Wednesday, June 16, 2010

overthinking

Yes, exactly. People who pride themselves for being more rational than average tend to overthink things and make themselves miserable with stress about every decision and rethinking and analyzing every step of life. Logical analysis is of course very important but intuition is the best outline to fill in with syllogisms, and most of the time merely going with your gut will work just fine. And, it never results in misery resulting from following the 'logical' decision that doesn't feel right but you don't realize why until long after the fact.

Especially in Berkeley... All the people wearing "live simply" t-shirts contradict that philosophy with their bookshelves full of self-help and philosophy-of-life books about everything from eating habits to childrearing to retirement plans to meditation. Mostly, if you do what your instincts tell you to do and use some common sense when modernity manipulates atavism, you'll be fine. Eat what you crave when you're hungry, but be wary of engineered crap. Sleep when you're tired. Exercise enough to get tired. Your body knows what it needs. Don't worry, be happy.

(It's not all overthinking though; a lot of what gets bundled into this perception of needless analyzing is indecision... Most of the time the right thing to do is right in front of us in big obvious neon letters, yet we waver and deny reality and wish that things were different and get lost in irrelevant details instead of just doing what needs to be done.)

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