Life is simple. We make it complicated by overthinking and overanalyzing.

Life is simple. We make it complicated by overthinking and overanalyzing. 

What is your trigger moment that takes you from your contemplation to your action?

Depending upon the importance and complexity of the issue, the trigger may be instantaneous or it could potentially stretch out over an elongated period of time. 

When we encounter one of those decisions, we are standing at the precipice of a moment that could potentially alter a significant chunk of our future. In these moments, we call upon reason, logic, alternate views and common sense to do battle with emotions in our inner being. 

This inner conflict is one of the greatest joys of a creator of fiction, because a storyteller is always looking for that moment where they can hook the audience into the emotional turmoil of the protagonist. The more an audience can feel that inner angst, the greater their connection to the story, and the more impactful the outcome of that decision will ultimately become. 

The unrequited love story, perhaps the single greatest plot line of musical drama since the dawn of time, pushes this dramatic opportunity to its nth degree. Nothing rips an audience apart more consistently than a love story that was meant to be, but never will be. (Phantom of the Opera, Les Miserables, Madame Butterfly, Miss Saigon, West Side Story) 

This plot works because it takes us to that precipice in a third party in which we can feel their pain and disappointment and heroism, etc. but we can then walk away, and let it be another’s problem to solve.

Perhaps this particular plot device is so valuable and so popular because it enables each of us to have to contemplate an option that delivers extreme trepidation, remorse, desire, honor and countless other variables in a third party scenario. If it is done very well, we cry for the protagonist(s). Why? Because they have won our souls and they have taken us on a voyeuristic journey, and left us to suffer at the end because we want it to work out in the end, but alas, it was not meant to be.

So we return to our own lives, and slowly, we find ourselves on the doorstep of some large decision. Probably not as large as the one in the story… but regardless, the stakes are entirely different because now we are playing for real. Now the consequences will have lasting impact on our lives. 

We seek the counsel of others, research wherever we may, give consideration to all possible outcomes, but given all of these resources, more than 30% of people are likely to hit a point of overanalyzes, and will allow certain conflict to stew about inside them, and will find themselves contemplating their problem, incessantly. It is a human characteristic, and one that can be demoralizing, depressing and debilitating. 

Philosophers will remind us that we are thinking too much. That at a certain point, your mind was already made up and you are just continuing in a loop, like walking the perimeter of a sealed cylindrical room without a door, looking for a way out. If you can catch yourself on one of the rotations around this room, and recognize that no matter how many times you circle the room, the way out is not the missing doorway, you will learn the tools required to make the obsessive behavior stop.

It sounds overly simplistic to just explain that the only way to stop is to just stop. If I were the recipient of that advice, I would discard it as useless. So perhaps the more proper advice is… once you have given all of the variables ample time for your contemplation, eventually the most likely choice will become apparent, and then, at that moment, you just have to make the decision and act on it will full faith.

Happy Thursday!

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Written by Brian Weiner
When I was 5 years old, I discovered that the lemon tree in the backyard + dixie cups + water and sugar and I was in business. I have been hooked on that ever since. In 1979, I borrowed $14,000 to create a brand new product... photographic greeting cards with no text on the inside, called Paradise Photography. That was the start of The Illusion Factory. Since then, The Illusion Factory has been entrusted by all of the major studios and broadcasters with the advertising and marketing of over $7 billion in filmed, live, broadcast, gaming, AR, VR and regulated gaming forms of entertainment, generating more than $100 Billion in revenue and 265 awards for creativity and technology for our clients. When I took a break from film school at UCLA to move to Hawaii, my mother did not lecture me. Instead, she took 150 of her favorite aphorisms and in her beautiful calligraphy, wrote them artistically throughout a blank journal. That is the origin of the Lessons from the Mountain series. Since then, on my journeys to the top of a mountain to watch the sunrise, I have spent countless hours contemplating words of wisdom from the sages of all races, genders and political persuasions, constantly accumulating the thoughts to guide me on my life path. I hope you enjoy my books. Please let me know your thoughts, as I highly value your feedback!