Thinking Is Hard Work
Focused thinking can be a challenge because the brain resists this type of activity. Recognizing how focused thinking is replaced with other thoughts is the first step to thinking more productively.

After completing this lesson, you should be able to:


This course is about thinking. So as you work through this course, let's do some serious thinking. In that last sentence, the word "work" is used deliberately. Because thinking is hard work. Henry Ford once said, "Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason why so few engage in it."

So thinking truly focused thinking, which includes mental activities such as observing, remembering, wondering, imagining, inquiring, interpreting, evaluating, judging, identifying, supposing, composing, comparing, analyzing, calculating, and even metacognition (or thinking about thinking) is hard work.

You may be saying to yourself, "Don't be silly. I'm thinking all the time. I never stop thinking. I think while I work, while I talk, while I drive. In fact, I'm thinking while I read these words."

Well, it probably seems as though you're thinking all the time, but like the rest of your body, your brain uses a variety of strategies and tricks to minimize the energy it requires.

And it's most effective mechanism for conserving brain energy is actually not to think at all. In fact, most of the time your brain is involved in just one of three activities: distraction, reaction, or following well-worn patterns.
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