Friday, February 19, 2010

Thinkers and Doers

I tend to be a thinker more than a doer. My girlfriend is a doer, and I actually find myself getting jealous of the things she does.

I talk (rant maybe?) about what I perceive to be wrong with the political system (or any other of my pet peeves) and her first words are "what are you going to do?" It's not that I don't do anything, but the people who know me would no doubt agree with you if you said "he doesn't UNDER analyze things." 

For example, I have a small dollar giftcard to TJMaxx and want to get something for my kitchen, which is devoid of many basic kitchen implements. But I'm also trying to embrace minimalism so I want everything I add to my inventory to be suitable for multiple tasks. So, a couple weeks ago I wandered through the store for 45 minutes trying to decide what was the perfect gear to grab. In rare over-analyzing form that evening, I ended up just frustrating myself over the decision and leaving with nothing.

There's a great point in this post 5 Ways to Stop Second Guessing Yourself about how it really didn't matter because "there were never going to be any huge consequences". I should have chosen one of the things I know I need that fit the gift card amount, bought it and been home in time to use it to cook myself a nice little supper. Instead, I did a wishy-washy Charlie Brown act until I couldn't stand it anymore and picked up fast food on the way home. Thinking too much not only made the trip a waste of time, but it also made me less healthy that evening.

There's nothing wrong with thinking, but you have to act on your thoughts or it becomes pointless pondering.

picture by ivan petrov  

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Beware the Should Shroud

Most of the things that people stress about are inconsequential in the grand scheme of things.

inconsequential -
of no significance

Too many of us are a facade of our inconsequential "should thoughts": Where should I live? How should I dress? Whom should I vote for? How much money should I earn? What kind of car should I drive? Whose ass should I kiss? What kind of wine should I like? Who should be able to marry whom (much less whom they should be able to have sexual relations with)?

We are overly concerned with trying to fake our way up Maslow's hierarchy of needs by fitting ourselves into a "should shroud" that we've created by assimilating the opinions and mannerisms of those to whom we wish to appear cool or affluent or intelligent or businesslike or pious or attractive or however else we think others think we should appear. We shrouded souls buy trendy clothes because that's what our peers buy. We join political parties because our parents were members, not because we understand the real life ramifications of a party's platform. We drive a car that we think reflects status or will get us laid.

What really gets me riled up though, is that most of the stuff that we focus on is totally inconsequential to us in the grand scheme of life. We're not thinking about how our shoulds will affect us directly from an analytically honest perspective. We're worried about not fitting in or feeling embarrassed for standing out from our crowd by having a differing thought. We are blindly marching to a drum beat without understanding the rationale for the tempo or knowing who is really leading the band.

I am going to focus on applying analytical honesty to examining inconsequentialities and turning them inside out to discover life's consequentialities.

consequentiality -
notions having significant importance with respect to power to produce an effect