We are paid to think – literally. Companies pay us thousand of dollars for our ability to think and solve problems. So naturally our brain is wired to think, evaluate, compare, devise solutions. It’s a blessing and a curse. I realize at times, I forget to turn off my brain and also think, analyze, and compare too much when it comes to life. Life is to be experienced and enjoyed but not over-analyzed.
I have a flexible job that pays well, a loving family, husband, and daughter. All have good health and we just went on a fabulous vacation in Cancun. I should be delirious with my good situation and fortune. Instead, what am I thinking about these days? Am I achieving enough? What is my next challenge? Am I being lazy? Should we have a second child? Can we afford their college if we have a second one? Curse of an over-analytical mind. Don’t get me wrong, self awareness is good – but these questions are more loaded with worry or self-criticism than awareness. There are for sure happier people out there who are less analytic and with less financial means or planning.
It’s time to catch myself and stop this over-active brain. It’s time to stop thinking so much. As odd as that sounds, the more I stop thinking or analyzing outside of work, the happier I am. I already feel better as I write this. Our mind can be so silly with non-sense sometimes. Below I share with you one of my favorite stories from a Book of Zen by an Anonymous writer. Perhaps it can inspires you as it inspires me.
A woman was very successful in her career, a loving mother to her children, and a supportive and caring mate to her spouse. One morning she found herself feeling that despite the practical accomplishments of many of her activities, her life lacked sufficient meaning. In spite of all that she did each day she felt hollow. She resolved that if she could find more internal strength and renew her energies, the sum of her activities could bring her closer to knowing the meaning of it all.
She had vacation time coming to her at work, knew that her mother would be more than happy to watch her children for a few days, and her spouse would be understanding of her need to take some time for herself.
The woman went to a spa recommended to her by a number of her friends. At the spa a simple schedule was arranged, and a thoughtful staff member reminded her of when she needed to be in each place and escorted her to the various facilities. Exercise regimens, massages, facials, wholesome food, and healing baths were arranged. On the morning of the day that she was scheduled to leave the spa a beautifully serene woman sat down across from her in the meditation room. This woman did not speak at first, but made it clear by her posture that the visitor could, if she chose, engage her in a conversation or ask questions.
“Tell me please why, even though I enjoy my work, adore my children, have love and compassion toward my husband, and have good self-image, do I feel that something is missing? Is there something that I am doing wrong? Is there something I am not doing? Is there something else that I can do?”
“Yes, there is, said the woman. “It is not found in pleasures. It is not found in material things. It is not thinking.”
Enjoy life and good luck out there!