The utility of thoughts
Our thoughts are mostly wasted...
A few months ago I read about a research on how many thoughts an average human has per day. An average human has 6,000 thoughts a day and in an average human life that would lead to about 180 million thoughts in a lifetime. However, people like me with ADHD have a high-speed brain tend to have more than 15 thoughts per minute, leading to over 500 million thoughts in a lifetime. No wonder, I feel drained at the end of each day.
New study suggests we have 6,200 thoughts every day
I have been reading a ton of additional research on this field over the years and I understand several aspects further on one’s thought process.
Most thoughts are stimuli driven, a huge part of the thought process is autonomic triggered based on visual stimuli.
Most thoughts have no real meaning. They just happen.
Most thoughts are not deliberate, they are unconscious and subconscious
We cannot originate thoughts about things that we don’t know. We are limited by the patterns of information that we have been already exposed to, in one form or other.
We, humans, are extraordinarily environmentally engineered. We acquire most patterns in the first 2-6 years of our lives from our family and those who raise us. A further large set of the patterns are acquired in our youth stage to around 18-22 years old.
The ratio of the utility of thoughts to action is very low.
Most thoughts are what is called “System 1” thinking by Daniel Kahneman in his book “Thinking Fast and Slow”. Deliberate “Systems 2” thinking is energy-draining and we humans, therefore, by default suck at it.
So, in the context of all these patterns, there are several questions I muddle with around the “creativity” of humans:
How many of one’s of these thoughts are creative?
How do we encourage deliberate thoughts of higher utility?
How do we associate thoughts from different humans in team structures to have higher combined utility?
How does one expand the acquisition of patterns, so that it expands the quality of the thoughts emanating from the patterns that one or a group knows?
What is your opinion on the “thoughts” process? And in the context of the information above, what views have you changed and what would you do with this in applying some learnings from it?