I’ve had the habit of thinking since I was very young. I would be pacing around the house, daydreaming about the silliest things like how cool would it be to have a BMX. The daydreams were very real to me and I would be laughing and singing to myself.
In my professional life, I was always striving to obtain the “One Original Thought”. An idea that is so revolutionary that no one in this world could have thought of. For 12 years I would say that I only had one original thought. That worked out very well for me. But the other times, I’d be torturing myself to come up with original thoughts. I abused drugs, drank myself silly and didn’t sleep for days on end. It was an exhausting lifestyle to say the least.
One of my favourite books is Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It is an autobiography of some sort by Robert M. Pirsig. In it, Pirsig used the analogy of motorcycle maintenance to explain his philosophical thoughts. When I was reading the earlier part of the book, I thought this is guy is brilliant; he was so technical and articulate with his philosophy. But then horror struck when he came upon a question that he struggled to answer. His thoughts kept going in circles and that was the only thing on his mind for years. He ended up in a mental asylum.
For the longest time mankind has always asked questions like “Where do we come from?”, “What’s our purpose in life”, “Is the thought of an apple as real as the apple itself?” etc.
So what if we could find the answer the perennial question of “Which one came first; the chicken or the egg?”. If someone has proved irrefutably that the chicken came first so what would happen? Is KFC going to serve the “Chicken Came First” meals?
What I’m trying to say is that the unanswerable questions in life are only for the academics. The quest to answer them will not make your life any better.
When you realise that you are over thinking, go and distract yourself by finding something physical to do like walking, watering the lawn, washing the dishes, seeing your friends etc. That will keep you from thinking in circles and being sad. Enjoy your life.