Life is more fun when it’s effortless. When it flows. The brain loves effortless. There is a evolutionary urge to minimize energy output and conserve resources. To be lazy. It’s built into us, but it’s not very productive. Thought takes effort. It’s how we get things done. It’s how we survive. It’s how we grow.

In his book Thinking Fast and Slow, Daniel Kahneman calls effortful thinking, slow thinking. It’s the step by step thinking to solve problems or make something happen. Fast thinking sees the big picture, interprets the relationships, is intuitive and insightful. It’s the master brain and the slow thinker is its assistant.

When we produce images, we think fast and slow. At the decisive moment there is no time for step by step thoughts.

Bang! Nail the shot.

But getting all the elements lined up, coordinating all the variables, knowing how that stupid camera works (and seeing if it is) take effort. They take slow thinking.

As we practice these slow, methodical thoughts, full of mental effort, we train our brain and this thinking begins to move into the realm of instinct and intuition. We are still thinking but it goes faster and takes less effort, freeing up energy for new, more challenging slow thinking. It’s called growth.

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