I’ve been a big believer that accomplishing and succeeding requires thinking more, gathering more data and planning more to yield a better decision and result.
Now I’m not so sure that More is always better or even necessary.
David Eagleman, in the second chapter of his fascinating book about the brain, Incognito, provides illustrations of how we do "not need to be consciously aware to perform sophisticated motor acts.”
Ducking from tree branches or stopping just out of harm’s way when a car suddenly appears - the whole ‘feeling lucky’ and feeling as though someone or God is ‘watching out for us’.
God may have us on his radar screen, but science has also shown that we are born with some amazing ‘circuitry’ that is fully functional and ready to go without us consciously thinking about it. How great is that!!!
Think about an instance when a flying object comes unexpectedly straight at us. We do not take the time to think through options. We duck or bat the object away or move to the side - all done in a split second and with no conscious thought involved. ‘More thinking’ 'More Data' and 'More Planning' in this instance are certainly not relevant.
In relationships, I've also noticed that 'too much thinking' often leads to more problems instead of better understanding. If we stress out over every comment we make or that was made to us, just think of the time and energy we use, let alone the worry and stress.
We all make mistakes at times, and that's ok. Strong and authentic relationships will survive occasional 'slip ups'.
While mistakes happen, words do matter. Often more fretting and more words don't improve the situation.
What I am suggesting is to Create the possibility of choosing words from a loving place, and then just enjoy the relationships. We are in relationships in the first place to share our love and experience the warmth and joy of connecting.
If we all speak with care and love as our default way of speaking, that will help!
Then there's our work situations. Have you ever experienced leading teams or being on teams that painstakingly gather as much data from as many sources as possible? What about 'thinking more' to anticipate every possible roadblock and obstacle to the successful completion of the project?
Have you been required to 'cross every T and dot every i' and try to think about problems before they arise? All the while, did you wonder how the projects were even related to the overall mission of the company or organization?
It's no wonder we often find ourselves in "analysis paralysis" and feel so stressed and miserable at work. More meetings, more thinking and more data are often done to the extreme. We often justify the need for our jobs by engaging in a bunch of tasks that we can check off as completed. Look how much I and my team did, so we must be really needed.
And then the project report sits on a shelf, perhaps not even thoroughly read by those who requested it. And the team is off on another project.
I eventually realized that for me, pushing myself and others to always 'do more tasks' , 'gather more data', 'think more' wasn't necessarily leading me or others to truly succeed in the more important goal of living a life we love.
Making a living, supporting ourselves and our families and contributing to the success of our companies and organizations are laudable and necessary components of life. Equally important is approaching our relationships, our work and our lives with the ease and simplicity of loving language and intent, less stress, less struggle, less criticism and even less thinking.
Maybe less = better?
Please share your thoughts and tell me what you think?
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