Too Fast To Think Thoughts

Just Stop It

by Chris Lewis

A very small number of us are able to be successful without trying. So effort becomes a by-word of our process we try and try and try. Sometimes, though, results can be achieved by another method.

Ask any golfer about how they learned to hit the ball a longer distance. It usually comes down to someone telling them to grip the club a little more lightly so their wrists become more flexible. Then they just swing. Of course, that’s counter-intuitive to everything we know, so we never try it.

At some point though when you’ve tried everything, try stopping. Determination is all about long-term effort about keeping coming back to something. It doesn’t mean you should never stop. Too Fast To Think contains this mantra: “Even when you're doing nothing, you're still doing a great deal.”

Just stop it


by Chris Lewis

The early 21st century is a time of data. Measurement of everything is the mantra. How many hours? What was the click-through? How many customers fell out of the decision journey? Where are the backlinks? Technology is our God. I have no problem with that.

Analysis is the way we have all been trained to think. Break it down. Review. Break it down further. Review. Work has become an ever more zoomed in electron microscope. This process is our best friend. It has accompanied up through school, university, post grad and professional qualifications.

But analyze this – what if we’re wrong about the logic of Western reductionism? What if there was a reverse process which zooms us out? Well, good news - there is. Analysis has a lesser known cousin called parenthesis. 
Car Engine

Let’s analyze a car. If we break it down into its component parts, we find: engine, transmission, steering and bodywork. It doesn’t take long to conclude this is all about transportation and human utility. Let’s look at it differently. Supposing we keep the car whole and look at the way it interacts with other systems. We introduce clean air in the front. We get emission out the back. We put human beings in one door. We get accident victims. Using this method of thought, we can conclude the car has two potentialities – one a utility and the other, well, the opposite.

In Too Fast To Think, leaders were asked about this. And they said for real thinking you need both systems. As scientist Iain McGilchrist put it: “The rational mind is a faithful servant. The intuitive mind is a sacred gift. We honor the servant but have forgotten the gift.”


Learn more: Too Fast To Think