Runner’s high? What about thinker’s high?

Mountain in evening light

I’m not a runner. I don’t like running. It’s just not my thing. Still, despite having ran a combined total of less than 10km, which is a very cheeky low estimate, I am aware of the existence of a phenomenon called “runner’s high”. As you can imagine, I have never experienced it as a result of running.

Runner’s high is defined as a feeling of euphoria coupled with reduced anxiety and a lessened ability to feel pain. Which is pretty much what I experienced recently after having a Thinking Pair session.

The concept of a Thinking Pair is relatively simple (but kinda hard to do). It is two people taking turns being the thinker and the thinking partner. The thinking partners asks ‘What would you like to think about and what are your thoughts?’ The question will spark lots of thoughts in the thinker’s mind, and more importantly, they now know that they will not be interrupted for the next 10 minutes or so (depending on the arrangement). Under no circumstance shall the thinking partner interrupt the thinker, but in stead they will listen to them, being curious as what they will say next, showing interest and encouragement, and basically cheering them on to go to the cutting edge of their thoughts. It’s wildly dynamic in a quiet sort of way. The thinking partner knows that the best thing they can do for the thinker is to not interrupt, and so they will not say a word. This time is for the thinker, the thinking partner is there to support them do their best thinking. Given how we usually conduct conversations, it is surprisingly difficult being the thinking partner.

After the set time has expired, the pair swap roles: the thinking partner becomes the thinker, and the thinker becomes the thinking partner. It is now the original thinking partner’s time to think. By returning the favour, equality, which is one of the Ten Components of the Thinking Environment, is maintained.

After the second Thinking Session has finished, the thinking partners appreciate the positive traits they saw in each other, which is acknowledged with a simple, heartfelt “Thank you”. The whole experience is a thing of beauty. Two people connecting by giving each other the time and space to think.

Let me tell you, one of my most recent Thinking Pairs led to me experiencing what I can only describe as a “thinker’s high”. It was such a powerful experience, and I felt an incredibly strong connection with my thinking partner. For a few hours after, I walked around with the aforementioned feeling of euphoria! This is what I tweeted, straight from the heart:

Despite having experienced thinking pairs on a fairly regular basis for quite a few months now, I keep being blown away by their sheer power.

For me, it also underlies something important: that I’ve chosen the right path in becoming a Time to Think Facilitator. Not only do I want more of it, I want to share this beautiful work with as many people as I can.

Thinking for yourself, as Nancy Kline put it, is still a radical act. If only more people would experience that thinker’s high I have experienced, then maybe we’d all yearn for more, just like runners yearn for their next runner’s high. Thinking for yourself would become the norm in stead of the exception, and maybe, just maybe, we could make the world a little bit better. Even the human connection that is the result of a thinking pair is totally worth it.

Do you want to know more about Thinking Pairs and the Thinking Environment? Hit me up on LinkedIn, or visit my website: https://masterthinkers.com.au.