In head start when my teacher really wanted to get a class of 3 to 4 year olds to focus and answer a question, she would calmly remind us to put on our “thinking caps”. This one instruction caused us to immediately stop the business of being a kid, and give our full attention to the matter at hand. Sometimes we even did the movement of reaching above our heads and grabbing a “make believe” hat out the sky, then securely placing it on our heads. Suddenly we had power to tap into the part of our mind that was not easily accessible before, and this was all because of the use of an invisible “thinking cap”, otherwise known as the brain. All our teacher wanted us to do was to simply think. But stopping what your doing just to think is very hard for preschoolers, and can pose as a bigger challenge to adults.
The phrase “thinking cap” which was originally called a “considering cap”, means to take time for consideration of some question, and goes back as far as the early 19th century. Recently, I have found that carefully analyzing your experiences and seeing how they can tie into each other will prove to be advantageous in most situations, especially professionally. How many instances have we denied ourselves something because we didn’t think we met the requirements, or had what it took to go after and maintain it? When in actuality, we did. Yet, it was only after we stopped and took time to think about what we’ve done previously, and in what way it relates to want we want now, that it was found out.
No doubt about it, thinking can take a while. Real thought process requires you to go beyond the surface, beyond the quick answers, and maybe even face the possibility of bringing up bad memories. But thinking is a major requirement for progression, and so is being able to articulate your thoughts. When it comes to going after a job, a relationship, or a client you have to be comfortable explaining how what you have to offer benefits them. And to be able to do this effectively, you have to be the one that fully understands it the most.
So, do a bit of research on yourself, and connect the dots. This will prepare you for opportunities, especially unexpected ones that present themselves. You may even find that you have another skill set you never acknowledged, which could open up a world that you previously did not have admission to.
As much as thinking about one self is viewed negatively, on occasion, doing so is necessary to propel you from settling for a life of mediocrity and into the big leagues.
Have a great weekend!
Rachel Bryant Lundy