Week 3
Article:I’m a very slow thinkerWhen a friend says somethi...

Week 3


I’m a very slow thinker

When a friend says something interesting to me, I usually don’t have a reaction until much later.


When someone asks me a deep question, I say, “Hmm. I don’t know.” The next morning, I have an answer.


I’m 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.


This probably makes me look stupid in the moment, but I don’t mind. I’m not trying to win any debates.


In fact, I’ll tell you a secret. For most of those interviews at, they sent me their questions a week in advance. I’d spend hours writing down answers from different perspectives, before choosing the most interesting one. Then once we were in a live conversation, I’d try to make it sound spontaneous.


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 Your first reaction is usually outdated.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. Or if it was, then you can say so with more conviction.


Point is: When you’re less impulsive and more deliberate like this, it can be a little inconvenient 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.


Things happen. Someone expects you to respond. But you can say, “We’ll see.”


And maybe, through example, you can show them that they can do the same.


(Can you imagine how the world would work if this was the norm?)




Your first reaction is usually outdated.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.



I do not agree with the author completely, but it’s true that we should learn to be a slow thinker, especially in modern society, where the pace of life is beyond imagination. We are always switching ourselves between asking questions and answering questions. There is too little time  for our brains to have a rest.

Once I read an article, which is about how busy we are with ideas today. It seems that we know a lot and that our minds are filled with ideas. However, our creativity is on the decrease. The reason is obvious. Much of the information we acquire is useless and even harmful. We are forced to know many things completely irrelevant to our lives.

The Buddhism advocates the meditation. Actually, meditation is a very effective way to relax ourselves, especially when compared to playing computer games and watch TV dramas. Just keep your mind blank and focus on your breath. Don’t hurry to do the chores or thinking about the unsolved math problems. Several minutes will not matter.

Slowing down the pace of thinking doesn’t conflict with high efficiency. It just means that you need to offer your mind the chance to have a rest.

Last modification:March 13th, 2019 at 07:06 pm
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