The Thinking Life


Much of my writing this month is influenced by a wonderful book called “The Thinking Life” by PM Forni. At under 200 pages, it’s a very short read. Those pages are full of useful information. If you only ever read one book on improvement, this is the book to read.

Forni is both eloquent and terse at the same time, using only the exact words he needs to make his point. At times, he comes off as gruff, but his words are meant to challenge us, to move us out of our comfort zone and to take on the central premise of the book.

Tha premise is that thinking is the foundation of the elusive good life many of us seek. His argument is that quality of our lives increases when we devote a few moments every day to thinking. That thinking can take many forms. Retrospection, introspection, decision making, planning, strategizing are all discussed in the book. At the end of each chapter is a series of questions meant to engage us in the book’s content, and help build our thinking skills.

I agree with Forni’s treatise. The explosive technological growth we’ve seen in the past few years is amazing. Most of us walk around with a more powerful computer in our pockets than used for the first lunar landing. We’re always connected to the Internet, ensuring that entertainment and information are never a moment’s notice. Distraction is commonplace. We are to avoid boredom at all costs.

I cannot understate the value and convenience these technologies bring to our lives. Their use as a way to excise boredom and to distract us is disturbing. Boredom is crucial to creativity and distractions prevent us from focusing on the important things in our lives.

I wish I had a clever way to close out this post, but I’ll l just reiterate the call for you to spend an evening enjoying Forni’s terse words.

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