Thinking

How to learn to think less

Our brain is a true wonder of nature. Even the most difficult tasks can be solved in the shortest possible time. But sometimes our brain bothers us as well, when we think more than we actually do.

We are often asked what successful people actually do differently. It is speculated that these people were probably just more talented, just luckier in life, and so on. When it comes to finding reasons why you didn’t just do something just as good, many people are very inventive.

But the biggest difference is quite simple: Successful and happy people – no matter whether in work, business or private life – seldom wonder if something is possible or not. They just try, even if they fail.

The danger of too much thinking

Average people prefer the easy ways. Very few of us like decisions where the consequences are uncertain.

Most of our parents taught us as early as childhood that we are solely responsible for our actions and must bear the consequences of our decisions.

If one hears from the own environment still persistently sayings like “You can’t do this!” or “That’s nothing for you” and has a rather low self-confidence, it becomes with the positive thinking very heavy.

Desires, dreams and visions then suddenly become such statements as:

  • “I would like to study, but I’m not sure I can do it.”
  • “My parents say I won’t make it and should do something else.”
  • “I’m afraid it will go wrong.”
  • etc.

Of course, such thoughts are important. Not all ideas and projects that are so buzzing around in our heads, we should really implement. So it’s certainly a great idea to get out of society for a year or two, quit the job and the apartment and leave everything behind, but maybe you should think about it a bit more.

Rather, it’s about risks and decisions in life that aren’t a serious threat, but are considered by us as long as the survival of humanity depends on it.

“Who plays, can lose. Those who don’t play have already lost.”
(Bertolt Brecht)

Zum Beispiel verbringen wir oft Tage und Wochen damit, uns zu fragen, ob wir mit jemandem ausgehen wollen, anstatt es einfach zu tun. Am Ende trauten wir uns nicht und werden uns ein Leben lang fragen, ob wir es nicht besser versucht hätten.

It’s therefore better to think through such “low-risk decisions” according to a simplified scheme:

1.) Picture the worst-case scenario

Get used to asking yourself at each decision what might happen in the worst case scenario. Here are a few examples:

  • You want to do a training
    In the worst case, if you don’t pass the exam, you can still pass it in the second or third try. If not, you may have lost time, but you probably couldn’t have done better anyway. And no one can take away the knowledge that you have gained.
  • You are afraid of a new relationship
    In the worst case, the relationship will fail after having days, weeks, months, or even years of beautiful moments in it.

You should always keep in mind: With most of the decisions you have to make, in the worst case, nothing life-threatening will happen.

Sure, nobody likes to make wrong decisions. But they’re part of life and not the end of the world. Any wrong choices makes you a little more mature.

2.) Include own experiences

Honestly, how many bad experiences have you had in life? Probably more than enough, like all of us. But still you’re here reading these lines.

And that’s the point! Keep reminding yourself how many times you’ve made wrong choices and how little they have actually hurt you in the end for your entire life.

Whether it was a time when you didn’t feel well financially, if you just lost a job, or a relationship came to an end, in the end you made it and gained your experience.

3.) Ask yourself a simple question

If a decision is in front of you, ask yourself what you could live with better:

  1. Don’t try it and then ask you again and again how your life would look like if you had tried and done it.
  2. Try it, possibly fail, but know the rest of your life that you have tried.

There is no right or wrong answer here. Everyone thinks differently here. For me personally, it would be strange to have to ask myself again and again, if I had not tried something better. But as I said, every person is different here.

Every day of our lives will demand one or the other decision. There are endless ways and possibilities. Which of you ultimately choose for you, only you can decide for yourself.

However, get used to not thinking about things unnecessarily long, when in the end hardly anything bad can happen. Listen to your heart, your intuition and only spend a long time thinking about things that really matter.

In a nutshell

We tend to think about the smallest and most insignificant decisions in our lives, until we finally find enough reasons not to.

We often decide against our feeling and leave many really good opportunities in life left. Successful people don’t do. They also make decisions that put them at risk of going wrong. Simply in the knowledge that success can only come from experiments and trials.

So get used to asking yourself the question of what can happen in the worst case and remind you how you’ve already coped with failure in life.

For many decisions in life you do not have time forever, some chances come only once. So get used to wondering what can happen in the worst case, and remember how you’ve already mastered other situations in life.

Don’t think too much, just do it!

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