Q. HOW DOES IT WORK?
Simple. Block out next Thursday (whether a half- or full-day).
Pick up a book you’ve long wanted to read. Take someone you admire to lunch** (pick up the tab). And write a thank you note (and a letter to a beloved family member, or a journal entry, or chapter of that novel).
Join the THINKER THURSDAYS™ community by clicking here.
** And if you’re in Boston, you cannot go wrong swinging by Carrie Nation Restaurant & Cocktail Club on Beacon Hill (a stone’s throw from the State House). If you stop in, tell the beloved maître d’, Frank Lunardi, hello. (Frank’s Boston Globe profile is here).
Q. WHAT IF I CANNOT SWING A FULL DAY OFF FROM WORK?
Granted, not everyone can commit to a full work day, 52 weeks of the year. Some can carve out a full day a month; some can find an extra hour or half-day before lunch. Whatever the model, over time, the impact can become transformative.
Imagine space. Margin. Time to think, read, and share. Imagine joining an ever-growing circle of people just like yourself, who share THINKER THURDAYS.
Whatever your schedule, please join us in making space for margin. Do that and you can expect serendipities to visit your heart, mind, and relationships.
Q. HOW DID THE THINKER THURSDAYS START?
Thinker Thursdays began in 2017 as a personal (yet occasional) exercise by Devin D. Marks, a TED Talk speaker coach in Boston, MA. He committed to dedicating each Thursday to read, connect, and reflect.
For Devin, the day became semi-sacred: no client work, no back office accounting, no special projects. #NoBusyWorkOnThursdys. It wasn’t easy… at first. But over time, he noticed some clearly positive outcomes: he read more books; he had more extended, meaningful (even bonding) conversations; and he found he was writing again.
It was a meditative and margin-creating pursuit with manifold benefits. He shared the idea with his client, Dr. Robert Waldinger—renowned Harvard researcher who studies health and happiness in the lives of men and families. He delivered a breakaway TED Talk about living the “Good Life.” His knowing, nodding approval was all Devin needed.
In 2018, Devin committed to making Thinker Thursdays his semi-regular, weekly norm. The majority of those meals took place at Carrie Nation under the approving and watchful eye of Frank Lunardi—Boston’s “last” maître d’ with standards “from a bygone time”—according to the Boston Globe (here).
Then in 2019 it became a full-out commitment: 52 weeks of the year meant a stack of books; 52 thinker lunches; and a pile of essays, letters, and more. And he also committed to sharing word of the practice. (Hence, this website.)
It’s not complicated; it is a commitment. And it is transformative. Today, many interpret Thinker Thursdays as simply picking up a hardcover book; sitting down to lunch with an admired thinker; and taking pen-in-hand to journal.
Q. WHAT DOES IT COST?
A day’s work (so you may need to “flex-work” your schedule a bit). A lunch tab (treat that “Thinker” to a meal).
Other than that (if that)? Not much. Check a book out of your public library; pull out an old notebook and pencil; take a picnic lunch to a park.
Q. WHAT ARE THE THINKER THURSDAYS RULES?
First off, there aren’t any firm rules. Novels can be traded for how-to titles. Lunch can be traded for dinner. Pencils in Moleskins work as well as pens on stationary.
The overarching hope is that we create a day (or portion of a day) for some unplugged margin and space—for thinking and relationship. And then, we celebrate the result and inspire others.
That said, there are some general guidelines. Thinker Thursdays are…
1. Intentional (versus Distracted)
2. Regular (versus Infrequent)
3. Connecting (versus Solo)
4. Stimulating (versus Draining)
5. Slow (versus Harried)
6. Free-Flowing (versus Time-Bound)
7. Bonding (versus Transactional)
8. Unplugged (versus Digital)
9. Gifting (versus Obligating)
10. Blessings (versus Just One More #$%! Thing)
Q. ARE THERE WAYS TO MEET OTHER THINKER THURSDAY FOLKS IN MY CITY?
Yes! We hope to begin organizing evening gatherings, city-by-city in the coming year. If you’re interested in joining in on the fun, as a “convener,” let us know via the comments form.
Q. WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF THINKER THURSDAYS?
Research shows we are far too harried, too stressed, too distracted. And our health, our marriages, and our families suffer for it. And so does our work. What about designing an island of margin and pause each week to do something that can help all of that?
It can reap manifold blessings, including:
Not to mention, deeper breaths.
THINKER THURSDAYS™ | Read. Connect. Reflect.