Who do you THINK you are? Did someone ever angrily say that to you when you were growing up? I heard it a lot.
Let's face it. Thinking too much is high on the list of our most destructive addictions. If we stop thinking many of us are afraid we would feel lost. We meditate to help us stop thinking so that we can achieve a state of peacefulness, be in the zone. An idea can be the result of thinking, but before we can begin to act on it and create, we need to stop thinking.
Playing poker at the highest levels is an art. Art can only be created if you are not thinking about doing something, but actually doing it. Can you imagine William Shakespeare being able to write the volumes of work he left us if he had to think about writing each? It just poured out of him. At the poker table, thinking is in your way of becoming a better player.
You need to be "In the Zone" where your actions pour out naturally, without much effort. I hope this "Problem Thinker" article helps you recognize your own thinking problem if you also suffer as I do from thinking too much. In any event I hope you enjoy it and have a good laugh or two. Laughter heals so I share it with you in this weeks PPN article. With this motive I hope that I will not offend anyone while I alert everyone to what I always seem to come back to, another opportunity to notice and let go of.
Are You a Problem Thinker? It started out innocently enough. I began to think at parties now and then-to loosen up. Inevitably, though, one thought lead to another, and soon I was more than just a social thinker.
I began to think alone - "to relax," - I told myself - but I knew it wasn't true. Thinking became more and more important to me, and finally I was thinking all the time.
That was when things began to sour at home. One evening I had turned off the TV and asked my wife about the meaning of life. She spent that night at her mother's. I began to think on the job. I knew that thinking and employment didn't mix, but I couldn't stop myself.
I began to avoid friends at lunchtime so I could read Thoreau and Kafka. I would return to the office dizzied and confused, asking "What is it exactly we are doing here?" One day the boss called me in. He said, "Listen, I like you, and it hurts me to say this, but your thinking has become a real problem. If you don't stop thinking on the job, you'll have to find another job. This gave me a lot to think about.
I came home early after my conversation with the boss.
"Honey," I confessed, "I've been thinking..." "I know you've been thinking," she said, "and I want a divorce!" "But honey, surely it's not that serious."
"It is serious," she said, lower lip aquiver.
"You think as much as college professors, and college professors don't make any money, so if you keep on thinking we won't have any money!"
"That's a faulty syllogism," I said impatiently.
She exploded in tears of rage and frustration, but I was in no mood to deal with the emotional drama "I'm going to the library," I snarled as I stomped out the door. I headed for the library, in the mood for some Nietzsche. I roared into the parking lot listening to National Public Radio and ran up to the big glass doors. They didn't open. The library was closed. To this day, I believe that a Higher Power was looking out for me that night. As I sank to the ground, clawing at the unfeeling glass, whimpering for Zarathustra, a poster caught my eye.
"Friend, is heavy thinking ruining your life?" it asked. You probably recognize that line. It comes from the standard Thinker's Anonymous poster. Which is why I am what I am today: a recovering thinker.
I never miss a Thinker's Anonymous meeting. At each meeting we watch a non-educational video. Last week it was Porky's. Then we share experiences about how we avoided thinking since the last meeting. I still have my job, and things are a lot better at home.
Life just seemed... easier, somehow, as soon as I stopped thinking. I think the road to recovery is nearly complete for me.
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