What’s Your Thinking Style?

When is addiction good and when is it bad?

Can something like addiction ever be considered good these days when so much attention is focused on how bad it is for us, and not just for us but for others too?

There are countless articles, books, blog posts and more written about the negative side of addiction, of bad habits, and how to break such things, change, re-wire our brains, fix our thinking and what it makes us do… it’s almost as though we’re addicted to discussing addiction, to seeing it as a bad thing and trying to cure it as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.

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“As long as we continue to live as if we are what we do, what we have, and what other people think about us, we will remain filled with judgments, opinions, evaluations, and condemnations. We will remain addicted to putting people and things in their “right” place.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen

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There is even such a term as having an addictive personality. I’m never sure when people say that about themselves if they mean that their personality is addictive for others or if their personality gets easily addicted. I know it’s supposed to mean the latter, but… my mind often wanders into a wondering about the other side of things.

So it both surprised and intrigued me when I read an article in Wired magazine singing the praises of a man whose job it is to help companies get people addicted to their products. This is actually the second article which I have come across in that magazine (in a previous issue) about this subject. Of using the addictive tendencies of humans to get them hooked on what you’re selling and keep them coming back for more and more and more.

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The article is – Under The Influence – in this month’s UK edition of Wired (with the Netflix guy on the cover), and it comes with a chart outlining Nir Eyal’s technique (which is considered to be highly successful).

Curious to know how I’m being manipulated (and perhaps how to avoid such a thing) rather than to know how to manipulate for my business or personal benefit (I’d rather not do things that way), I started following the graph, but my mind wandered off after reading #1 – Trigger.

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Wired-graph

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I wanted to read more, but my mind refused to come back and concentrate.

If I’m sitting at home on a Sunday afternoon (like now, today), feeling lonely and wondering if everyone else had a better weekend (an unlikely feeling and wondering for me, at least not in that way or those terms), and my phone buzzes (it shouldn’t as the buzz is turned off) with a… blah blah blah (my mind wandering off)…

The process starts with a cue or a stimulus. That’s an external trigger. It’s most effective if it arrives when the target (that’s us, me or you… is it them too?) is feeling some kind of discomfort [which Eyal calls an internal trigger], from which it can promise relief… blah blah blah (wandering off again… only this time for good or bad or both or neither).

I suppose my mind wandered off because it felt a certain type of discomfort reading this graph. It didn’t like the attitude of those in the know towards those who were… the rest of us. It glistened with droplets of smartest guy in the room (on the planet) syndrome – which is a trigger for me that something is wrong with the picture being presented.

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ifyoutalkedtopeople - hugh macleodIf you talked to people by Hugh MacLeod (gapingvoid)

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When that happens, when I feel that kind of discomfort, a trigger is pressed inside or outside or both, sometimes I’ll explore it and sometimes I’ll move on and may come back to it later or not. Usually I don’t have to go back to it because I’ll find it elsewhere in my mind wandering travels.

Like in the results of a (for fun and entertainment purposes) test which I took online – What Kind of Thinker are You? via Buzzfeed

According to this test, this is my thinking style…

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wandering mind

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The part of this result which synchronised with the Wired article was when I pressed play on the video explanation which went with it.

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Do You Have a Wandering Mind?

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Normally I would not have bothered with the video (nothing to do with videos, everything to do with my thinking style), however… it’s Sunday afternoon… so why not have a look-see-listen-hear-here. I liked the imagery, it was creative, but the narrative… seemed to be a bit… unaware of what it was narrating, or rather to whom it was speaking or who it was speaking about. If you’re speaking this way to a wandering style of thinker, you’re going to lose them before you’ve even got started. Our minds can’t sit still that long even when we want them to because you’re in theory describing us to ourselves.

Just saying, is all…

I have to admit that I paused before taking this test, even though it is just for amusement, to consider whether I really wanted such a thing to tell me what kind of thinker I am, even though I can take it or leave it and already know what my thinking style is because it’s my style of thinking and I use it every day.

