"Over thinking, over analyzing separates the body from the mind.
Withering my intuition, missing opportunities and I must 
Feed my will to feel my moment drawing way outside the lines."

..sang Maynard James Keenan in a song touted as the greatest metal song of the 21st century...

I disagree

I've been accused of over thinking many times in my life (and believe that people's accusations are true) but I've grown to realize that life would probably worse off without "over thinking". Sure I've made mistakes, but it is the same over thinking that probably led Einstein to develop his theory of relativity, the Buddha to come up with Buddhism or even tech geeks to write better code with a constant quest for "more".. its also the same cold hard belief in logic that urges a person to look for answers while navigating the far reaches of one's own soul and not give in to temptations along the way. Ask any addict.
Most people however don't seem to have a problem with that. Issues arise when dealing with thinking about seemingly mundane things - why are there small brush like things on escalators, why a phone call or text message wasn't returned or why a special friend dumped someone.

Here's the deal with thinking. Its fundamentally a judging function used to judge, conclude or resolve. When the end of a train of thought is usually a conclusion how can one over overdo it? The problem lies not in over thinking rather in incorrect thinking.

Over thinking is usually plain to see when the explanations needed to propose a conclusion seem to loop around one another or extend outward in ever increasing possibilities seemingly leading nowhere. 

In that case:

1. Examine your premises - you've assumed something wrong
2. Take no prisoners - retrace all your trains of logic
3. Most importantly, have the courage to say "I don't know"- Insufficient information in my experience is the most common cause of the disease of  "over thinking"

Coming back to Maynard James Keenan, thinking and analyzing are powerful tools we need to make our lives happy. When used well they bring clarity, a sense of sureness and stability that intuition or feeling can never provide. Every human being needs peace of mind and security before he can explore his or her feelings and intuitions.

Look at the chair you are sitting in, the clothes you are wearing or the communication device you are reading this from. You need to thank somebody's obsessive thought process for bringing them to you. The manager's drive to constantly improve the supply chain to reduce costs, the retailer's to increase sales and even your accountant's who strives hard to see that you have money to procure these things. Sometimes, over thinking could even kick in powerful unconscious intuitions leading to major discoveries as when Kekule discovered the structure of Benzene!

I believe that over thinking, is under rated.


  1. I think what people actually mean by over thinking is over-intuiting.

    Nice read.

  2. Hahahahahaha well yes you're probably right


  3. Nein, nein...

    It's about what you think (or over-think) about; not the act itself.

    Choose your battles wisely...

  4. Why not? The battle could be a joyful one aimed at simply honing one's thinking skills.

    Why do sudoku then!?