Habitual Thinker, Me? Unblock the route to clear thinking

Habit can be a major stumbling block to clear thinking.

When we think along habitual paths, we allow ourselves to stick to old ways of thinking rather than to think creatively or innovatively. The actual neural pathways in our brains that these habitual thought patterns take become ever stronger. This is why the more entrenched in a view we become, the more difficult it becomes to change our view.

It's as if the pathways in our brain have become like cow tracks over a field after tens of years, trodden down and like a rut.

It often occurs in organisational cultures where there is a strong pressure to conform.

The following well-known game is a reminder of the dangers of thinking along well-trodden lines:

Say aloud what the following three Scottish surnames are:

  • M-A-C-D-O-N-A-L-D
  • M-A-C-P-H-E-R-S-O-N
  • M-A-C-D-O-U-G-A-L

Now read aloud the next word:


It is very likely that you will pronounce it like a Scottish surname because we think the way we become used to.

What are your habitual thought patterns? Sadly, it's often these thought patterns that are the least useful or productive we have. Why? Because we've 'formed a view'.

Remember, even if they seem absolutely certain, unable to be challenged, in the end they are only an opinion. If you find they're not helping you achieve your goals... dare you challenge them?

Note: Was it worth challenging the habitual thought pattern that the world was flat and that the Earth is at the centre of the universe?

Let's take this further.

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