Friday, May 30, 2008

Exit the Draggin'

Sick twice in the past six weeks, the same gross cold on either side of a hay fever month. This second bout of hacking, wheezing, and post-nasal gradoo sneaked in while I was distracted by itchy, watery eyes and non-stop nose-blowing. Man, it's a drag.

So. What am I doing to cause this, besides working too much and not exercising? Cuz that's nothing new. I contemplated my outlook of late. Despite springtime and many family joys and Twitter and what I think is a fairly sanguine predisposition, it's been pretty lousy. I've been down on myself, on work, on the world at large, life in general. And I realized, I've come to view Positive Thinking kinds of programming as vacuous happy talk. Why? I don't know. I used to be much more of a "create your own reality" kind of thinker. Where'd that go? I don't think I can blame the Bush administration for this.

So I do a search on positive thinking, just to get reacquanted. And I find the Positivity Blog. Sound horrible? Maybe. But lo and behold, the most recent post is about a major hero of my teen years, Bruce Lee. Turns out, on top of his legendary martial arts skills, Bruce also kicked ass as a positive thinker and productivity guru. (Go ahead, be like me and say, "Yeah, look how efficient he was at dying young.") But lo! The blogger quotes several key principles of Bruce Lee's personal and professional philosophy, and then expands on them. The second principle in particular caught my eye:

“If you spend too much time thinking about a thing, you’ll never get it done.”

Adding more thoughts and thinking things over for the 111th time may create a sense of security. It’s also a good way to procrastinate and to avoid taking that leap you know you should take. And the more you think, the harder it gets to act. Perhaps because you want to keep that comforting sense of security and avoid the risk of wrecking that feeling.

Thinking has its place. It can help you plan a somewhat realistic route to your goal and help you avoid future pitfalls. Overthinking is however just a habit that will help you waste a lot of time.


I've been doing exactly this. I've been putting off several things that have to get done for the June wedding trip, and continually thinking, "I need to call so & so, and then I need to do blah-blah, but before I can do that, I've gotta find out X, Y, & Z--oh, and I need a luggage rack for the car..." and ALWAYS, to conclude this litany, the refrain: "I don't have time to do all this shit."

I just found a 3x5 to-do list in the pocket of a pair of jeans I haven't worn in at least two weeks. There's only one thing on that list that I can cross off. I've done one thing I need to do, out of about twelve.

Maybe I'm sick because all I do is think. The sheer tonnage of stuff I've put off doing has crushed my immune system.

This changes today. I'm finding out X, Y, Z, calling so & so, doing blah-blah, and ordering the goddamn luggage rack. I have time to do it. I just don't have time to keep thinking about it and telling myself I don't have time to do it.

And I thought the only lesson Bruce had to teach me was the one about the finger pointing at the moon. "Concentrate on the finger, and you miss all that heavenly glory."

4 comments:

scotland said...

If I were any denser,the laughter spawned by your title wouldn't be infecting this comment. Sorry to hear of your extended triplacation. Probisculascrimbosis is never pleasant,you weren't aware that this paticular malady had a name were you. It never ceases to amaze me how many people live their lives for the most part in the region of the nose. The tip of which is the foremost of all those places it's difficult to imagine or actually see aside of reflection.Not that an assistant would help you overcome this defect,but they might help clear up the traffic jam. Just call on your temple guardian Mr. Bruce Lee and convince yourself that he'll kick your ass if you don't get it together Now! Turn on the personal fire, get angry in a masterful way with your self. Burn off the dross, then keep just a small spark going in the tinder. To finish this exercise just imagine with what ingeniousness a Kung-Fu Master could inflict a flurry of tickling and suffer yourself the extreme devastation. Just remember all bad films come to an end. Yeah!

Anonymous said...

I tried to respond and was unable to do so. So, I'll try again.
I will not encourage you with my father's infamous words, "Put your backbone where you wishbone is, and do it."
Instead I will offer you my own and working method: gratitude.

When I think of you, you most gifted human being, I am filled with gratitude. Can you not be the same for the wonderful gifts you have? An incredible mind, an unlimited vocabulary, a fantastic wit, and the chance to use all those in your profession.

I don't want to discount your discomfort. I'm sorry you haven't felt well. I wonder if that oriental method of using salt water is as effective as Daddy's "snuffing salt water." Maybe the other was to invasive and your sinuses were left too sensitve. I don't know, but you take care.

Now about your mental state. Try gratitude. Think of your three healthy, beautiful children, who love you madly. You have a wife who adores you, parents who think you are one of the most amazing humans ever born. You have music, poetry, nature surrounding you. I could rave on, but instead will recommnd reading David Cooper's "THe Godding Process" in the summer issue of PARABOLA and allowing yourself to experience the Oneness that follows an experience with Boundlessness.
Cooper's insights are so marvelous.
I read this over and it's not as quiet and comforting as my first attempt to participate in your blog. If this doesn't work I'll send you an e-mail, which of course you will receive.

I love reading your blogs. I also delight in your wordsmithing. Each day when I awaken one part of my gratitude exercise is to be particularly thankful for you.

Be well, dear one. MOM

Jas P. said...

Well, see, this is why one has a blog, if one does. To be just a little less alone in one's grotesque, snot-blowing lassitude.

I'm burnin' dross, replacin' wishbone w/ backbone as fast as I can, and reachin' all the way up to grab that moon instead of just pointin' at it.

Plus, eliding my -ings for casual effect. It's all good. Thanks, Scott, Mom, and Universe, in no particular order.

Kellybelle said...

Barack is the nominee. DOesn't that lift your spirits? There's hope!! If that's not enough, remember what Bo Diddley said: "Damn a back door."