On Overthinking (Three Ways to Stop)

Overthinking hinders many opportunities.

Connor Delaney’s comic over at Drawing Board depicts it perfectly.

In the comic, many hypothetical situations occur in a never ending layered thinking sequence.
A guy is sitting inside a subway train. All of a sudden, a girl sits next to him. Or does she? Do either of the two want to talk to one another? Or is silence better?

Instead of overthinking it, there are three contrasting solutions towards taking action:

1. Expect the best outcome. Everyone is a friend. That girl/guy wants you to talk to her/him. Your idea will create positive change. You will lose those 10 pounds within a month.

2. Expect the worst outcome. Everyone will laugh at you. The girl/guy will think you’re a waste of space. Your idea will ultimately fail. You won’t lose any weight no matter what you do.
(Therefore, you’re forcing your brain to actually do it to prove that imaginary idea wrong. Then you realize it’s never as bad as you think it’ll be.)

3. Expect no outcome. Let things happen and control your own actions. Let people decide for themselves. Create your idea and see what happens. See what happens when you exercise. (When using this method, I imagine a blank canvas or an empty mirror.)

Figure out which one works best for you and use that one.

Create Conversation

As I sat on the bus, an attractive lady sat a couple of rows in front of me. Our eyes locked together before she sat down. However, my stop was next. I exited the bus without another glance.

Looking back, I wish I changed my plans slightly and sat next to her on the bus. Whatever it takes to create conversation.

As I walked in the coffee area, people were sipping on their coffee, looking at their Apple computers, and looking generally bored. However, I kept on walking by.

Looking back, I wish I talked to some of them. I may have asked them about their coffee drink or what they’re studying. Whatever it takes to create conversation.

As I waited at the bus stop, I froze along with multiple folks in the forty degree morning. I could have asked about their final exams as well as talk about mine. However, I stayed quiet and continued freezing.

Looking back, I wish I warmed up to them. Whatever it takes to create conversation.

As I scroll about looking at my Twitter feed, I looked at all the various tweets and blog posts. I have an opportunity to connect by leaving comments. However, I got lazy.

Looking back, I wish I left more replies to their Twitter or blog. Whatever it takes to create conversation.


You’ll always have opportunities to create conversation. Are you willing to get over yourself to actually create them? Give them the chance to respond.