The high cost of thinking

Thinking is designed for our survival and success. We think in order to prolong our life spans and expand our good fortune. Thinking, like any activity, embodies an implicit strategy. It assumes it will be successful by making particular assumptions. Thinking presumes we are dealing with particular dangers, threats, and enemies, both known and unknown. Thinking also presumes that success follows our being right about what we see. We exercise our right to be right regardless of how it impacts others' rights. We think our free will get us where we want to go.

When we think, we are categorizing complex circumstances. We are dealing with the facts of a situation. We are simplifying things into clear cut distinctions. We are drawing the line, telling things apart and sorting things out. Thinking is dichotomous. The binary logic of thinking compartmentalizes what may not be so easily boxed, labeled and finalized. Thinking enables us to be right about what we see in ways that preclude further questions. Our comfort zone is defined by how we already know what's what.

When we fall for thinking, we pay a terrible price. We're usually so busy thinking we don't recognize the price we're paying. We assume the result of our thinking merely calls for more thinking. We maintain our thinking at all cost and think we got off easy compared to not thinking.

Thinking gives other's the wrong impression. They get defensive when we think. Just because we think we're in danger, they think we regard them as a threat or enemy. Just because we need to be right, they think they've been wronged, shot down, overruled or dismissed. Just because we're thinking about the situation, they think we're being mean spirited and selfish.

Thinking also influences what happens. We attract more to think about as if we're in danger and need to be right. We get what we fear to appear in our circumstances. We get proven right by the evidence of our thinking in what appears before us. We live in a bubble of our own conclusions with no contradictions coming to mind or through our co-conspirators.

When we think about what happens, we cannot close it out. We dichotomize it into good or bad without a way to take it all to heart. The part we dismiss becomes lingering ghosts fro the past. We are then haunted by the unthinkable alternative that sabotages our best intentions. We pay a huge price for relying on thinking.

When we drop the drama and abandon thinking, there are many better ways to use our minds:

  • reflecting on different possibilities and futures that could come of this
  • realizing more connections to, significance of and parallels with this situation
  • re-conceiving the definition of the perceived problem, the frames of reference to apply to this and the basis for evaluating this
  • receiving better ideas, answers to troubling questions, inspired changes in ways to see it, intuitive guidance of how to proceed
  • regarding the situation from different vantage points, within different scenarios, with different objectives in mind
  • retelling the story of what happened with more closure, completion and appreciation for the experience

Ready to quit?

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