Guru Gift

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:

Continue reading Guru Gift


So, once I got conned into seeing this minister for chats.

He asked me what made me happy.

I told him that it was the same things that made anyone happy.

He looked at me askance.  Surely, we all had different things that made us happy.

To feel seen, understood, safe enough to be selfless and valued for my contributions, I extended.

He thought for a moment, and then he agreed.  Yes, it is usually the same things that make us happy.

I know how to make myself happy.  I am reasonably safe within myself, unless I want to go outside and then I have to scare myself.  I can be selfless in writing, lost in the work and not self-concious.  I value my own abilities, and I understand myself well.

It’s just being happy around others that tends to elude me.  There it’s just so much work trying to negotiate their hidden fears & expectations, to help them understand what I am saying, and to stay safe from the “third gotcha” that happiness is turned into stomach churning anxiety.

What does this mean for people who “just want you to be happy?”    How do they help me feel seen, understood, safe enough to be selfless and valued for my contributions?

Or do I just have to be happy in my box?