MIND CONTROL OR SLEDGEHAMMER? | Timothy Joseph, Author | Writing The Best Books & Essays



This essay is only for those unfortunate enough to have the same inability as me; one both frustrating and unhealthy. Those of us plagued with this deficit should perhaps get together and form support group so we don’t all go nuts—perhaps call it the SSA—Sledgehammer Swingers Anonymous. If we pool our brainpower, who knows, just maybe we could find a solution, or a mechanism to better endure the constant onslaught.

Life is all about choices and decisions. We make them usually based on what we think is best—but sometimes we don’t think it out and just react. Even a good decision (i.e. a purchase, a selection, a route, a statement) may turn out opposite what we expected. Our whole life is an accumulation of decisions and reactions, good, bad, and indifferent. And, unless you’re incredibly perceptive, astute, and downright lucky, some, if not many turned out to be wrong. How often have I looked back and thought, how could I be so stupid, or why didn’t I just stop there, or if only I had listened, or why on earth did I do that, and how about this one, I knew better, damn!

So we trek along the thousands of highways and byways of life, making decision after decision, big and small, and as we do, we tally up the good, indifferent, and stupid, hoping the unwise decisions don’t end up cutting off our thumb in the table saw, falling off the roof cleaning the gutters, lose our ass in the stock market, or hurt someone because of something we said or didn’t say.

Well, all you insightful people out there smart enough to accept and forget all those ‘stupid’ and sometimes ‘costly’ choices,  who learn from them, toss them in the trash, and just move on are the truly smart ones—not so for those of us in the SSA. What do we do? Why, we continually beat ourselves up for every big and small bad decision. Nothing is more stupid or destructive than to keep kicking yourself for something you did, said, didn’t say, bought, sold, built wrong, didn’t build, broke, ruined, selected, didn’t select, didn’t do, didn’t see, ignored, listened to, should have done, or wish you’d known. History can’t be changed—not the good or the stupid.

When an SSA member’s head hits the pillow, instead of the good and wonderful popping up, we lie there kicking ourselves over that huge bank account of stupidity we deposited over the years. One by one, we pull out a deposit of stupidity and ask ‘Why?’ Some of us are so rash, we go all the back to high school and wish we’d been different; college, career, relationships, and all the should-of, could-of, would-of, and all the if only we’d be smarter—now how dumb is that? And we keep dredging deeper—never a break. Case-in-point; it’s 2:21am and guess why I’m up writing this? Yup—can’t sleep because my mind has dredged up a bunch of sludge—I should be president of the SSA.

The sad thing is that mind control is not at all easy to do for some of us. We may completely understand it makes no sense to dwell on the negative and everyone makes mistakes—but understanding doesn’t always lead to implementation. How does one control what they think, or where their mind takes them? How do we “Focus” on all the positive and put aside the negative? How do we change our direction of thought—or can we? Can Yoga help? I don’t know, I think I’ll give it an honest try.

What I do know is I’m not alone in the stupidity department, and maybe I’ve made more stupid decisions than the average bloke, but I absolutely do know I really need to find an eraser and put it to work or at least block out the stupids and highlight the wondrous. Too, I know the “wondrous” far outweigh and outnumber the stupid, so if I can only shift my mind to the bigger portion of my life, I’d be home free.

Other than a sledgehammer to my head, I really have no clue on how to control the direction of my thoughts—I wish I did—for I’d share it with you if you’re in the SSA. However, since I don’t know how to control my mind’s eye, I’m going to try to blind it instead. How? By forcing the wondrous to the forefront, and in doing so, make no room for the stupid. I’m going to drown out the negative. Look, taking a sledgehammer to my head might do the trick, but my wife refuses, and besides, it seems she tossed the sledgehammer in the lake—so why not follow her example and drown the ‘stupid’ as well? If you’re an SSA members why not give it a try—your president is going to—here’s hoping.  tj




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