Thomas is an NYC-based designer living in Brooklyn.

He writes, codes, designs a lot of different things, and loves taking photos + videos.

He's got the best friends and family supporting him through this journey, and he's always looking to meet new fabulous people to talk to. So!

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Thinking is useless*

July 22, 2019

"No, I don't mean that literal thinking, or having a conversation with somebody is useless. I mean that, thinking, it can trap you, and keep you in a constant.... a constant spiral, and you might never escape. Thats why thinking in certain ways is useless. Just gotta get it out sometimes."  - Carl or Karl

While we were unloading gear from our event in Montauk this past weekend, we made a pit stop in the Rockaways to store some large items at Carl's house. Who is Carl? I met Carl through my friend Daniel, he's Daniel's good friend's father who moved to Rockaways a couple years ago and has been living up the beach life. However, I sensed something from Carl - that he was missing something. I wasn't sure what, but I'd catch him sometimes staring a bit into the abyss between sentences or thoughts.

In a moment of clarity, Carl blurted out "thinking can be useless." 

While it may have sounded brash at first, for some reason, I knew immediately what he was trying to say.

We all get stuck, ever so often in a spiral of thought, where we replay imaginary scenes over and over again until we drive ourselves crazy. Often times this also results in a counter-productive conversation where we say things out of line or unnecessary because we went through that exact spiral without any external input/output/feedback.

Why do we do this? I'm not entirely sure. Lack of courage? Lack of clarity? Fear of ruining something? 

I am a hypocrite of this 100%. However, I've been trying to put myself through the process of trying to eliminate that inner fear at least somewhat. The David was sculpted by chipping away little chunks of rock from a bigger piece. I'll get there some day.

As we drove away - Daniel informed me that Carl lost his wife about a month ago. Talk about the biggest gaping hole you could have in your heart. It all made sense, his sentence, his demeanor. Seemed like he was starting to realize some things however, finding that silver lining.

Life is too short to worry so much about the "what-if's" sometimes. Especially when its a thought in your head that you really do want to get out - there are ways of delivering this where it doesn't have to turn into the disaster you might be imagining. Hopefully the person you're engaging is special enough to you that you've taken the heart wrenching effort to deliver your thought to them. All you can do is to wish for the best, and hopefully come out with the outcome that you want. If anything, you've broken yourself out of mental prison - now you've got capacity to think about other, just as important things too.

I've read a few books on speech - specifically on negotiation or confrontations. We think we know how to deal with conflict well - but we don't. There are so many ways in which we could improve every single day, to your friends, your significant other, your boss, your team - whomever.

These are two books that were recommended to me by one of my mentors. I've gladly given them away to my friends who were experiencing similar issues - and I'm glad to say its helped them out as much as it has helped me.

Difficult Conversations : How to Discuss What Matters Most - Douglas Stone / Sheila Heen / Bruce Patton

How to Win Friends and Influence People - Dale Carnegie

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