Unless we are careful we can end up spending a disproportionate amount of time thinking about things are are utterly irrelevant.
When I was training for Ironman I went to a bike shop in Manchester. One of the customers was asking the sales advisor about the weight of the wheels on one of the bikes, wheels which cost more than the whole of my bike. I wondered just how much of an advantage a few grams here and there would make for what appeared to be a casual weekend rider. I still do wonder.
I wonder why we spend so much time thinking about things like this, rather than focusing on the quality of our thoughts. Unless we are careful we can become distracted by the sheer volume of stuff out there to think about. When this happens, when we find ourselves being distracted by thoughts and questions that don’t really serve us, I find it useful to pause, take a breath or two, and I remind myself that just because I’m thinking about which socks to wear for a long run doesn’t mean that the thought, the question, is either useful or one that should demand my attention.
Actually, I don’t ever think about which socks to wear for running anymore. At one time I had twin skin socks, padded socks, low cut socks, racing socks, ventilated socks. It just became something else to think about. I’d started running as a way to help me to escape from excessive thinking and worrying, and then I found myself worrying about socks. So I bought a load of standard cheap sports socks and have been wearing them ever since without ever getting excessively hot feet or a blister. Not once. Writing this is the first time I’ve thought about socks in years. That’s great. Our purpose is life is not really to think about socks.
There is an embarrassment of choice out there. Nearly all of it is obnoxious mental noise; it’s incessant chatter that can, unless we are careful, distract us from the work in front of us. I believe that one way in which we can lead more content and fulfilled lives is by realising that such choices are illusory inasmuch as they promise much and deliver little.
We are what we think we are. We should chose our thoughts wisely.