Strings: An Analogy
2 years ago
It is easy to say stop thinking. And it is easy to do for an instant. But your mind is not always on your side. It is constantly coming up with new thoughts to think about.
I liken these thoughts that your mind comes up with to stings. It is like walking down a road with a destination in mind. But your commitment to going to the destination is lukewarm. As you walk along, you see a string. The string symbolizes a thought that enters your mind and your destination symbolizes your purpose.
The string leads somewhere else. It is attractive for some reason; perhaps if you follow the string you will walk down a familiar path and that familiarity makes you feel comfortable. This is like thinking thoughts you have thoughts you have thought before and thinking them again vindicates your choice in your own mind (’I am right!’, ‘I feel better for thinking these thoughts.’, etc.). You feel good. But you are no closer to your destination. In fact you are probably farther from it.
The thought/string you followed also conjured up feelings - thoughts are often associated with feelings - and these are also familiar and comfortable. The problem is these feelings tax your energy, regardless of how familiar they are or how good they feel or how righteous they make you feel.
So following these strings is a temptation. It is difficult to resist. And once you resist one, you are not placed in a gain situation; you merely avoided a loss. But by not following the string you feel like you lost an opportunity for those good feelings. So resisting the temptation is doubly hard. You get no tangible payoff by resisting the temptation, and you feel a loss at the same time.
Persist for a Long Time
Only after resisting to follow many many strings do you get to a position of perspective. You will see those strings as false promises leading nowhere and distracting you from your life. Once you get to this point you will see that being right has little practical value. Save your energy and stay focused. Do not follow strings.