Scientists claim that our brains work in two ways: involuntary controls and thinking. Involuntary controls are the emotions, perceptions, and intuitions that motivate us to believe certain things and act in certain ways without our conscious knowledge. These controls have been refined through many years to ensure our survival.
Thinking is the voice in our head that allows us to interpret those emotions, perceptions, and intuitions so we can figure out what to believe and how to act. According to various scholars, this came recently in our evolutionary history, and it is what distinguishes us from animals.
Unlike animals, the voice in our head speaks a complex language. It can tell us how to control our impulses, how to carry out strategies, and how to quantify costs and rewards in more sophisticated manners. Our involuntary controls give us data. Instead of having a reflexive response, our thinking allows us to figure out how we should react to that data.
These same scientists observe that thinking hasn’t been mastered. That is why many people succumb to their emotions. That is why some lack willpower. Also, it explains why many are hooked onto their phones texting or social media looking to be constantly stimulated rather than spending a few moments to think. People do this without realizing the beautiful gift of “thinking” that God blessed us with.
I personally believe that the most successful and happiest people spent copious amounts of time leveraging and developing this divine endowment – thinking. They’ve evaluated their goals, their relationships, the meaning of life, and every factor that influences their well-being. They enjoy and engage consistently in prayer, meditation, pondering, and brainstorming.
Please stay away from your phones. Take a break from Facebook. Spend an hour of your day thinking. At least an hour. Go ahead and wonder, imagine, ponder, and pray. Make yourself happy. Disconnect. And think more.