Today’s Tubespiration Example: Your ‘Stratford’ and ‘Hampstead’ Type Thinking

Your brain has two ways of working. The first is the equivalent to going on the first available escalator – some call this ‘System 1 thinking’ but we rather refer to it as your ‘Stratford Thinking’ (in honour of the shortest escalator on the underground network.)

Your second type of thinking is the equivalent of taking many steps in a structured, logical way. Called ‘System 2 Thinking’ we choose to call this your ‘Hampstead Thinking’ (after the biggest staircase on the underground system.)

Try this experiment:

What is 2 + 2 ?

What animal makes a barking sound?

Complete the phrase ‘Mind the ___ ‘

That was easy wasn’t it? Well that’s your Stratford Thinking in operation.

Your brain instantly seizes on readily available answers – rather like jumping on an escalator immediately at hand. You answer quickly, with confidence and you can move on to the next thing in your life.

They may however not be the right answers; there are other alternative answers you could have given.

Your brain opted for the first available best fit. (It works by choosing rules of thumb, using the best approximations.)

Now try this:

What is 17 x 14 ?

What is the chemical composition of the fibres on your clothes?

How does a Tube train work?

These are somewhat harder. You may be able to provide an answer but it requires a bit more concentration, more time accompanied by focussed thought.

Because our brains prefer not to engage in new thinking we largely operate through our Stratford Thinking. Yet, your most considered, thoughtful and more accurate thinking is done through your Hampstead Thinking. You need to recognise and use your intra-personal skills (your ability to listen to the voice in your head) to start to monitor and read how your brain is working, to identify if you are using Stratford Thinking or Hampstead Thinking.

Tubespiration! has been designed to stimulate your Hampstead Thinking – to get you to not jump at the obvious, the immediate, but rather explore by posing better quality beautiful questions, or beautiful questions coming from a different place to your existing starting point.

Challenge the first thoughts that come to mind, and challenge the easy, ‘obvious’ answer. Learn to exercise and engage Hampstead rather than rely all the time on your Stratford Thinking.




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