What Kind Of Thinker Are You?

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris

The Thinking Man sculpture at Musée Rodin in Paris (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I’ve been thinking about thinking a lot and the different ways people use their brains, or don’t use them.

I recently wrote a post about the subject at Huffington Post and would like to expand upon it here.

As an “outside the lines” thinker, I’ve been listening to this thought rattle around in my head:

Can a “within the lines” thinker let his mind wander beyond the perimeter outside conventional thought?

Specifically speaking, can a rigid-thinking mathematician who values the orderly nature of numbers use his thoughts as a flotation device? — In one-tenth percent of a moment, can he disavow digits and embrace escape?

I think Mr. Numbers can if he’d be willing to take his thoughts out for a spin on the far side — a magical place to visit whenever life broadsides your brain.

Just two words can take you there: “What if?” A game writers love to play.

“What if my house is really a spaceship that landed in my yard while I was asleep in a coma tube?”

“What if the universe is really a diorama in an alien museum?”

Try to prove or disprove that theory my “within the lines” thinking friend.

Perhaps, rigid thinkers, like Mr. Numbers, are a necessity for those of us who landed on Earth in a coma tube. We need practical thinkers to counteract wily thinkers like us.

Rigid types create structure that prevents wily thought travelers from disappearing into a virtual vortex of vex.

Perhaps, one structural creation device is a pharma helper called Concerta for attention drifters whose thought migration patterns follow the sparkles in shiny things.

As an attention drifter myself, Concerta helps me travel round trip from left-brain to right. Now when I clock in at work, my mind clocks in, too. Concerta keeps my thoughts on a leash inside the perimeter in which I sit. If I’m not busy, I find work to occupy my time to prevent my thoughts from taking a sudden trip to Imagination Island.

Mr. Numbers has a problem that’s 180-degrees from mine. He’s a “within the lines thinker” and could benefit from a pharma helper with a psychedelic twist. Not that I condone taking “under the counter” drugs. I don’t. In many cases, even “over the counter” drugs aren’t the best way to fix an anomaly in the brain.

Let’s take the natural route, instead, and ask Mr. Numbers to try meditating once a day without clutching his calculator.

I only use a calculator when adding or subtracting, which consumes most of the focus in my focus meds.

By the time I get home, my mind is in a hibernation state. All I’m capable of is staring at the brain-suck box in my living room. It whites out lingering dark figures that prowl the corridors in my head searching for answers to sum up their existence.

I wonder if things ever add up for them.

What sums up the kind of thinker you are?

Disclaimer: This is not an endorsement of Concerta. I am no fan of pharmaceutical ads and their side-effect warnings — especially, the latest ad on Shingles that shows gruesome pictures without a warning beforehand of the PTSD side effects of viewing red oozing back sores. Somebody please get Shingle ads off my TV.

20 Comments What Kind Of Thinker Are You?

  1. Ron

    Lauren, I would have to say that I am predominately an “outside the lines” thinker; I always have been. However, I have learned to balance myself with some “inside the lines” thinking as well. Like you, the only time I take out a calculator is when I’m balancing my check book – HA!

    Btw, I read your post on Huff and loved it. Well-written, my friend!

  2. Hamza khan

    i think i am outside the line thinker because usually i think about things that are new to me and not only thinking, mostly i experiment on things that are not related to my profession and studies.I think this is good as well as bad.It is good because if you think out of the line, it means you are searching for new things but it is bad as well because, you are leaving your main field and you are using your precious time thinking about other things that are not related to your profession.

  3. rob

    Far & wide, people want everyone else to believe they think outside the box. Truth is, that box was undefined at birth but parents, teachers, friends, relatives, religious leaders and politicians quickly define it. Thinking outside that box requires a great deal of fearless courage, an openness to be honest with ones self and the ability to face a great deal of criticism. I try, I fail, I win some. More than most. That said, it is the journey that counts and questioning everything makes it a bit more rewarding yet I’m careful in my questions.

  4. Paul

    Thinking is good but sometimes when the frontal lobe gets affected with desire then it gets stuck and we think opposite. Flags and banners sometimes affect our though process

  5. Mary Burrell

    i think i am an “outside the lines” thinker.. but it coud be possible that a person have both ways of thinking? because me I think sometimes I am an “inside the lines” thinker. but mostly an “outside the lines” thinker.. .

    1. Lauren

      I think people can use both sides of the brain. I’m analytical as well as creative. I just have to muzzle the creative side when I need to be analytical.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.