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The Myth of The Overthinker

Worrying and over-analyzing are the exact opposite of thinking. They are the consequences of not thinking.

The so-called “overthinker” is really an “underthinker.” He is the man who takes pride in being too busy for thinking. And as a result, he only thinks when the pressures of life compel him to confront what he really believes.

When others observe his frantic efforts to find quick and easy concepts, they mistake his confusion for contemplation and equate his anxiety with analysis.

All that is really being observed in such moments are the psychological penalties for a life that has gone too long without being examined.

One can only avoid the deep spaces within his mind for so long before he becomes the victim of his unconscious beliefs and unquestioned assumptions.

Thinking is not the cause of our problems. The problem is when our thinking is only done as result of our problems.

The mind that voluntarily thinks is never a slave to the compulsive and agonizing thoughts of the mind that must be forced to think.

This Post Has 7 Comments
  1. Excellent! Can’t be said enough.

    Really like the distinction:

    “The mind that voluntarily thinks is never
    a slave to the compulsive and agonizing
    thoughts of the mind that must be forced
    to think.” Hadn’t thought of it quite like
    this before.

    And “voluntary thinking” should be as
    familiar and as steady as breathing. It
    soothes the soul.

    The juice of life. Cheers! 😀

  2. Over-thinking is the result of delaying a decision or making a conclusion when there is sufficient information available to do so. This is the result of uncertainty and/or risk based anxiety.

      1. So, to elaborate.

        Here’s an example of over-thinking.

        You playing a game. You have 30 seconds to choose between three options: A, B, C. Your intuition suggests that A is right but are not certain. So you decide to investigate the other two options–to think about them. You spend too much time thinking about the; the 30 seconds is up. You over-thought.

        The anxiety that you experienced had nothing to do with over-thinking. The anxiety was due to the uncertainty/risk associated with the decision.

        Another example where time is of the essence is deciding whether to accept a job interview. The options are clear: accept or decline. What is unclear, and what is anxiety provoking, is the uncertainty about the job–will it be good; are other options better. The uncertainties are endless and you could spend days thinking about them. So long offer might expire.

        As one can over-think, one can also under-think. Acting impulsively and not considering the risks, can be fatal. What is important is to right-think–not over-thinking or under-thinking–to make a decision when there is sufficient information available.

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