Overcoming Our Intellect


Greetings from 35,000ish feet.  I’m on my way back from Florida and despite the cramped conditions in coach here on Delta Flight 1580 from Atlanta to Hartford, I figured I would bust out my laptop and have at it.


As I wrote in my previous post, when I am out of my regular locale and on the road, I tend to find myself in a different (and oftentimes better) mindset than I had prior to my trip.  The effect of the change in my physical surroundings in the way my mind thinks is always noticeable.  What’s also noticeable is the fact that I probably don’t take advantage of this phenomenon often enough when I really need a kick in my creative behind.  It’s not like I need to hit up the beaches of Tahiti every time I need to reawaken my artistic muse, right?  I could just take a drive to someplace an hour or so away that I never go to and I should be able to reboot nicely.

But there it is again… that trend I often find myself slinking back into when my vigilance wanes… that trend of knowing things I like or things that do good for me, but then not actually taking much time to do them.  Habit is a funny beast, my friends, and it needs on your lack of awareness and any scrap of apathy that may fall off the table of your life.

Do you feel it as well?  That sense that you know the good for your life, want to pursue it and then find yourself on a proverbial (or maybe even literal) couch with 2 empty bags of pork rinds and a 3 liter jug of Mountain Dew carelessly tossed at your feet?

In that way, I find our species to be a peculiar one, where the gift of our vast intellect often works in direct opposition to what is best for us.  I mean, think about it for a second: how many other animals (outside of those damn cliff jumping lemmings) will engage in behavior that doesn’t serve it’s own good on this kind of scale?

We seem to do so because we can rationalize the bad choices and decisions with all kinds of fluffy excuses about why we didn’t hit the marks we really wanted.  Ain’t having the most advanced brain of any critter on the planet just grand sometimes?

But hey, I’m not one to get myself too mired in the negativity, but I do like to use this as a vehicle to keep myself honest and perhaps allow you to have that moment as well… because that’s what this blog is meant to be: an honest assessment of where I am, where I need to be and how I can help others in that exact same journey forward.  It’s not always going to be smooth and perfect, but every step of it is mine and that I really do like.

3 Replies to “Overcoming Our Intellect”

  1. I am an expert rationalizer (is that even a word?). I know *exactly* what’s good for me most of the time but I tend to find lots of excuses for not doing whatever it is. I often get really psyched about a particular thing, do it for awhile and then . . . I don’t know. Lose interest because maybe I’m not progressing fast enough? Something new and shiny caught my eye? I got distracted by the package of Tostitos with a hint of lime (I’m not much of a pork rind eater . . .)?

    You make a good point about how we use our smarts to derail our spirits. And in my experience, lawyers are especially good at that because we tend to be such good talkers. We can talk ourselves into (or out of) pretty much anything.

    I find when I stop talking and start listening – to my heart, my soul – that’s when I move in the right direction. And based on what’s going on with me right now, I think it’s time for me to tell my brain to hush for awhile. Thanks for the timely post!

  2. So true – lawyers are far too good at talking up a blue storm, even to themselves. I hope you get back into the good habits… I know I could use a role model for staying mindful.

  3. Kevin – Now you’ve hit on it . . . I’m a sucker for helping other people! If my getting back into good habits will help you, then I’m all in 🙂

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