jump to navigation

Great Minds Like A Think July 11, 2013

Posted by nrhatch in Happiness, Humor, Mindfulness, People.

170px-Alice_par_John_Tenniel_30Many/most/all humans are delusional.

We accept what conforms to our beliefs and reject any and all evidence to the contrary.

By way of example, in college, when I was slim and trim, I saw only my imperfections and envisioned myself as an impossibly large gargantuan plodding oaf.

Fi Fie Fo Fum.

When I flip through photo albums and see photos of me THEN, now . . . I am amazed (and dismayed) at my ridiculously skewed judgment back then.

What the hell was I thinking?

In like vein, now that I am not so young and lithesome, I see myself in my mind’s eye as youthful and spry.

Until I see photographic evidence to the contrary or am taken aback by peering into the mirror and really seeing myself as I am, today.

Wow!  When did THAT happen?!

And it’s not just me.  Of course it isn’t.

I see plenty of hare-brained, bird-brained, scatter-brained folks wandering blithely about . . . oblivious to reality, lost in delusional thinking.

Calvin-gots-an-IdeaGiven that we are subject to delusions in our thinking, the trick is to make our delusions work FOR us not AGAINST us.

Visualize yourself as you want to be . . . and you will become.  Or you won’t. But in the meantime, you’ll be far happier.

Aah . . . that’s better!

And, now, a question.  If you had to choose between being “brilliant, but troubled” or a “happy idiot,” which would you choose?

Despite my daily pursuit of happiness, I would NOT voluntarily shed my intelligence and ability to think in order to move a few notches up the happiness ladder.

What about you?

The title of this post is the new marketing slogan for The Economist.


1. Three Well Beings - July 11, 2013

It is a great title! I relate very well to a sometimes distorted vision of myself, but I would prefer today’s vision of “youthful and not so changed” to my true youth, when like you, I didn’t feel comfortable in my own body. I also look at photos and can’t imagine how I could have been so critical! I like Dr. Joy Browne’s encouragement to go through life “stupid and cheerful.” Of course, what she’s really thinking about isn’t true ignorance, but rather not engaging in useless situations that drain us of happiness. I think she’s mostly talking about interpersonal conflicts where it’s best to just smile and walk away. But I love the idea of just being content and “stupid”–like the cat who ate the canary?

nrhatch - July 11, 2013

Yes! I love that! Being “stupid and cheerful” (to me) means:

* NOT having to have ALL the answers ALL of the time.
* Choosing to be HAPPY, rather than insisting on being RIGHT.
* NOT always having to have “the last word.”
* Letting insults sail over our heads rather than piercing our hearts.

Of course, with a first name like JOY, how could she not be cheerful? 😀

2. Don - July 11, 2013

How about a brilliant happy idiot, or is that not allowed?

nrhatch - July 11, 2013

Striving to be brilliant AND happy seems like the right target to aim for ~ perhaps by using our thinking left analytical brain when we have deep thoughts to ponder, and our more creative “go with the flow” right intuitive brain to Be Here Now and Get Happy.

There’s a poem I wrote some time ago that sums up my thinking:

Watch that monkey mind
Racing, racing, all the time
Sit still and just be

The inner critic
Passes judgment too quickly
Learn to ignore it

Accept the “what is”
Even amid pain and tears
Smiles release joy

The thinking brain frets
No snub or slight it forgets
Spirit just smiles

The whole poem is here:

3. jannatwrites - July 11, 2013

My younger self had the same thoughts on my own imperfections. Good thing my younger self didn’t know what her 40-year-old self (post-children) would look like- she would have thought her life was over! Silly girl, life isn’t over…I just buy bigger clothes and climb smaller mountains 🙂

I’m all for a little ignorance if it preserves my happiness.

nrhatch - July 11, 2013

I’m beginning to lean that way myself. I no longer feel compelled to stick my nose/snoz into everybody else’s pie so that I’m “in the know.” At times, ignorance and/or delusional thinking IS bliss!

Aah . . . that’s better. :mrgreen:

4. kateshrewsday - July 11, 2013

The way we pick and choose from reality like a smorgasbord is not abnormal, though; as Daniel Goleman explains so clearly in his ‘Vital Lies, Simple Truths’, we all live life as a dance between attention and inattention. It’s a survival mechanism. We all choose to be unaware – cultivate blind spots in our lives. He quotes one of RD Laing’s knots:

“The range of what we think and do
Is limited by what we fail to notice
And because we fail to notice
That we fail to notice
There is little we can do
To change
Until we notice
How failing to notice
Shapes our thoughts and deeds

nrhatch - July 11, 2013

PERFECT, Kate! That’s it, in a tiny tidy nutshell. We notice what fits into the box we’ve constructed for our beliefs. We are blind to all else . . . unless and until we notice the blind spot and really open our eyes, hearts, and minds. WOW! COOL!