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“When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen

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That pause, that consideration – that’s part of my thinking style. I am a wanderer of and in thought, but it is a wandering that is conscious rather than unconscious. It’s unconscious and subconscious too, but not just that. It wanders everywhere and tries to be conscious as often as it can, but it also knows the value of the unconsciousness and subconsciousness of its wandering.

And the same applies to my addictions, of which I have quite a few. They’re done with awareness that I am doing them, as well as a certain awareness of how they affect others. I keep them in check to a degree in that respect, but I need to respect the purpose they serve in my life too. Some of them have taught me far more than I would have learned had I avoided them, controlled them until I’d eradicated them, and so on.

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“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions.” ― Henri J.M. Nouwen

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I have learned to be aware or beware of those who tell you that what you do, whatever it is, is bad for you. I will take on board their view, assess it, explore it, wander and wonder about it, but not view it as the know-it-all of things which concern me.

In our own lives we are the smartest guy in the room. As for in the lives of others – they are the smartest guy in that room.

And when we meet others…

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when you meet a new person - buzzfeedvia What Kind of Thinker are You?

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Most of the above and a bunch of other things not included. The answer I gave was – Ask a bunch of Questions – because that’s what I do most often, more than anything else.

Just some thoughts shared while on my wondering wanders…

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10 thoughts on “What’s Your Thinking Style?

  1. LOL!! Me and my son got Wandering Mind!! I started texting during the video and my son got distracted while petting the cat and noticing how social kitty cat is becoming…. Ha Ha!! ❤ … Lately I've been thinking about addiction or the word "addiction"…how my sister uses the word as almost some kind of golden answer and solution wrapped up in a pretty package.. I think it's just a word and probably part of the normal human experience…you get to choose to what degree you indulge …and to what degree you withdraw… still wandering about those thoughts!!!

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    1. Ha! Yes, that video… I’m sure it’s really good beyond the point at which I wandered off, but I’ll never know… sigh and smile 😉

      There are just so many things and people to take in, see, feel, interact with, get to know, and so on… I love following the distractions of the wandering mind, discovery and adventure awaits, and strangely enough we sometimes come back to where we started, but with more to begin again…

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  2. turnedupsoul 🙂 In one of your posts you mentioned going to a regression therapist. For me, the past life sessions were profound … and at one point, in a piece of soul humor, I saw lines queued up for DisneyEarth … Souls eager to reincarnate because bumpercar living and roller-coaster screaming was so much fun. Earth, a Coney Island for the gods … with houses of horror and palaces for princesses … with caviar and limburger cheese … with roses and skunk cabbage … we are living in a novel, with fiction as truth, and reincarnation as the ultimate addiction. ❤

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      1. Addiction: the lyrics in a song by Passenger suggest the poignant and maudlin despair of some addicts:

        “Well if you can’t get what you love
        You learn to love the things you’ve got
        If you can’t be what you want
        You learn to be the things you’re not
        If you can’t get what you need
        You learn to need the things that stop you dreaming”

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        1. My favourite song about addiction is Constant Craving by k. d. lang. and I also like Crave by Nuno Bettencourt and Bring Me to Life by Evanescence, they capture that certain subtle something which lurks beneath, within.

          One of the things that always intrigues me is what part of my often wandering all over the place posts people focus on. It’s interesting that you focused upon addiction. There’s a story there, one which is personal to you.

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          1. With an eclectic medical practice that included acupuncture, homeopathy, sound therapy, and more … addiction was just one of the challenges which clients brought to the door. As for the part of the post on which a person might focus, wandering took me to moonvoodoo. Some stunning photography: well done! BehindTheShyHand: riveting. SunPluto, ah, the ginger hair. And more wandering and wondering: did mother Scylla or father Charybdis ever “see” their daughter?

