Everyone Should Read, Write, and Think Alone

“I take a lot of time just to read and think about things by myself.” – Mark Zuckerberg

Maybe because I’m a natural introvert, but I like to sit alone and reflect. I like to step back from everything, slow it down, and think. That’s why I love writing in this blog. It’s a moment in my week that allows/forces me to think clearly.

My life has a million things going on at any moment. I work in tech, which means things are constantly changing. What worked yesterday doesn’t mean it will work today. I’m in a constant state of motion. Sometimes I feel like I’m reacting more than I’m thoughtfully moving forward. I feel like information comes in one ear and out the other.

That’s why when I read this quote by Mark Zuckerberg, it really resonated with me. When asked about his weekly work hours, he stated that he was only in the office for 50-60 hours a week. But he’s constantly thinking about Facebook. More importantly, he states that he takes a lot of time to read and think about things by himself.

I think more people need to do this. Regardless of what your occupation is, you should take time to read, reflect, and write. I love writing because it clarifies your thoughts. You don’t necessarily have to make your thoughts public. I also write in a journal from time to time, where I keep more personal thoughts. But it’s the same exercise as this weekly blog and similar to the annual exercise I do when I reflect on what I want. No matter the medium, I find it very cathartic to just sit back, read, think, and write.

If you’re having trouble getting started, let me pose a question to you. I’m currently reading Peter Thiel’s Zero to One. In it, he states that he often asks interviewees this simple question, “What important truth do very few people agree with you on?” What’s your answer to this question?

In a future blog post I will answer this question. But if you’re stuck on what to think and write about, start with this question.