How often do you make intentional thinking time each day – to think about what you really want in life?
Do you carve out space for idea generation or reflection?
If you’re like most humans, the answer is no. Instead, we fly from one thing to the next, too busy to slow down.
Or if we do have that time, we want to fill the silence with someone else’s ideas shared in an audiobook, social media post, or podcast.
Believe me, I get it. I’m the same way. I love learning new ideas and hearing about the latest research.
In fact, I don’t think it’s is a problem; I think it’s fantastic (I am a podcaster after all), but, what I do think deserves questioning is our heavy reliance on this outside input.
Many of us are so uncomfortable with silence. We don’t like being with our own thoughts and we feel the need to escape them as soon as possible.
So we use these outside inputs for distraction.
In episode 143 of the I’m Busy Being Awesome podcast we’re talking about the value of intentional thinking time, and I take you through a thinking exercise to help you experience the process.
By the end of the episode, you’ll uncover the power of your brain and the brilliant ideas it generates when given the time to do so.
You can listen to the episode above or stream it on your favorite podcasting app here:
Prefer to read? No problem! Keep scrolling for the entire podcast transcript.
In This Episode 143: Making More Time to Think, You Will Discover…
- The importance of making more time to think
- Why many of us struggle with this intentional quiet time
- Find out, “What do you really want in life?” with 7 self-reflection questions to help you discover this
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Episode #143: Making More Time To Think + What Do You Really want in Life? (Transcript)
I am very much looking forward to sharing this episode with you today. I want to give you a heads up that it is very different from the norm.
It’s a very different style than I have ever done on the podcast, which some of you may love and others of you may absolutely hate.
If you are new to the I’m busy being awesome podcast, first of all, welcome!
If this is your very intro episode, I invite you to give a few other surrounding episodes a listen as well for a better understanding of the usual style of this show. Because again, this will be quite a departure from the normal approach.
For those of you who do know my normal style; if you’re feeling a little bit uncomfortable as you listen, I encourage you to stick with this episode all the way through to see what comes up.
This episode was inspired by my own work that I’m doing myself, which is often what inspires these episodes. But I want to take you through the actual process rather than teaching you about it.
Let’s get started.
Making More Time to Think: A Little Background
I tend to walk my dog Bruno twice a day, once in the morning before I start my work and then after work as well.
On those walks, I tend to have one of them be accompanied by an audiobook or a podcast – something to listen to in my ears. That way I can be learning and thinking about new concepts, new ideas etc.
Then I like to have the other walk without anything in my ears. I like to leave that space for my own thoughts and my own ideas and my own pondering. And I’m not going to lie. This can sometimes be a little bit uncomfortable.
In fact, for years and years, it was not what I did at all. I always had something going on in my ears. I was always filling my head with new ideas and new concepts and new things to learn. And there are a couple of reasons for that.
First of all, it felt a whole lot more comfortable to have somebody else’s thoughts and ideas in my mind than me having to sit there and listen to my racing thoughts.
It was not so fun when I didn’t know how to coach my brain and manage my mind.
Additionally, I do love learning. I do love hearing new ideas and new concepts. And like most of you, I love maximizing my time. So listening while walking was a no-brainer.
I’ve been thinking a lot about…
What’s left when we remove that outside stimulation, that information that we tend to take in so much in our society today?
So, I decided to really dive into this concept;
- What’s left when we remove that outside stimulation?
- What comes up when I don’t have that input in my ears all of the time?
So again, I either walk and think about whatever’s on my mind or I might choose a specific question, prompt or reflection and turn that over in my mind throughout the walk.
I might also be thinking about something that came up during a call with my coach, and I’m thinking about that concept or something that I discovered during breathwork or during meditation.
I use this quiet time for intentional thinking and reflection.
This has been incredibly valuable and helped me:
- Solve problems
- Make big decisions
- Expand my creativity
- Make connections
- Process emotions
- Get to know myself a whole lot better
When we’re filling our minds with everyone else’s stuff, we don’t really have a chance to learn what we want and who we are, and what’s important to us.
I would like to recreate that experience for you by offering a handful of questions for your brain to ponder and think about.
I’m also building in real-time pauses, actual stretches of quiet time in this episode. So you have that time built in to think about whatever comes up as you ponder those questions.
Make sure to listen to the episode even if you prefer reading the transcript as it will help you get into the zone.
Whether you’re driving to work right now, folding laundry, or you’re out walking your dog, I invite you to be present with this episode and allow your brain that space to think about out and explore these questions.
This might feel really uncomfortable at first, especially if you’re not used to having intentional thinking time.
You may feel the urge to pull out your phone and just skip this episode or to start scrolling on Instagram or checking your email. Maybe you just forget what the question is and forget what you’re thinking about.
All of that is perfectly normal. It’s not a problem.
But if you’re willing, I invite you to be with this episode and consider each question. Maybe even slow down the podcast if you are a 1.5x or 2x speed listener.
That way you have that full time of silence to think, give your brain this gift of curiosity and expansion today as it explores each of these questions.
Also, if you find you want more time to think about the questions that I offer, just hit pause and keep thinking until you’re ready to move on to the next one.
So let’s dive into these questions.
What Do You Want in Life: The Questions To Ask Yourself
1. What is it that you really want in Your Life?
This could be personally, it could be professionally. It could be in your relationships or something for your home. What is it that you truly want?
And if your brain just put up a wall with, I don’t know, I never know what I want. Be patient.
What if you did know?
Your brain is trying to protect you right now. So remind yourself – that toddler part of your brain – it’s okay. We don’t have to act on any of this. I don’t even have to write it down. It’s not carved in stone. But, what is it that I really want?
All right, let’s take this even further.
If you had zero fear or judgment of yourself or fear of other people. If you had zero concern about failing and you felt total confidence and support, what do you really, really, really, really, really want?
Let your brain go there; no judgment, no fear of failure, total confidence. What do you really, really, really, really, really want?
2. Why Would it Be Awesome to Have This?
So thinking about that thing that you really, really, really, really want, why would it be absolutely awesome to have it, to experience it, to create it, to achieve it, whatever that answer was?
Why would it be amazing to have that?
3. What’s Stopping You From Moving Forward on What You Want?
As you think about that thing and why it would be so amazing to have it what’s stopping you from moving forward on this, what’s stopping you from taking that first step on the dream?
What are all of the things that might be getting in the way right now?
Let your brain explore. Let your brain list all of the reasons.
- What are all of the different reasons why you haven’t taken that first step?
- What are the doubts?
- What are the fears?
- What are the actual obstacles or the logistics getting in the way?
So now that your brain has listed all of the different obstacles in all of the different reasons, I invite you to think about that thing again, that you really, really, really, really want.
4. Is this something that you want bad enough that it’s worth working through those obstacles?
Do you want it enough that it’s worth it to get uncomfortable, to work through those doubts, those fears and those obstacles? The answer might be no. And the answer might be yes. So why or why not?
Thinking about that thing or that experience or that goal that you want to create:
- What are some examples that you’ve seen either personally or from afar with other people?
- What examples have you, of someone else having, or doing the thing or reaching that goal?
- What is some evidence that your brain has gathered that it is possible?
As the saying goes,
If you can believe it, you can achieve it.
Think about that thing that you want, that experience you want, the goal you want to create.
5. Spend a minute visualizing yourself as this future version of you.
Visualize yourself with what you’ve achieved and check-in.
- How are you feeling?
- What are you doing?
- What are you thinking about on a regular basis?
- Where are you living?
- Who are you spending time with?
- What are the most common emotions you experience day to day?
Thinking about this future version of yourself, how far into the future did your brain have to jump?
Did it jump three weeks into the future? Three months, three years? How far in advance did your brain go?
Whatever the answer I invite you to check-in with future you and the wisdom that they have to impart.
- What is the advice they have to give?
- What suggestions do they have for you today?
- What do they want you to hear?
Thinking again about that thing that you really, really, really, really, really want.
Is this something that you want to pursue now? Is this something that you want to put on your to-do list now? Or does it seem like a better decision to add it to your brilliant ideas list and revisit it next quarter or next year?
What seems like the best decision for you right now?
Remember there’s no right or wrong. Give your brain some space to explore.
6. If you want to pursue this thing right now, what are some of the initial steps in the process, and what is a Tiny action you can take today?
Even as small as writing down and making it rea.
What are the initial steps in this process? And what’s one of the smallest, tiniest steps you could take today to make it real.
7. If you don’t want to pursue this right now, when will you revisit this thing that you really want?
How will you remember to do so?
Let’s Contemplate What You’ve Learned About Yourself
Let’s think about this thinking time. When answering the self-reflection questions on what you want in life…
- What did you learn about yourself during these last few minutes?
- What did you learn about this experience?
- What did you learn from these questions?
- What can you take with you to apply in other areas of your life?
- How did you feel during this thinking time? Was it challenging? Did anything surprise you?
- What was your experience of being with you as you explore these questions?
I invite you to reflect for a minute on your accomplishment here of making it through this episode.
Even if your mind went blank halfway through. Even if you’re just coming back to me now. You gave your brain space, you gave your brain the gift of exploration and expansion.
You gave your brain that place to dream and explore.
And that’s incredible.
If you had any ah-ha’s during this time, I invite you to write about it and do some journaling about what came up for you.
I would also love to hear about it. Head over to Instagram. I’m at I’m busy being awesome. I would love to hear what you discovered during your intentional thinking time.
If you enjoyed this exercise feel free to learn more about my group coaching program, by clicking below…
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Links From The Podcast
- Learn more about We’re Busy Being Awesome here
- Get the top 10 tips to work with your ADHD brain (free ebook!)
- Discover my favorite ADHD resources here
- Get the I’m Busy Being Awesome Planning System here