Do people say to you “You’re thinking about it too much,” or “You’re analyzing it too much,” or things like that?
I usually tell them that to me ideas are like Lego pieces. I like turning them around, looking at them from different angles, seeing how I put them together with others, taking them apart and reassembling them, and so on. So to me when someone says I’m thinking about something too much, it’s like they’re saying “You’re having too much fun.” That doesn’t make any sense to me at all. I like having fun.
It still took me a while to figure out how people could misunderstand something so clear and important, since few things are more important to me than making sure I have enough fun in my life.
Also, I don’t just choose to think about anything. I think about things I expect to yield results. Everyone does this. You wouldn’t say to Usain Bolt, “You think about running too much.” You know that’s what he does and his analysis helps him become the fastest in the world.
Eventually I realized what was happening. Everyone likes what they like and they like thinking about those things. To them, what they think about is interesting, intriguing, fascinating, and so on. You have your interests. I have mine. Some interests overlap. When they do, if I tell you about my interest, you’ll find it interesting. We’ll share our thoughts and feel we have something in common.
If our interests don’t overlap we won’t find the other person’s thing as interesting. Someone who gets that different people have different interests may be bored by the other person, but they’ll respect that the other person cares about something as important to them as anything they do for themselves.
Someone who doesn’t get that different people have different interests will think the other person has a problem and say something like “You’re thinking about it too much.” They’re simply saying “I don’t have enough empathy or compassion to recognize your values so I’ll use mine… Oh, what do you know, you don’t measure up to me.”
Figuring that out made things fall into place for me. That’s why I enjoy analyzing things. It improves my life.
Learn to make Meaningful Connections
with a simple, effective exercise from my book, Leadership Step by Step.
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