            Do you know savagechickens.com? In Search, type in narcissism. Just an example:

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            1. I did think that the story behind the focus on addiction probably related to your work and your in depth experiences of helping others to heal, and may also be connected to a Scorpio Moon in 12th (the hidden side of psyche which affects us and can addict us) opposing a Taurean Merc in the 6th (service, work). I know you don’t like Western astro, so apologies for my focus on it 😉

              Thank you for your kind words about my creations ❤ it's all about me finally getting around to doing my 5th house stuff. Took a while to get there because of Saturn's gauntlet.

              My parents never 'saw' me in any way, I was a scribble in the drawing of themselves which they tried to control and erased when it refused to be controlled. My father sometimes used me as a model, as he did with everyone, but it wasn't me because an artist sees what or who you could be or are for them. My mother was an actress so… I was either her audience or was given a walk-on part but couldn't be trusted with words so she spoke for me. And so it goes. Saturn's gauntlet 🙂

              Yes, I've come across savage chickens' comics, very funny and accurate. My favourite comic is – http://www.viruscomix.com/page332.html

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              1. First, Of Shadow, Shapes, and Shrouded Apparitions was brilliant. 🙂 The lyricism … Wow! “the anhedonia was strong that day … as dusk began to shroud the land in its gossamer veil … eyes, heavy with the harshness of light … shadow, shapes and shrouded fears, the kind only light can see…” “Anhedonia danced…” Ha and Ha … dancing anhedonia … and Haha!!

                Second, you’ve been around samsara’s wheel enough times to know that this realm, where Lila and the Prince of Shades hold court, is substanceless substance, as dense as the mind that perceives it.

                Third, I know the theories of karma schmarma, and the choice for parents … blah, blah. Nevertheless, I feel sorrow when a child is either unseen or mis-seen. Perhaps, solace may come to an child~adult who is accepted, acknowledged, admired, and appreciated.

                Fourth, although your draconic chart is fairly close to your tropical, have you explored the fascinating connections that can occur when draconic charts are matched with those people with whom you have had significant relationships?

                Fifth, using astro.com you can see that your Moon is located in sector 1 of Gaugelin’s 36 sectors. Although you like to extol your Mercury, in Michel Gaugelin’s extensive studies of thousands of charts, a 12th house Moon, especially one that is near the Asc, is a common signature in writer’s charts.

                “There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.” – Maya Angelou

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                1. I agree that when a child is unseen it does inspire a heartfelt reaction. I once unleashed a small drop of fury in the direction of a parent who interrupted their child while the child was telling me a story of an event which had happened to them. This story was important to the child, and needed to be respected. The parent was dismissive and cruel, they knew better and suggested that the child was wrong, lying, etc, in the way which humiliated their child and then they appealed to me as one adult to another for support in what they had done. They did not get support from me, the child received that. The parent was a bit shocked that I supported their child instead of them, and then did a rather dramatic – Oh, I’m such a bad parent! – hoping to use humour to make a mockery of the scenario. I agreed with them that they were a bad parent and added that their child needed a new and better parent to replace them. I did this using humour the way they had done. It was not one of my finer moments, but for a short while the parent saw their child as more than just an extension of themselves which they molded to suit what their ego needed. For a second there was an inkling of respect for this small person. It didn’t last long, it never does.

                  There were people who intervened on my behalf in a similar way with my parents, but they just got pilloried for doing so and never did it again. However their moment of folly (it’s always folly to a degree to confront a narcissist, especially on behalf of a child of those narcissists) left a deep impression. I have never forgotten what they did for me, even though it was a small and fleeting act. That small thing had big ripples in the pond of me 🙂

                  I quite like certain aspects of karma, it can make sense of nonsense even if the theory itself may be nonsense. Who knows. The concept of karma was one I came upon when I was in my teens, and it helped me to focus my attention on living a more constructive life as best as I could at any given time. It gave me the stimulus to be responsible for myself, my experiences, and to see what others did to me or did not do for me as being a part of that.

                  As an adult, it is my task to see my child self, and my task to see myself, no one else need see me. If they do, then it is a bonus, one which can be very rewarding, and is much appreciated.

                  Thank you 🙂

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