Years ago, “a penny for your thoughts” was a common expression often heard when someone was deep in thought and another person wanted to know what they were thinking. It’s not a phrase I hear much anymore, but it is one I think of often.
Since technology has simplified our lives, which means we are busier than ever, I’ve been using the term “Penny Thoughts” regularly. I take a single quote to focus on for the day. It might be philosophical, spiritual, emotional, or a thought that relates to something weighing on my mind. The thing is, it’s a thought—a bite. Just a snippet. So it doesn’t require a lot of time, energy or effort. At least not at one time, but the thought can be brought to mind several times during the day.
When I started doing this, I didn’t realize how beneficial those bite-sized thoughts could be. I also didn’t realize the good that would come from thinking about one little snippet over and over during the day. It seems the thought starts simple, but as the day wears on, my thoughts about it go deeper… and deeper.
It’s important to know what we think. Not just about one thing but about a lot of things. Yet in our busy lives, the task of figuring out what we think can seem daunting. But if we break the task down into bite-size pieces, all of that thinking doesn’t overwhelm us.
The beauty in that is, we actually do think about things. You see, normally when we get overwhelmed, we shut down. If a task seems too big or too hard we tend to avoid it.
In this case, we avoid thinking. Which means we avoid finding out where we really stand and what we really believe. The bottom-line is, we don’t know what we think.
That’s one of the worst things we can do to ourselves. Because when we avoid coming face-to-face with who we are and what we believe, we don’t know who we are or what we believe. We lose our identity.
If we lose our identity, we lose ourselves. Being lost, we should expect significant challenges in our relationships with others, and substantial issues within.
We need penny thoughts for that purpose: to avoid challenges and to gain confidence in ourselves and our judgments. We need to know who we are and why we are who we are.
A penny thought can be anything on any topic you choose. It’s just a thought for you to ponder for a day. Let me share a couple of examples:
I pondered on battles. The ones worth fighting and the ones not, and how to decide the difference. This is where, at the end of the day, my penny thoughts wound up:
Another day, I overheard an argument and saw the hurt in both people’s eyes. Words have power became my penny thought for the day. I considered the good and bad that comes from what we speak, the way we speak, when we speak. Here was that days, Penny Thought:
Someone wronged me. Falsely accused me, actually. And I had to decide how to respond. I knew how I wanted to respond, but I also knew where that would lead and it wasn’t to a good place. Post Penny Thought, I ended up here:
Putting things off. Procrastination. Talking ourselves into letting “little things” work their way out of kinks. Sometimes they do. The problem resolves itself. But more often, little problems become big problems. Then they’re a mess and take a lot more effort to fix than little problems take. So that Penny Thought came down to this:
As you can see, these Penny Thoughts are short and to the point. There’s no fluff but plenty of stuff that can provoke you or tickle your mind and offer deep insights to you, about you, and for you.
And I hope they do. A penny for your thoughts…
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© 2016, Vicki Hinze. Vicki Hinze is the award-winning bestselling author of nearly thirty novels in a variety of genres including, suspense, mystery, thriller, and romantic or faith-affirming thrillers. Her latest release is The Marked Star. She holds a MFA in Creative Writing and a Ph.D. in Philosophy, Theocentric Business and Ethics. Hinze’s website: www.vickihinze.com. Facebook. Books. Twitter. Contact. Subscribe to Vicki’s Monthly Newsletter!z