Songs for the Road: Thinking Center

My previous two posts summarized the three Doing center types and the three Feeling center types and suggested traveling songs for each of those six types. To complete the road song set, let’s review the three Thinking center types. People who rely primarily on this center don’t necessarily have higher IQs than those who rely on the other centers. They just trust their mental faculties—their ability to reason—more than they trust their feelings or their gut instincts.

This humorous (or not) excerpt from The Developing Mind by Daniel J. Siegel shows the difference between emotional intelligence and cognitive intelligence:

A frustrated wife looked at her confused husband and said, “You never understand what I am talking about. All you know is what you have learned in books. You couldn’t read my face if your life depended on it!” To this challenge, the man responded, “I can tell from what you say that you’re probably not happy with me. But, you know, there are two kinds of people in this world: those who are too needy, and those who aren’t.”

The Thinking center—also referred to as the Head, Intellectual, or Mental center—consists of Types 5, 7, and 6. This center is concerned with personal power, self-definition, logic, rationality, planning, intelligence, and will.

  • Type 5s want to live within their own inner world of thoughts and ideas.
  • Type 7s want to think about external events and activities.
  • Type 6s are pulled between their inner world of thoughts and ideas and the external world of events and activities.


The primary issue for these three types is anxiety (fear without a focal point).

  • In order to feel safe, Type 5s prepare themselves to deal with the outside world by accumulating more and more knowledge and information. 5s are anxious about the external environment.
  • In order to distract themselves from experiencing any unpleasant feelings or uncomfortable thoughts, Type 7s plan and anticipate pleasurable activities and events. 7s are anxious about their own inner worlds.
  • Type 6s constantly seek information in an effort to alleviate their apprehension about dealing with the external world. They also spend time planning and anticipating pleasurable events in order to avoid experiencing unpleasant thoughts or feelings. Type 6s are anxious about both the external environment and their own inner worlds.

Moving Through the World

As with the types in the other two centers, one type from the Thinking center takes the Aggressive stance (moving against), one type takes the Compliant stance (moving toward or with), and one type takes the Withdrawing stance (moving away). And each stance has a different relationship with time.

  • Type 5s takes the Withdrawing stance and focus on the past.
  • Type 7s takes the Aggressive stance and focus on the future.
  • Type 6s takes the Compliant stance and focus on the present.

Without knowing anything else about them, we can summarize these three types as follows:

  • Type 5s doubt their ability to deal effectively with the external world, so they withdraw into their own minds to avoid coming in contact with anything that might make them feel inadequate. Like Types 9 and 4, they tend to focus on the past and often reflect on their prior experiences. Type 5 is called The Observer, The Investigator, The Knowledge-Seeker, and The Thinker.
  • Type 7s want to avoid experiencing the pain that could result from their own thoughts and feelings, so they aggressively move against whatever gets in the way of their happiness and contentment by focusing on external events and activities. Like Types 8 and 3, they tend to hurry through the present as they make plans for the future. Type 7 is called The Adventurer, The Epicure, The Generalist, and The Enthusiast.
  • Because they are anxious about both their inner worlds and the external world, Type 6s move toward whatever—and whomever—they believe will make them feel safe and secure. 6s are the most anxious of the three Thinking center types. They tend to be concerned with what is right in front of them (subject, as are Types 1 and 3, to what has been called “the tyranny of the immediate moment”). Type 6 is called The Loyalist, The Questioner, The Guardian, and The Devil’s Advocate.

Again, while the attributes are accurate for the respective types, these are broad strokes and not intended as more than brief sketches.

The five songs I’ve come up with for each of the Thinking types are:

Type 5

Journey to the Center of the Mind  (The Amboy Dukes)
Going Up the Country  (Canned Heat)
Running on Empty  (Jackson Browne)
Wayfaring Stranger  (Emmylou Harris)
Boulevard of Broken Dreams  (Green Day)

Type 7

Dancing in the Street  (Martha Reeves & The Vandellas)
Carefree Highway  (Gordon Lightfoot)
Ramblin’ Man  (Allman Brothers)
I’ll Follow the Sun  (The Beatles)
Get Out the Map  (Indigo Girls)

Type 6

On the Road to Find Out  (Cat Stevens)
Steady as She Goes  (The Raconteurs)
Walking Contradiction  (Green Day)
Road to Nowhere  (Talking Heads)
Crossroads  (Don McLean)

Please vote for one song for each type by commenting on this post, and if you have suggestions for a song not on this list, please include the title and artist in your comment. After the voting is in for all nine types, I’ll post the list of songs.


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