So, like years ago I read this book titled The Hamlet Syndrome: Overthinkers Who Underachieve.
It’s interesting because it pretty clearly describes the syndrome, but it goes haywire when it becomes prescriptive. The authors haven’t found a way to help these people, but they imagine what might help, and that answer is to narrow their focus down, keep them more myopic rather than in the big picture.
In other words, the solution they imagine is to change these overthinkers into people like the authors, to force them to be more normative thinkers. That’s the common way people offer solutions, of course; they assume that if people become more like they are, the solutions they used will make things better. What cured me will cure you, because how can you be different? Just let me force you to be more like me!
I thought about this “syndrome,” and realized I saw it in a different way. These poor “overthinkers” are really just people who see a bigger picture, and while that may lead to some “analysis paralysis,” it also offers the gift of context. Every different way of seeing, different way of being, has its costs and benefits, its strengths and weaknesses.
For me, these people are the ones touched with the “Guru Gift,” a kind of vision that sees bigger and wider. We are the too people, seeing the world in too much detail, sensing the world too viscerally, experiencing the world too intensely.
From September 2002, after the jump: