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Thinking too much

Here are a couple of ideas to solve the problem.

So you'd like to... know if you qualify as NewAge++ - A guide by Christopher Locke, author-in-progress, Mystic Bourgeoisie.

I'd like to ask you to consider a category I've lately been calling NewAge++. It's hard to boil down to a nice brief dictionary definition (I'm working on it), but you'll recognize yourself as a bona fide member of the class if you can relate positively to the following qualifiers.

  • You're Not New Age.
  • You're Spiritual But Not Religious,
  • Your Goal is to Integrate Body, Mind and Spirit,
  • You Think Self-Esteem is Healthy Narcissism,
  • You've Read Everything You Can Get Your Hands On by Elaine Pagels,
  • You're Heavy Into Quantum Physics,
  • You've Personally Met Jung's Archetypes,
  • You Forgave And Forgot,
  • You're in the Now Now,
  • Your Friends Are All White.

Thanks Dave Weinberger for the tip.

From the NY Times, Op-Ed Contributor

Don't Think Twice, It's All Right


Published: December 29, 2005

IT'S navel gazing time again, that stretch of the year when many of us turn our attention inward and think about how we can improve the way we live our lives. But as we embark on this annual ritual of introspection, we would do well to ask ourselves a simple question: Does it really do any good?

What can we do to improve ourselves and feel happier? Numerous social psychological studies have confirmed Aristotle's observation that "We become just by the practice of just actions, self-controlled by exercising self-control, and courageous by performing acts of courage." If we are dissatisfied with some aspect of our lives, one of the best approaches is to act more like the person we want to be, rather than sitting around analyzing ourselves.

Social psychologist Daniel Batson and colleagues at the University of Kansas found that participants who were given an opportunity to do a favor for another person ended up viewing themselves as kind, considerate people - unless, that is, they were asked to reflect on why they had done the favor. People in that group tended in the end to not view themselves as being especially kind.

The trick is to go out of our way to be kind to others without thinking too much about why we're doing it. As a bonus, our kindnesses will make us happier.