Einstein was a deep thinker. All of his discoveries were the result of thought experiments. He was such a deep thinker, that he was totally unaware of much of the world around him. They say he wouldn’t change clothes for days.
We’re not extreme thinkers like Einstein. Most of the time, we’re responding to what we can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell- our five senses. It’s easy to live our whole life like a stone skipping across the water, only responding to our five senses and never stopping to go deeper.
To continue the metaphor, to think deeply means to stop skipping across the ocean of life and allow ourselves to sink into the calmness of the deep where we can transcend our five senses and connect with something bigger. It means to live with questions that don’t have quick, easy answers, or no answers at all. People who think deeply don’t ruin good questions with answers.
Arthur Brooks, who writes an article on happiness in the Atlantic, is an example of a deep thinker. He summarized his latest book, Strength to Strength, in seven words: Use things, love people, worship the divine.
If you want to engage in some deep thinking, play with moving those three verbs around and see if it takes you deeper.
Be aware that the buoyancy of our five senses is constantly pulling us back up to the surface. It takes some work to stay down there.
Meditation can open up portals to deeper places in life. If you don’t have a meditation practice, try it.
You can get a lot done by doing nothing.
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