I let someone else tell me how I was supposed to be successful. I let someone else tell me who I should be. I believed them.
I have an odd strategy for working out problems. I stop thinking about them. It took me a long time to come to this strategy. I was taught from an early age that if you thought about a problem hard enough, and for long enough, and you were smart enough, you’d come up with an answer. The problem with this way of thinking is, if you thought hard, and thought long and you didn’t come up with an answer… there was only one other variable there that could be the cause of failure.
That’s kind of a soul crushing realization for a kid. I won’t say that it’s why I was always in the ‘doesn’t live up to potential’ category at school. I have a deep distrust of — and rebellion against — authority, which was a significant contributing factor as well. Still, when you’re bright enough to think that you’re not smart enough, that’s a special kind of hell to be in.
It took me until I was established in my career to I realize that thinking long and hard aren’t the top of my problem-solving toolkit. Oh, I can think long, and I can think hard, but that’s not where solutions come from for me. For me, solutions come from intuition and my subconscious. It’s not the sort of thing that you’re taught in school.
People look at me strange when I ask what a computer is feeling. They look at me strange when I say a problem smells like some other problem I’ve encountered before. It’s not your typical rational response to solving problems in technology. It’s not your typical rational response to solving problems in life. At least that’s what I tell myself.
That’s background for my current conundrum: who do I want to be?
I thought I had this figured out. I discovered Buddhism more than a decade ago. While I am a lazy, lazy Buddhist, I have gone from the stage of ‘caucusing with the Buddhists,’ to calling myself one. The idea of living in the moment, striving to have an open, compassionate heart, to see my own emotions when they steered me onto a bad path; that’s where I wanted to be. That’s who I wanted to be.
I looked for ways to weaken the attachments I had to things, and how I thought things should be. For a while I was happy living that way. Then I ran into a problem. I listened to something someone else told me.
read more -> https://medium.com/human-parts/f1ed0b0316e6
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