I think fast

I’m a fast thinker

And my practice is in the slow response. I find that I mull things more, I listen more since I earned my doctorate. I don't share this to hold up having an advanced degree. I'm reflecting on its impact on my personality.Doctorate work has a way of beating all your initial responses out of you for their foolishness. So many people rush to an opinion and form a judgment with so little information. They are in the middle of an amygdala hijack--excited by, threatened by, or interested in what is being discussed--they have an immediate reaction and feel compelled to share it.When a friend says something interesting to me, I too have that immediate spark of interest. I make connections with things I've read in the past, people I've spoken to. But I find that I don't have a well-informed reaction until much later.When someone asks me a deep question, I say, “Hmm. I don’t know.” The next morning, I think of something interesting to write about.This makes me a disappointing person to try to debate or attack. I just have nothing to say in the moment, except maybe, “Good point.” Then a few days later, after thinking about it a lot, I have a response.I used to judge slow responders as "being slow" and it's not until I slowed down myself that I can fully empathize.  Isn't that how it always goes? But I’m not trying to win any debates.It’s a common belief that your first reaction is the most honest, but I disagree. Your first reaction is usually outdated. Either it’s an answer you came up with long ago and now use instead of thinking, or it’s triggering a knee-jerk emotional response to something that happened long ago.If you take some time to think it through, you might find that your first reaction wasn’t current and true--not really. Or if it was, then you can say so with more conviction.The point? When you’re less impulsive and more deliberate with your thinking, it might be less interesting for other people, but that’s OK.Someone asks you a question. You don’t need to answer. You can say, “I don’t know,” and take your time to answer after thinking. You have to slow down to really unlock an idea.Maybe, by example, you can show others that they can do the same.(Can you imagine how the world would work if we all slowed down in order to "unlock ourselves"?)

(Freedom Sculpture — Zenos Frudakis)