Experts say we have about 60,000 thoughts a day. Unfortunately, about 95% of them are the same thoughts we had yesterday.
I think this is one of the reasons I need a lot of "new" in my life. I want to think about different things. One of the ways to do this is gather new information, and then use that to form new concepts.
You would think the internet would make it very easy to find new information, and it does to some degree. But, finding the jewels of information you want can be somewhat difficult. I'm not sure if I'm the only one who has noticed this or not, but there's a lot of junk online. I find myself turning to the printed word more and more when I am seeking.
I love those little "tidbits," the unexpected information you find when reading. You might be reading about thermal dynamics and suddenly find a reference to something totally different dropped in. (I haven't been reading about thermal dynamics, you understand, I'm just using that as an example. I wouldn't want you to get the wrong impression.)
Like most people, I tend to read the same sorts of things over and over. That, also, is a problem because I'm taking in the same kind of information all the time.
One of my favorite parts of our library is the "New Books" section. It's like a mini library you can browse fully in a few steps. I often spend time there just pulling a book off the shelf - something I would never think to check out - and leafing through it. Sometimes you find a little gem here or there, or you confirm you're really just not the sort of person who is interested in Early American Furniture Building with Period Tools. (Truth be told, I am interested in that, I'm just not able to do it.)
Increasing the chance of having new thoughts is a daily goal for me. Now, if only there were a calculator for such things so I could keep track.