Thinking Just for Fun

file000959098415Next week I’m moving into a new office at work. In preparation I’ve been culling the various documents that have accumulated in my filing cabinet over the last couple of years. Many are going into the shredder. One keeper that turned up is an old personality profile or “behavioral style” assessment that I completed as part of a leadership teambuilding session. Learning about yourself is always interesting and those things are surprisingly, even scarily, accurate. After reading it again I agreed, “that’s me alright.”

One statement in particular caught my attention – “They enjoy thinking, almost as an entertainment, and it’s easy for them to analyze ideas both in depth and breadth.” The attention-grabbing idea here was not that I’m a “thinker” or even that I enjoy thinking, but rather that thinking could be a form of entertainment. I’ve never considered that before. I’ve always operated from the mindset that thinking had to be useful, to serve some purpose. After all, what good is an idea or an insight if it has no practical application?

Requiring a practical application for my thoughts has been a source of frustration for me over the years. For example, at work if I have good ideas or insights for management of the business, but the scope is beyond my area of responsibility and authority and others disagree or are not interested, they go nowhere. I’ve often wondered about a role where I could fully use my ability and desire to think thoroughly about matters, to develop general philosophies, and then design action plans in accordance. Does such a role exist? I can’t seem to see one.

Or consider my thinking on wellness – In some sense this blog and my books are practical applications of my thinking but, if the goal is helping people to be well, not that practical. You faithful readers excepted, people in general don’t seem to be all that excited about these ideas. It doesn’t seem that I have provided many people with health and wellness solutions.   It is frustrating to write a book that doesn’t sell many copies. It leaves me asking, from a practical standpoint, has any of this thinking and writing been worth it? Hard to say. Yet I do enjoy thinking and writing.

The thing is, enjoyment is a good and sufficient reason for many activities. We call them hobbies. My wife likes to refinish furniture and decorate our home. My daughter enjoys those hobbies too. Photography is interesting to my son. None of them plans any major practical application for these activities. It’s just what they like to do. My friend shoots trap and skeet, but he doesn’t shoot ducks.  What’s that about? Enjoyment. And enjoyment is okay.

Can I think for enjoyment? Just for fun? Why not? Clearly, I can’t simply quit thinking like I do; contemplation is baked into my personality. God has gifted me with a good mind and a desire to figure things out. One does not give a gift to displease or frustrate the recipient. Gifts are given to be used and enjoyed.

I’m going to take a lighter view of my thoughts from now on. Maybe I’ll have good insights on a particular matter, maybe I won’t. Maybe there’ll be a practical application, maybe not. Either way I’m going to enjoy thinking as a hobby.   If my hobby proves useful to others, so much the better. If not, I’m still having fun.


  1. Thanks; I will “Think for Success” in 2016!
    WDYTAT: What do you think about that?
    I so appreciate you Blogs…