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Rumination vs. Intentional Thinking

We're going to make an important distinction today. We're going to discuss the difference between rum
Rumination vs. Intentional Thinking
We’re going to make an important distinction today.
We’re going to discuss the difference between rumination and intentional thinking.
Both could be classified as thinking.
But one is counterproductive.
You can probably guess which one.

"Am I TOO good-looking?"
"Am I TOO good-looking?"
Shh...I'm Ruminating
Oh, rumination. This one controlled me for a while. I got lost in mind mazes for hours when I was younger. I’ve done enough ruminating in my life to fill a swimming pool. A big one.
Do you know what rumination is?
It’s when you needlessly worry about something in a way that makes no sense. It’s when you fixate on the past and think about what you could have done differently. It’s when you obsess about the future and wonder how your life is going to turn out. It feels like you’re making real progress with your thinking, but you’re not. You’re just ruminating.
Rumination is thought mud. It gets you stuck. It feels like you’re working out a puzzle in your mind, but you’re actually just getting tangled in the pieces. And the pieces are glued to your body. In a place you can’t reach. And nothing is happening.
That’s rumination.
This kind of thinking is not going to get you where you want to go.
For that, we need to turn to…
Intentional Thinking
Intentional thinking is different. It’s when you carve out a certain amount of time to do productive thinking, with productive being the key word there.
Intentional thinking differs from rumination because it is done with, wait for it…intention.
It’s making a plan to work out an actual problem. Cal Newport, the author of Deep Work and So Good They Can’t Ignore You, is exemplary when it comes to intentional thinking. He chooses certain times to work out problems in his mind. He devotes specific amounts of time to use his mind for productive purposes. In this way, he can resolve issues in a healthy way
I know, this sounds difficult. It’s like telling someone with anxiety to stop being anxious. But, in a way, this is what I’m saying. It’s a shift in mindset. Rather than letting your mind get the best of you and filling up empty spaces with needless thoughts, you are getting ahead of your mind and planning the time that you’d like to think.
Believe me, this makes a huge difference. When you plan your thinking time, your mind can rest easy knowing that there will be a time for it to act. If you don’t do this, the mind has a tendency to want to fill up all the downtime in your life. It wants to take control.
Don’t allow this.
Get ahead of your mind and call the shots.

Practice this today. Think about the difference between rumination and intentional thinking. Soon you’ll figure out a strategy that works best for you.

To productive thinking!

P.S. I LOVE that I’m hearing from new people. Thank you for your emails, old friends and new ones. I’m figuring out how to most efficiently get back to all of you, but I still plan to respond to each and every message as I’m able. Thank you.
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