Monday, May 5, 2014

A Nice Game of Chess

I spend a lot of time thinking. It is just what my brain does. It thinks, it processes, it turns over information and tries to see other options. It obsesses and replays and cycles back around again. The brain is made to process information and it is good at its job.

We are all processing, thinking, planning, plotting, examining, reviewing, decision making, second guessing, changing our minds, regretting our choices... all day long and often in the middle of the night.

For some of us our brain works for us, but for others, me, my brain can turn on me if I allow it to run itself.

I don't know if you ever saw the movie War Games with Matthew Broderick. It's the story of a high school computer hacker (back before there was even the term hacker) who broke into a government computer and started playing a game that simulated World War 3 between Russia and the US. Except it turns out it wasn't a game and somehow this super computer began to play for real. (Spoiler alert) Part of the plot has the computer searching through all the possible outcomes until the computer comes to the realization that the only way to win that game is to not play.

I am coming to find that may be true with my brain as well.

I love to think about ideas and to ponder the possible. I like to read and discover new things and I love that my mind turns things over and over rubbing off the sharp edges until I have a beautifully polished nugget. But I don't like the obsessing, the time spent rethinking, the second guessing a decision made or something that has already happened.

I think about the time wasted thinking over and over and over and over about something that really did not need that much analysis. I think about the insecurity that creeps in when I live in past conversations and past deeds that have been resolved or at least that we have moved past. I think about the stress I cause by letting simple decisions become a three ring circus of information gathering and listening to so many voices that my own is lost.

My brain is going to process. It is going to do its job and I want that. But I am tired of getting bogged down with obsessive thoughts, with holding onto a topic long past its expiration date. I am tired of feeling like every decision is life or death. And I am tired of being driven by thoughts and intrigues that are not even where I want to spend my time but I do.

I am going to try to retrain my mind. There are things I do want to think about. Books I do want to read. Words I do want to write. But these are all pushed out when I spend my days thinking about the trivial, the unchangeable, the out of my control, or the already well thought through.

It is time to think on something and then move on.

It is time to choose to ponder the better for me.

It is time to for my brain to learn that sometimes it is better to play a different game.

How about a nice game of chess? - Joshua, the computer, from War Games

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