Elementary, My Dear Watson

Thursday, May 17, 2018 No tags Permalink

One of the (many, many) good things about summertime is that I quite willingly wake up early.  I have more time to morning, to sip my cold brew coffee on the patio, and to do a bit of reading to start my day on a positive note.

Found in my reading this morning:

The older we grow, and the more real-world tragedies and challenges we witness, the more we realize how incredibly blessed we are, and how frequently the fantasies in our heads hold us back from these blessings. In fact, you’ve likely fantasized your way into headaches and heartaches hundreds of times in the past. We all do this to a greater or lesser extent…

We stress ourselves out, because of fantasies.

We procrastinate to the point of failure, because of fantasies.

We get angry with others, with ourselves, and with the world at large, because of fantasies.

We miss out on many of life’s most beautiful and peaceful moments, because of fantasies.

So today, I challenge you to move through this day and practice seeing life as it truly is…

Do what you have to do without fantasizing and fearing the worst, lamenting about what might happen, or obsessing over how difficult your work is. Just begin, take it one step at a time, and do the best you can.

See others for who they are, and accept them, without needless judgments. Choose not to allow their behavior to dominate your thoughts and emotions. Just be present and accepting. Then decide if you want to spend extra time with them. If not, part ways with dignity.

Replace your fantasies with full presence…

And invest your best into what you’ve got, right in front of you.

 

So here’s my conundrum. Just how, precisely, do you “see life as it truly is”? How do you do that without making judgments? As it’s impossible to ever know everything about any given person or situation, how do you fill in the blanks?

Growing up, I drove my mom a little crazy because I had this need to understand everything. I’m sure I was exhausting. I learned to entertain myself by practicing deductive reasoning and trained my brain to notice minuscule details.

To keep myself occupied, I read mystery novels. It’s still one of my favorite genres, and I love British mystery TV shows. When the latest version of Sherlock launched on BBC in 2010, I was hooked.  The way Sherlock’s deductive reasoning was shown was spot on.

But deductive reasoning has many flaws. Deductive reasoning is only as good as a) having the initial assumption being true, and b) not making logical errors. “Confirmation bias” and like errors of the human mind often lead to failure to see that initially assumed facts are in fact incorrect.

Basically, I’m causing myself a lot of unnecessary pain by thinking that I must analyze and make sense of every single thing. Old habits die hard, but they can die with hard work and intention. I am perfectly imperfect…a work in progress.

1 Comment
  • kathryn
    May 17, 2018

    You are so very intelligent and that can be both a blessing and a curse.

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