Why Thinking Differently is the Lynchpin

What are some circumstances that you want to change in your own present reality?

The average person thinks 60,000–70,000 thoughts every day, and 90% of those thoughts are the exact same thoughts as the day before. If you believe that your thoughts have anything to do with your destiny, if 90% of your thoughts are the same as the day before, then things will stay the same.

The reason that things will stay the same, is that the same thoughts lead to the same choices; the same choices lead to same actions; the same actions lead to the same experiences; and the same experiences create the same emotions.

“Your beliefs become your thoughts,
Your thoughts become your words,
Your words become your actions,
Your actions become your habits,
Your habits become your values,
Your values become your destiny.”


In order to change things out there, you have to change. Sounds pretty obvious but how many times have you done the same thing expecting a different result?

The key is to change the way you have been thinking about things. Which sounds simple enough. Except chances are because you the person, or we the team, business, industry have been thinking the same things for so long, we might have become unaware of the assumptions we carry with us into each moment.

Using our expertise, experience and know how works really well when we are dealing with business as usual. We don’t necessarily want our pilots to think differently, or experiment when landing our plane.

But when we think about creating the new, being able to adapt to change, the volatility, uncertainty and ambiguity in the market, relying on efficiencies, and the way that we have always done things won’t create a different result.

With that in mind how do we go about crossing the river of change? The hardest part about change is not making the same choices that you did the day before.

The struggle of seeing and creating with a fresh perspective is real as we bring with us the experiences and expertise of the past which can get in the way of us seeing new possibilities, as“we can not solve our problems with the same level of thinking that created them” Einstein.

If you would take a moment to cross your arms over one another. Think about how it feels. Now cross your arms in the opposite direction and ask yourself the same question. Chances are it feels a little strange, awkward and weird.

The moment you decide to change something about yourself (you, your team, your organization) or make a new choice to do things differently, you are stepping into the river of change. Get ready, akin to the arm folding experiment you just participated in, it’s going to feel uncomfortable. The uncertainty you feel when you make a new choice in your life, means you are leaving the familiar known biology of the brain and body, and stepping into the unknown. In the unknown, the only way you can predict the future is to create it.

Resistance to change might start to boom in the internal speakers. Voices like: “This is too hard. I’ll start tomorrow. We will never change. It’s my old bosses fault. I don’t have enough time. How long is it going to take?”

If you respond to these old familiar thoughts as if they were true, those same thoughts will lead to the same choices, which will lead to the same behaviors, which will create the same experiences, which will produce the same feelings and emotions. And loop back again.

This is why we need to learn to think differently by first unlearning the things that do not serve us.

Doing what you’ve always done won’t propel your business to the next level.

The good news is that thinking differently, like riding a bike, or figuring out Zoom, is a skill you can learn. Just like the arm crossing, it’s a habit you can foster to continually affect positive change.

  1. Remember it’s a dance: In this fast changing world we need to balance how to think differently with how to grow expertise. Balance the dance between our kid-like mindset which is curious, imaginative, looking at things unencumbered by feasibility and bring in the adult-like expertise to bring in experience.
  2. Let others know how to dance: Just as moving from an expansive and a reductive mindset is critical to get new solutions out of the door, make sure you let others know where you are in the journey. Otherwise they’ll be dancing to a different tune… and well that might effect the vibe an productivity of your project / meeting.
  3. Knowing and breaking your category preferences: being able to break down one’s own category preferences in order to take on other perspectives seriously. Our brain naturally gathers information to set you us up for efficiencies. When we dismantle the shoulds and it’s always worked like this, we provide space for new solutions.

What assumption or beliefs need challenging in your business to breath life into the new standard and breakthrough?




Former Disney Innovation Catalyst I Founder of Unleash your Creativity Masterclass I Founder of HiHelloSura I Small Creativity Habits for Big Change

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Sura Al-Naimi

Sura Al-Naimi

Former Disney Innovation Catalyst I Founder of Unleash your Creativity Masterclass I Founder of HiHelloSura I Small Creativity Habits for Big Change

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