“There are none so blind and those who will not see.”

5. Barbara - July 11, 2013

Brilliant and OMG Who Killed Kenny!!!

nrhatch - July 11, 2013

Great combination, Barbara! 😀

Barbara - July 12, 2013


6. ericjbaker - July 11, 2013

My problem is that I am troubled idiot!

This was funny: impossibly large gargantuan plodding oaf

I’m pretty sure I’m a plodding oaf, but only because I’m smart enough to realize it. Most people who think they are brilliant are nothing of the kind.

nrhatch - July 11, 2013

Uh oh . . . a “troubled idiot” is a double whammy. Or as Robin might say, “Holy One-Two punch, Batman.”

Some people who think they are brilliant are brilliant . . . but lacking in common sense and/or emotional intelligence.

Think Sheldon on the Big Bang. Personally I’d rather be a little less top-heavy in the smarts department while having a bit more social adeptness. He is one big pile of “AWKWARD.” :mrgreen:

7. bluebee - July 11, 2013

When I was going through my photos for the Nostalgic post, I was thinking much the same – why was I always so hung up about my pale skin and titian hair when I was young – I should have just embraced it and said, ‘Screw you!’ to the world 😉

nrhatch - July 12, 2013

Exactly! As teens, my friends and I magnified our perceived imperfections, making them so large they near blocked the sun.
Quel idiots! Now that we are old (and “near-sighted”), we’re far more accepting and tolerant of who we are and how we appear.

“Screw you guys, I’m going home!” 😆

Karen J - July 16, 2013

Yaknow, I think I’druther say “Screw your judgements, I’m going out!” … and smile as I walked away.
Of course, *druther* and *actually would* are two different things entirely…

nrhatch - July 16, 2013

They ARE two different things, aren’t they? I try to set my boundaries without slapping other people around . . . unless, of course, they’re really asking for it. 😆

8. sufilight - July 12, 2013

“I am sorry, I wasn’t paying attention.” 😀 I would have chosen to be brilliant but cannot stand troubled as for most of my life I have been a tad angst ridden, and at my age I have come a long way to lose this again.

It’s funny how one can feel so young but when I look at my reflection sometimes I see a youthful looking baby boomer and at others I show my age; it all depends on the mirror, the light and my mood. LOL

nrhatch - July 12, 2013

That’s such a great answer . . . “oh, sorry, I seem to have lost the thread.” 🙄

Yes! Looking in the same mirror at the same time of day with the same lighting results in different reflections. Probably due to the thoughts we’re thinking.

“Today, I think I shall be . . . 37.” Aah . . . that IS better!

9. Pix Under the Oaks - July 12, 2013

I just know I don’t want to be troubled. I have had enough of that!

nrhatch - July 12, 2013

Same here, Pix. Here’s to clarity and levity in our thinking and smiles on our countenance. :mrgreen:

10. shreejacob - July 13, 2013

Hmm…if there was only those 2 choices I think I’d go for the happy idiot, because to me that “idiot” probably is much wiser that we think he is. To be happy one has to let go of control to embrace life to be strong enough to smile at what life offers us, whichever way if comes. If that makes me a happy idiot..I am all for it!!! 😀

nrhatch - July 13, 2013

Here’s to being wise and happy “idiots.” 😀

11. Perfecting Motherhood - July 18, 2013

I think it takes turning 40 to realize we have nothing to prove to the world and only to ourselves. It’s too bad it takes us this long to get there. The best I can do is help my kids get there faster. 🙂

nrhatch - July 18, 2013

Good luck with that, Milka. Learning that at an early age puts us on much firmer footing.

12. viviankirkfield - July 21, 2013

Happy 37, Nancy…that’s a great age to pick!:) Jack Benny was always 39, I think. I actually feel in my heart like I am 28…now I just have to relay that info to my 66 year old body.:)

I choose happy…it works for me…and for those whose lives I touch. 🙂 Idiot or brilliant or somewhere in between…is not as important.

By the way, Nancy, I am tagging you for the author hop that is going on…I’ll be posting on my blog tonight….and will send you the link. If you would like to participate, just answer the 3 questions in a post and tag three more writers/illustrators.

nrhatch - July 21, 2013

I love the number “37” and felt GREAT at that age ~ it’s a good age to choose to be. Choosing HAPPY is an even better choce.

Tag away! I’ll play along, if I can . . .

What Say YOU?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: