my content more shareable? How can I create a more discussional atmosphere? All question I can ask myself, where I can think about and where I learn a lot from.

These thinking hours are really precious to me. It is not the moment I learn something new. It is not the moment where I feel intense satisfied or happy. But these times are the moment where I can give everything I learn during the week a place. A way to clear my head a little bit, to create some road from all the chaos.

Besides the rest I find in this thinking it is also a moment where I get great ideas. When I am just sitting somewhere to think I get beautiful thoughts. From awesome metaphors till great new business ideas. Life changing ideas, but also ideas on what I should eat.

Thinking deeper doesn’t mean big words, big names, it means more time

When you talk about philosophy a lot of people already have their opinion ready. Philosophy is all about big names, big books and big words. But when I think about deeper thoughts, about philosophy, I think about broader thoughts. Not big words, but thinking broader than your normal thoughts. Thinking deeper isn’t thinking more complicated, but looking beyond the obvious.

Start your own thinking sessions right now!

Feel like you could use some inspiration yourself as well? Feel like you need to get your mind straight? Or just want to create new insights? Start your own thinking session right now!

  1. Get a clean table, a white sheet, pencil and a cup of tea. I prefer sitting in the kitchen, drinking green tea and writing with a pen actually.
  2. Make your subject clear first. Where are you going to think about? What project are you working on? In my case this would be something: ‘The direction of StudySuccessful.com’, put this on top of your sheet.
  3. Start with a little evaluation, than start your brainstorm. First, look at your problem more clear, what is the problem? Why? Go back to the roots. For instance, I am not completely satisfied with the message StudySuccessful is telling, because I am not a straight A student myself and I want to encourage people to look further than just grades. Is that the message I am giving out right now? Not sure..
  4. Write all your ideas down. If you think it could help, write it down. Think about it. Write it more clear. Don’t edit, just write and keep writing.
  5. Review your ideas. What is a good idea? What was a good thought? Where are your next action?

As said, these moments are really precious to me. These thinking sessions really help me to get work done, to make my view on certain things clear and to map out the road in front of me. Thinking really hard (a really hot fire) will create the best thoughts (the hottest fire). Have fun thinking!

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