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Pair #92 Now I see you, now I don't
They say we never really know someone.

This weekend while I was reflecting, I realized I don't know anyone.

I look at others and I meet them of course. I interact with them and most of the time you'd call that 'getting to know them.' Yet it struck me that I only know them via my thoughts about them. I literally experience my thinking, not them. And so I create my experience of them.

But only 100% of the time.

Now if you really want to bake your noodle on this, not only do I really not know anyone, but in a very strange sense, they don't even exist. They are standing there, but my experience of them is coming from me.

Which means that on one level, there is no 'other' at all.

Now, I do realize that saying other people don't exist sounds a bit odd. (Just a bit). But if it's true that we are thinking beings, thinking our way through life and that the only experience we are ever having is the experience of what is in our own mind, then it follows that we can't see anyone outside of our thinking about them.  I mean, how could we?

So the only person I've ever met is a bunch of my own thoughts about them. 

You know, isn't it true that time after time we are shocked when we find out that so-and-so had a secret lover, or was embezzling or actually hates chocolate?  Have you never had the experience of talking about someone only to find out that others don't see them the way you do? Aren't we often deeply surprised when someone very close to us reveals a secret dream or longing, or a deep desire that we had no idea about?  Don't we mainly assume people are basically like us and find it strange when they are not?

In fact, we are just walking around, looking at people, and making them up as we go.

We are self-contained, self-referenced, meaning-makers.   Except that we also assume that what we are making is true and real.

So, I guess there is no real like your own real.
© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' on http://elesecoit.com"
 
 
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Pair #91 They don't call it Analysis Paralysis for nothing.
A peacefulness follows any decision, even the wrong one.  ~Rita Mae Brown

Here is the square root of our daily stress. Decisions.  We agonize at length over pros and cons, we have mind-maps and 'Why Trees' and 9-step models that help us over-cook the decision making process. 

Even small decisions that don't always have a huge impact, will be whirled through the endless spin cycle of yes/no/maybe/do you think...?

Did you know that studies have shown that it is no more effective to ponder a decision than to simply pick based on first impression?  It's about 50/50.  In fact, according to research Mark Tyrell turned me onto,  "many decisions you are better off not thinking about it."

I think we have so much trouble with decisions because underneath, we have turned the decision-making process wrong way round: toward ourselves.  We think the big impact of our decision will be whether we turn out to be right or wrong, rather than realizing that some decisions don't matter that much, some are reversible if you get them wrong and most are not really life-threatening.

We are petrified of getting it wrong. Plus, we have a tendency to think our decision scorecard is the mark of our intelligence. Our fear of feeling bad about ourselves and looking bad to others is paralyzing.  Western society prizes logical abilities and in general 'gut feel' gets relegated to the sidelines, only to be brought in in a pinch or a last resort after all of the avenues, fall-backs, consequences and pitfalls have been examined and exhausted. 

It's worth looking to see if drawn out, over-thought decision-making is causing you sleepless nights, or taking up lots of your mental space.

The mind was meant for greater things than data analysis and endless agonizing.
© 2010 Elese Coit
If you wish to reprint, feel free, please link back here and if it's of use, include:
"Elese Coit is a leader in transformative personal change and Hosts the Radio Show A New Way To Handle Absolutely Everything. To see the world differently, reach for one of her '101 New Pairs of Glasses' on http://elesecoit.com"