How to apply different types of thinking to shape your life

Thoughts lead to feelings, feelings lead to action, and action leads to results.
Thoughts lead to feelings, feelings lead to action, and action leads to results.

It was raining cats-and-dogs outside, and as I sat in the coffee shop wondering whether my date would make it to our meeting, I saw Sam walking towards me. “Sorry I am late”, he said. “The heavens are pouring”.

I smiled and said it was okay, but at the back of my mind, I thought about the phrase he had made about the ‘heavens pouring’—Huh! “That’s an interesting phrase”, I said to myself as I quickly redirected my attention to Sam.

Sam and I have been friends for many years. Recently, he left his job as an accountant and ventured into self-employment. He had requested for the meeting so that he could sell a business idea to me. The meeting went well, which I will save you from the details, but what interested me most was the way Sam spoke passionately about how he had started spending time each morning to think. Think.

According to him, this practice has not only enabled him to find solutions for situations which come up in life, but has also enabled him to achieve great success in his business, in addition to putting him in touch with himself—his true self (his words). “I get so excited every morning as I sit with a pen and note book to jot down points of what I am thinking about—guided by the current situation that is affecting my life at that particular moment”, he said. “I wish I started doing this years ago!”

From my discussion with Sam, I gathered that there are three key types of thinking, and each is instrumental in our lives. They are:

  • Creative thinking. This type of thinking is applied when you want to venture into doing something or things that will put you at an advantage position. For example, when putting together a business plan. When you get into the creative thinking mode, the focus is on finding innovative ways of doing things that will improve your life or that of other people.
  • Strategic thinking. This type of thinking is mainly used when you want to find a solution. For example, if you are planning to go on vacation, by applying strategic thinking, you will be able to plan where to go, the airline to take, how much money to carry, and the duration of your stay.
  • Renewal thinking. This type of thinking plays a critical role when you want to transform your life. Christians will apply it through prayer and meditating on God’s word. Other people will use affirmative words or mantras to help them overcome certain emotions, and shift to an empowering position.

Now that I understand how different types of thinking can shape my life, whenever I face a challenge, I first try to establish which type of thinking is most appropriate to apply. I use creative thinking to improve my life and that of others, strategic thinking to find solutions, and renewal thinking to transform my life.