“Think, Think, Think”

Part 6 of 12 Step Slogans

“Think, think, think” is usually found on the walls of 12 Step meeting rooms next to “Let Go Let God”, and “Easy Does It”, but what does it mean? The phrase “think, think, think” isn’t talked about much, and there is some debate as to how it came about, but I feel it is still important to include in the list of common slogans.

After some research I found a message board with ideas of what this phrase means, and where it came from. Apparently the phrase “think, think, think” was an IBM marketing slogan back in the 50’s, and AA picked it up. I do not know the validity of that statement, but I do think it is true. Nowhere in the literature can you find a reference to this slogan, at least I’ve never run into it.

Which leaves us with the question, what does it mean?

My “Best” Thinking

Some of you may have heard the saying “my best thinking got me here”, meaning that my ideas and thoughts are the reason I am a part of the Fellowship. With that idea in mind, “think, think, think” may be a reminder to me to stop and think something through. Instead of going with the first thought that pops into my head, stop for a minute and think it through more.

“Think” About Someone Else

Another idea is that this phrase is a reminder to not think only of myself. I am a selfish, self-centered human sometimes. For most of my childhood I learned that if I wanted to be taken care of, I had to do it myself. But, that thinking led me down the path of thinking of myself always. How do I survive? How do I take care of me? Even when I was thinking of others, and how I could help them, I was still thinking about myself, and what I could get out of the situation. But, if I remember “think, think, think”, and put it to use I can Think — what would my Higher Power want me to do here; Think — What can I do for someone else; Think — What do I need?

Used in this way, my first thought isn’t “what’s in it for me?” My first thought is centered on asking my Higher Power for direction, second on helping someone else, and third on taking care of me.

Past, Present, Future

“Think, Think, Think” could also be a reminder to stay present in the moment. The first and last “think” on the poster are small, which could represent the past and future. Look to the past for strength to get through today, and remember where you came from. Look to the future to gather hope for a better tomorrow, and as a way to continue growth. And, the big “think” in the middle is for today. We must live in today because yesterday is gone, and tomorrow isn’t promised. All we have is today. It is important to remember our past, and look towards the future, but only if we don’t live there.

Open For Interpretation

The beauty of this slogan is, it is open for interpretation. Since it has no origin, you can make it into whatever you want. There is no set way to understand the phrase “think, think, think”. As always, you can take what you like, and leave the rest. The choice is yours.

Ideas taken from soberrecovery.com message board

Thanks for reading!