The great philosopher and Nobel Laureate, Albert Schweitzer, was once asked by a reporter, “what’s wrong with men today?” After a short pause, he said, “Men simply don’t think.”

How, in this golden age of information overload that men don’t even think? I know that there is a little bit of resistance inside of you arguing against the idea. But let me put it in modern terms and offer you an example so that you understand what it means.

In the morning, and often times before you even start your work, you browse casually and check Facebook status updates, or any social media network for that matter, or online magazines and news websites. Your attention is being taken to whatever is presented to you. You read what meets the eyes, then you get upset because what was posted is not to your liking. Perhaps you think whoever posted the message is over exaggerating, too awful, dumb, or whatever it is, it just rubs you the wrong way and you feel uncomfortable with the information. Then you start to complain, verbally or mentally. How on earth someone said or did that, you wonder.

This is the type of behavior that “Men simply don’t think.” You are non-selective about what you think. You are feeding your mind with whatever comes along. Your attention and focus goes to random places depending on what is “shown” to you. Or you could say that you think by default but not deliberately. Thinking by default is a problem because you don’t choose consciously, you respond and react instead of consciously and deliberately creating from the inside.

With the advancement of technology and internet, the whole world is becoming smaller and smaller. Today we live on the earth village. Message travels instantaneously across the globe. There is an earthquake on the other side of the world from you, you see it in the news shortly after the incident. There is a gun killing, robbery, abduction you got to know it immediately. I don’t think there’s even a need to mention political rivalries.

What does people like to talk about? What does the mind like to nag on? Things that shock people, create social buzz, things people can debate on and argue about, things that generate fear, worry, and anxiety in people. Obviously, peace and harmony do not fit into that list. With the modern convenience, there is never a period in history that calls more for the focus of attention and deliberate thinking.

–Ralph Waldo Emerson A man is what he thinks about all day long.
– William James The greatest discovery of my generation is that human beings can alter their lives by altering their attitudes of mind.

How to think deliberately instead of by default?

First step, you realize the necessity to do so.

With all we have covered so far, you understand that you absolutely have to think deliberately. You can’t suddenly think deliberately unless you somehow become aware of the necessity to do so. If you read this far you most likely have passed step one.

Step two, raise higher in consciousness.

By raising your consciousness, I mean that you don’t think by default anymore, you think deliberately. You realize and pay attention to how you think. This requires you to ask yourself from time to time, is what I am thinking beneficial or not? Am I thinking by default or deliberately? You also go to “higher” grounds of your thinking instead of thinking blindly by default and go with whatever thought you hold. This is a process of retrain your thinking pattern. When you think and analyze how you think, you are stepping up higher in the ladder of consciousness. That means that you raise your awareness. Once you build this new skill of conscious thinking, it will become your new habit of thinking, then it will become effortless to think deliberately with intention.

Step three, realize your choice.

When you can think how you think you are opened up to more choices. You will realize the choices that you have. You will be no longer thinking by default and giving your attention to whatever comes your way. You will start to look for things and ideas you want to be exposed to, not necessarily the ones first run into your face.

You will choose consciously and deliberately the feelings of love, peace, harmony, content, and true happiness. The outside cannot sway you with any negative thoughts anymore because your mind becomes a shield, protecting you from anything straying away from the above mentioned wonderful feelings. You are drawing closer and closer to the natural state of your being, which is love, peace, harmony, content, and true happiness.

Human beings can alter their lives by directing their attention. Where you direct your attention to, you become. It is very important for you to start thinking, and leave the majority who simply don’t think. Now, follow the three steps mentioned and direct your life consciously and deliberately. You will become one of the few men who do think.