Why Stupid Things Always Become Life-Changing Issues

Nov 5, 2020

Sometimes I could think I’m a weird guy.

Quickly that goes away from my mind whenever I do a little bit of rational thinking, and I take out conclusions based on real-life experiences.

The good point as you get older is that you accumulate many different experiences, and your conclusions are much more accurate.

I was thinking today about stupid things, precisely in checklists and routines.

I have hundreds of checklists and routines for the most stupid things you can imagine. I’ll give you some (stupid) checklist examples:

  • I have a place for everything and everything in its place. Let’s focus on my pockets. My left pocket is reserved for my mobile phone. My right pocket, for my wallet and my car key. Stupid, isn’t it?
  • Inside my car, everything’s always in the same place. 3 remotes for the garage doors in the center, my phone under the armrest, and my office card, wallet, and keys on the left door. Double stupid.

If we talk about (stupid) routines, I always do the same, without thinking, when I get in the car:

  • Sit.
  • Leave everything in its place.
  • Put the key in.
  • Start the engine.
  • Turn on my Bluetooth device.
  • Connect my phone to the Bluetooth device (so that I can listen to interesting podcasts).
  • Start charging my phone.
  • Put my seatbelt on.
  • Go!

As I said initially, this may sound weird, bizarre, and I should feel embarrassed to share this publicly.

But here’s the point: life has taught me those stupid things are the most important ones, and I have to pay attention to them.

Let me “defend my position” in these 7 points.

POINT 1: Energy saving

For me, from a rational perspective, it is nonsense to spend my mental time thinking about stupid things such as where my wallet is, where my keys are, and so forth.

Those things, believe it or not, consume your energy, and we just have an amount of energy every day. So we have to take care of it.

People usually underestimate volume.

One stupid thing is just that: a stupid thing. Thousands of stupid things become a life-changing way of life.

I will insist.

We have to pay attention to small little things. If we look at them just as an element, they sound stupid. But we have hundreds of stupid things and small decisions every day. That’s when they turn into essential matters.

POINT 2: Calm and relaxed mind

Doing these (stupid) checklists and routines give me peace of mind.

Your mind will be in a state of calm because it feels secure. Everything’s under control.

Your mind won’t have to dedicate time or effort to think about these stupid things so that it will focus on the important ones.

These stupid things are just operational ones. They don’t give you growth. They won’t drive you to fulfillment.

POINT 3: Avoiding embarrassing scenarios

Using these (stupid) techniques will avoid really stupid and embarrassing scenarios, such as “I lost my keys”, having to call family and friends to help you, or even locksmiths if you’re single.

POINT 4: Realizing quickly something’s “not right”

If something’s wrong, you will feel it immediately.

For example, if I don’t put my phone in my left pocket, I quickly feel uncomfortable, and I soon notice something’s wrong.

Then, I can take action into it and “solve” the situation.

POINT 5: Teaching and training your brain

The essential point to me is that you’re teaching and training your brain to work that way.

Whenever you’re in front of thousands of tasks, hundreds of projects, and so forth (as it is in my case), your brain start to look for those patterns because it is used to work that way.

It will start to create checklists, processes, routines, priorities, perfectly knowing how to get (important) stuff done.

We have to think we are training our brains with these stupid things.

They’re like the warm-up for real-life challenges.

POINT 6: Think big, focus on small

Big things in life don’t depend on big events.

Big things always depend on the sum of a huge amount of small (stupid) things.

Complexity is a sum of stupidities. Just that.

When you understand that, complicated and life-changing formulas, such as compound interest, start making sense for you naturally and easily.

I totally agree with Naval Ravikant when he says:

“I think all the benefits in life come from compound interest, whether in money or in relationships or love or health or activities or habits. I only want to work on things that I know have long-term payout.”

POINT 7: Geniuses

Throughout my life, I have met and read of geniuses who seem they’re saying stupid things.

I always pay attention because, behind the scenes, there is always something important.

Your Doubts!

This way of thinking will bring lots of doubts to you.

Thinking about stupid checklists, routines, and processes can create all kinds of doubts.

Here I share two very typical ones.

1. A boring life?

This way of thinking can make you believe you’re a robot, just doing stupid routines and following infinite checklists all day long.

Don’t take it to the extreme. Use this behavior for rational issues, for things based on processes, things that can be automated, or be done on auto-pilot.

Let anarchy for your “animal brain” (known as reptilian), for your most primitive and basic issues. For example:

  • Sex. Don’t let your sex life rely on checklists or routines. That will drive you to boredom. We don’t want to be bored in our life.
  • Creativity. We are naturally creative creatures. Don’t close our creativity and imagination into rigid processes. Let your brain go free, enjoy the moment, taking out the best of it!

2. A life without freedom?

People usually say procedures, checklists, routines… take out freedom from you.

I think it’s completely the opposite.

By living this way, I obtain freedom at its highest level:

  • Freedom because I can dedicate my most productive time to important things.
  • Freedom because I feel secure, with everything under control.
  • Freedom because my brain is less busy, so I’m better prepared to improvise. Improvisation is not doing the first thing that comes to your mind. Improvisation is being able to do the best thing you can do in the circumstances you are in at that moment.
  • Freedom because my brain can focus on just one thing. He’s not busy thinking about some other stupid things because, don’t forget, our subconscious mind is always busy when it perceives they’re things “out of control”.

Takeaways

I don’t want to convince you.

I’m just sharing my experience and things that work for me, based on the long term “experiment”, which is my life and others’.

Feel free to try these techniques. Everyone’s different and unique. We all have our weird things.

The essential point is feeling comfortable with yourself and rationally driving your life, based on common sense for you.

It doesn’t matter what others may think or say. Ignore feeling embarrassed. People who usually laugh at these things has never done something meaningful in life.

Your life is yours. Nobody but you will care about it more.

Remember:

  • Whenever you feel really stupid doing or thinking something, stop doing it. There is no point in following that path.
  • Whenever you feel something is rational and makes sense to you, keep it doing it. That’s how you’ll achieve a life of fulfillment.

Photo at the top courtesy of Kiana Bosman on Unsplash.

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