Sunday, March 29, 2009

Make it so.

Do you think too much? Do you have trouble taking advice to not think so much? Do you partly believe you ought think less, but feel it is a struggle against your very nature?

If by simply thinking you are directly made unhappy, then yes, stop all that thinking! Either let your brain take on other tasks (suggest letting it drift on detailed ambient music), or change the way you think, towards something more positive.

However, if thinking doesn't directly make you unhappy, ask yourself: Do the results of all my thinking lead me to take the actions I want to take? If you believe you think too much, the answer is probably "no". But the problem is not always the quantity of thought that you produce; it may be a disconnect between thought and action. If through rigorous analytical thought you can figure out any situation, solve any problem, answer any nagging question, but you still avoid taking the actions you want, then fix your failure to act.
  • Reconnect thought and action. If the conclusion to a thought is that an action should be taken, do not be satisfied with its completion until the action is taken. Do not let the thought stand on its own, if it only means you're making plans which will never be followed through. Correct behavior involves neither thought nor action exclusively, but both working together.
  • Do not replace action with thought. If a situation affords you the time to either think or act but not both, try acting. Train yourself to do this (commit to taking more risks, accept the idea of making decisions on partial information, etc). You can always think about it later. Avoid also treating "thinking about it" as having taken an action. Remind yourself that you won't accept that.
Now you can do more of the things you want to do, without feeling you've "dumbed yourself down"!

For your health!

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