in Business, Creativity, Motivation, Philosophy, Psychology, Science

At Wit’s End – Things We Tell Ourselves That Just Ain’t So

“Self-improvement is the name of the game, and your primary objective is to strengthen yourself, not to destroy an opponent.”

– Maxwell Maltz

It was Saturday morning and I went to the kitchen to make some breakfast. I was talking to my girlfriend while rummaging around and checked the vegetable compartment for a banana.

While I was listening to her I caught myself once again checking the same compartment. That’s when I noticed that they’d been moved to another compartment. We laughed about it because, you know, “morning brain”.

This got me thinking about how we’re wired to look for the fastest, simplest answer.

Either we keep bashing our heads against the same wall or we give up. In one case our persistence doesn’t allow us to consider another answer (the bananas can’t be somewhere else), in the other we’re not persistent enough (there aren’t any bananas).

Neither of these serve us well.

When we open up to other possibilities (Aha, the bananas must be somewhere else!) and persist we can easily find another answer.

Now, sometimes we want bananas but they aren’t available. Should we get mad at it? Go hungry? Or should we simply find a suitable replacement?

I’ve got a friend who’s very intelligent. Hand him a complex problem and he can solve it pretty quickly.

However, he’s also very impulsive and impatient. If the answer doesn’t come easily to him he’s prone to give up.

One of his favorite phrases is “I’m at my wit’s end.”

Wits EndSo that’s where he’s at.

It’s not that he’s not smart enough to come up with the answers. He just can’t be bothered to persist.

These traits have both served and harmed him throughout his life.

I’ve seen plenty of people who aren’t as smart as him do things he thought impossible simply because they had the patience and willingness to sit through the uncomfort of not seeing the answer almost immediately.

There’s something to be said about the intelligence of being patient.

Have a kick-ass ₢eative day!

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