Higher level thinking

At a time of shrinking attention spans and intolerant tirades over social media, it feels like it is time for us to invest more time into thinking about what we are thinking about.

It is useful to frame our thinking into four core areas: 1st-level thinking at its most base level through to higher levels of thinking at the 3rd and 4th levels.

I don’t think that it’s unreasonable to say that the majority of folk spend 99% of their time talking and thinking at levels 1-2. Few spend time thinking at levels 3-4.

1st level thinking

Talking about stuff. About things.

“Look at that new iPhone” “Have you seen that latest box-set?” Shall we eat a takeaway meal tonight?”

2nd level thinking

Talking about people. Often in the form of gossip.

“Did you hear about what Dave got up to last night?!” Check out the Instagram feed of this new celeb, xyz

Social media thrives on this stuff!

3rd level thinking

Exploring and exchanging ideas.

“What if…..?” How could we achieve xyz?” “What if we combined x&y to create z?”

This is R&D thinking.

4th level thinking

Quiet meditative contemplation.

Challenging our own thoughts and preconceptions in an open and forgiving way.

Not “trying to be right”.

In a nutshell, taking time out to focus on thinking about what we are thinking about

What level are you thinking at right now?

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