We Need to Reclaim Time to Think in Our Life if we are to Do Meaningful Things - Living Adventurously #12

Sophie Stephenson was living the life she’d always wanted. She had a well-paid dream job in Australia, lived in a beautiful place and felt secure in the knowledge that this could go on, indefinitely. But she was, she realised, unfulfilled. She was not, it turned out, truly happy with this life at all. By chance Sophie came across a reference to Nancy Kline’s book Time to Think. She described a way of being with one another that is both incredibly simple, and incredibly rare. We don’t give ourselves, or others, the freedom to think without interruption, or judgment, or time limits, or an obsession with outcomes. We limit our thinking, our conversations, our relationships and our entire lives by confining our minds. Sophie began to question the life she had chosen. She began to ask what she really wanted, to explore the ‘authentic’ me, her instinctive mind, and gradually, she began to reclaim what really mattered. Sophie left corporate life, moved back to the UK, and met the man who is now her husband and father to her two children. We need to reclaim time to think in our life if we are to do meaningful things with our life. I was struck by how deeply Sophie listened and quickly figured me out. It was almost bizarre, in a nice way. I asked her how I could become a better listener, and how to ask better questions - both pretty crucial things for a novice podcaster to get to grips with...

Sophie Stephenson was living the life she’d always wanted. She had a well-paid dream job in Australia, lived in a beautiful place and felt secure in the knowledge that this could go on, indefinitely. But she was, she realised, unfulfilled. She was not, it turned out, truly happy with this life at all.
By chance Sophie came across a reference to Nancy Kline’s book Time to Think. She described a way of being with one another that is both incredibly simple, and incredibly rare. We don’t give ourselves, or others, the freedom to think without interruption, or judgment, or time limits, or an obsession with outcomes. We limit our thinking, our conversations, our relationships and our entire lives by confining our minds.
Sophie began to question the life she had chosen. She began to ask what she really wanted, to explore the ‘authentic’ me, her instinctive mind, and gradually, she began to reclaim what really mattered. Sophie left corporate life, moved back to the UK, and met the man who is now her husband and father to her two children.
We need to reclaim time to think in our life if we are to do meaningful things with our life.
I was struck by how deeply Sophie listened and quickly figured me out. It was almost bizarre, in a nice way. I asked her how I could become a better listener, and how to ask better questions - both pretty crucial things for a novice podcaster to get to grips with...

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SHOW NOTES

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  • The Thinking Project helps exceptional purpose-driven women create time and space so they can consciously create lives they love & businesses where everyone thrives.
  • On Twitter
  • Nancy Kline’s book Time to Think
  • We need to reclaim time to think in our life if we are to do meaningful things with our life.
  • Don't just fill the time with nothing: it needs to be a bit more conscious and structured than that.
  • Ruminative thinking - we just go over and over the same thoughts time and again (often negative)
  • Our brains try to keep us safe by just thinking the same stuff over and over
  • Thinking with someone else rather than ourselves helps keep it focussed rather than distracted. Having someone listen to us makes it easier.
  • Usually we come up with lists of all the things we don't want
  • First big question: "what do you really want?"
  • We jump to assumptions that stop us doing what we want to do, largely without evidence, largely unexamined.
  • At root there are a couple of major assumptions that stop us: a sense of worthiness, belonging and being enough.
  • We all have a need for safety, connection and autonomy, but they manifest in different ways for each of us.
  • Thinking is like a seed - it needs the right conditions to thrive
  • Consciously choose what it is that you want and do not want in life.
  • We need to warm up to thinking well and more deeply. Ask "so what?" to your answers lots of times.
  • Being a better listener starts with talking less, and choosing to become a better listener. Stop interrupting. Get really interested in other people.
  • Get interested in other people. Not necessarily in the subject they are interested in, but in the fact that they are interested in that.
  • To ask better questions, think about what is the purpose of your question?
  • The best questions are ones that you do not know the answer to.
  • Ask either very broad or very specific questions. For example, "what do you want to think about?"
  • Her decision-making has changed. It used to be about challenge and proving what a well-lived life entailed.
  • Often we lead the life that we think we Should live, rather than the life of our choice.
  • Change your motivations from being fear-based to doing things that you love.
  • When making a big change some people leap into the unknown, others establish some breathing space and time and security to cushion the leap.
  • You don't have to make enormous changes and drastic switches - it can be small steps that are transformative and life-changing.
  • The experiences when we are vulnerable are often those that transform our lives
  • The relationship between vulnerability and trust
  • Meditate, drink lots of water, and remove social media from the phone - all simple but not easy and beneficial things.

TRANSCRIPT

Below is the transcription of our conversation. It’s done by AI so is perhaps a wee bit ropey here and there. If these transcripts prove sufficiently useful then I will make the effort to clean then up and make them better. Do let me know if you think it’s worth my time to do that. (Or, better still, do it for me…!). If you’d like to listen as you read along you can do that here:

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© 2019 Alastair Humphreys