What was I thinking?

June 22nd, 2008 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

Yesterday, I was cutting the grass at my in-laws’ home. As I pushed that lawn mower around for nearly two hours, you can imagine that the constant hum of the Briggs & Stratton engine can be either an annoyance, or for me, a calming effect. For me, the sound of the engine is so loud that I can actually hear myself think! It actually is when I hear myself the loudest. Someone can be yelling at me from just a few feet away and I can’t hear even their voice, but I can hear my own internal voice…loud and clear!!!

What are some of the things that I think about?

  • Well, I often think about how I can cut the grass in the least waste pattern. How can I knock off 5 minutes each time I cut the grass?
  • I think of other things that need to be done around the house
  • I think of ideas to improve current business ideas
  • I think of new business ideas
  • I also think of relationships I have that may not be going the way I want and how I can improve those relationships. How I can provide feedback to someone with whom I want to grow

The problem is…by the time I am done cutting the grass, I have forgotten all of those thoughts and have not documented them. This could be the direct result of too many long nights in college!! In any event, I need to figure out a way to capture these thoughts. I can’t take action on them if I can’t remember them!!! I hope I am not the only person who suffers from this phenomenon called “Short-term memory loss brought on by many good times in college”!!

Maybe I need a peaceful place. I could take John Maxwell’s advice and have a ‘thinking chair’, but the problem with a comfy thinking chair is that they are better for NAPS!!

I guess I will have to start carrying a notebook or recorder with me and stop the lawnmower several times and write the ideas down, or speak them into the recorded. (There goes that idea of taking 5 minutes off each time!). However, if I were THINKING, it may actually be more beneficial if it took me 15 minutes LONGER to cut the grass, while capturing all of the thoughts…Hmmmm…

Questions for thoughts this week:

  • Where are you when you are ‘thinking’ your best ideas? I don’t think you have to find this place as Maxwell suggests to ‘Find a thinking place’. I believe it already exists and we are just not AWARE of it consciously.
  • What do you do to capture those thoughts so they don’t get lost? Do you need to carry around a notebook or recorder? I do!
  • Most importantly, are you acting on those documented thoughts? Do you make time in your schedule to reflect on these ideas, bounce them off your priorities, and decide whether the thoughts need to be turned into action?

I hope you all have a great week. If you want to keep receiving this without an email, just subscribe by entering your email address into the top left spot on the blog.

John Gallagher

  • Stan Buck


    I used to get a lot of thinking done while cutting grass – now I do it while sailing!!

    I agree with you – it’s not as much as making a thinking place, as recognizing where that already happens best!

    Good stuff bro’


  • Roy

    Since I’m more of a morning person, ideas (lightbulbs) come to me while shaving or in the shower. Then it stays with me for the day until I act on the new thought.

    My time for thinking or planing comes when I have silence, and just being alone. This is best done while sitting on the back porch watching the golfers. This is my “escape zone.”