This is a picture of what my father used to carry in his breast pocket every day during his career as an engineer at IBM. It was a small (3″ x 4″) leather-covered notepad with the word “THINK” embossed on it in black. The pages inside were blank. This was an original IBM Think Pad. Thomas Watson, founder of IBM, famously instructed his employees to “THINK” and encouraged all IBM employees to carry a “THINK” notepad with them at all times. The whole idea behind it, it seems, was to always be thinking about potential solutions to the engineering challenges they were working on, and to write down all the ideas that came to mind at any point of the day. It was all about becoming more focused and intentional on what was turning through your mind!
That came to mind yesterday as I shared Alan Redpath’s encouragement to ‘T.H.I.N.K.’ before you speak (in the context of the temptations to engage in ‘backbiting’, gossip, and slander). Here it is with Rev. Redpath’s original text in black font and my additional thoughts for my personal application in blue font: