How Thinking Can Be Like Moonwalking

Something my husband said sparked the insight. 

It happened in the middle of a difficult conversation. Not a fight. More of a How-do-I-make-you-understand-me talk. I was stuck, fixating on the details of how one thought led to another. Then suddenly, something he said unstuck me.

"Remember the story Forever Overhead by David Foster Wallace?" he asked. "Remember how the whole thing took place in just two minutes?"

stuck thinking

(I did remember. It's a great story from Brief Interviews with Hideous Men. You can hear DFW read it himself here.)

My husband continued,

A person can fill any amount of time with an unlimited amount of thoughts.

That's when the insight struck in a felt way. The difference between The Stuckness and The Glide.

The times I've been happiest, my thinking glides. I'm not overly-self conscious in those moment. I don't try to track every thought. I'm not living in the DFW story.

I know what the glide feels like.  

unstuck thoughts

I realize now: everyone can get hung up in stuckness. It comes and goes.

Getting stuck in your thoughts does not make you unusual.  

The key is to focus on the glide. Remember what it feels like. Look for it again, and reinforce it when it happens. 

Build on the glide, and you'll be good. 


This was originally published on Oct 16, 2016 in the Bevoya newsletter. Subscribe here. I'm publishing it on the blog in response to a post I just read on Medium that reminded me about this insight. How quickly we forget!