Are You ‘Too Analytical’ For Your Own Good???
“When you’re a theorist, the two most addictive states to be in are excited and confused.”
~ Prof. Lawrence M. Krauss (theoretical physicist, director of ASU’s Origins Project)
When you’re an overly-theoretical person, the two most addictive states of mind you’ll find yourself constantly wavering between are (1) excited, and (2) confused, because these are the states of mind that give you either:
A: a chance to exercise your hyper-analytical skills or
B: a chance to revel and bask in the joy of doing just that…
When you’re confused, at a subtle level, you also have an excuse to show off your amazing powers of cognition, give them employ and prove their worth. Underneath your worry and uncertainty lies the promise of wonder and astonishment: you’re sort of like a fashionista yearning for a special occasion to break out her latest dress, or a child with a new toy vying for an opportunity to flaunt his talents. So as frustrating as your hyper-analytical habits may be, remember that at some level there’s a peripheral payoff you’re unconsciously gaining from the procedure (otherwise it wouldn’t become such a debilitating habit to begin with and you wouldn’t be so addicted to it).
When you’re excited, on the other hand, it’s because you’ve become victorious in this pursuit. Your new realizations validate you in a certain way, give you new avenues to explore, even more subjects to analyze and so on. Thus, ironically, the confusion-excitement dynamic of hyper-analysis is more so an emotional process than it is an intellectual one.
If you’re really honest with yourself – and if you’re a theoretical, conceptual, cerebral, introspective, reflective type of person – you’ll see this as naturally true, and of course you’re challenge is then to become active; to grow into a more action-oriented type of person who values results, purposeful activity and accomplishment over mere talk, theorizing or postulating and pontificating on matters.
A New Poem of Mine on the Subject
“Do I take action? Or rather am I trapped in… /
A bad habit of over-intellectual distraction? /
I contemplate well, but is my contemplation a jail?/
Or can contemplation prevail??? /
Is there a career where mental-pioneers share…/
Near part of the sphere ruled by ideas? /
Am I too analytical and should I calm down ? /
Or end the self-ridicule and treat it like a crown? /
Cause my 7th Chakra – my pineal gland’s – hotter /
Then a lot of hip-hoppers who’s yadda-yadda means nada. /
I drop it proper: kicking logic like it’s soccer /
But not unstoppable when locked in philosophic-drama. /
Where my talent and my hindrance are both the same /
You’ll find my life’s arch-nemesis inside my brain. /
I said my talent and my hindrance…they both the same: /
My life’s arch-nemesis is inside my brain (because I’m) /
Poetry’s something I’ll get back into in the near future, but for now, just ask yourself the question: “Am I too analytical for my own good? What can I do to circumvent or mitigate this habit, yet still hold on to the joys and practical benefits it provides?” (Writing, blogging and tying your creative expression to a professional aim are a few examples.)
And remember, when you’re a theorist – when you’re overly-conceptual, absent-minded and “too analytical” for your own good – the two most addictive states to be in are excited and confused; they’re simply emotional offsets to an obsession you need to remain privy to, cognizant of and vigilant against so as to become the type of person who produces results, accomplishes goals and walks forward in life.
For more on taming your hyper-intellectual habits and becoming a practical, action-oriented person for good, check out my book How to Conquer Yourself: Discipline & Willpower for the Conscious, Creative Thinker now.