Yesterday, someone who just met me answered a question by asking “Have been told you overthink things?” It was a pretty spot-on reading.
This morning, I came across this passage:
From the point of view of Samaya, we could say that looking for alternatives is the only thing that keeps us from realizing that we’re already in a sacred world. Looking for alternatives—better sights than we see, better sounds than we hear, a better mind than we have—keeps us from realizing that we could stand with pride in the middle of our life and realize it’s a sacred mandala. We have such a deep tendency to want to squirm out of it, like a beetle on a pin: we squirm and try to get away from just being on the dot.Pema Chödrön, When Things Fall Apart
This really clicks when you’re the kind of person who has a setup for managing your to-dos, but keep Googling ways you might optimize or refine it with one more trick.
Or you’ve been stuck trying to finish a draft of something you’re writing, because you think it could be better if you spent a little more time on the thinking about the writing instead of the writing.
That pernicious idea that you must keep looking and contemplating for a better way to do things before the doing, instead of treating the doing as the path to better. That the doing is good enough.
It’s something I remind students of, and have to remind myself of frequently: You can’t revise what you haven’t written. Searching for better and ruminating is like trying to write the third draft of a blank page.
I must remind myself of this more often.