The Advantage of Not Thinking

Not exactly “not thinking at all”, of course..
It’s more like: the advantage of less thinking. :p
Is there really any advantage? Well.. Maybe this is only one of many ways in seeing things. Still, it feels true to me in a way, so I want to share it.. πŸ™‚

I remember when Harry Potter was being asked by his friends to teach Defense Against The Dark Arts, he got upset and told them that it’s not like in classroom, or textbook, or something like that.. it’s not like you can think straight and memorizing spells, he said, it’s only you and your own guts or whatever..

As long as I can remember, every time I have to practice something, I always think thoroughly, ponder over that matter comprehensively, until I really can get the whole clear picture of what I am doing, and I wouldn’t start until I finished that “contemplative” part. “See an end before you start“, that was my motto.

Except in this last two or three years, or maybe even more. Four years? Apparently it all started when I was in my professional internship at the hospital as part of my medical training. In 2009, it was when everything started, or it seems.

For the first few months, I was the same organized, structured, well-planned, disciplined person. Even to insert a needle into someone’s body I have to make a really proper preparation, including mental preparation, which are an empathy, an understanding of someone’s fear, etc, etc.. (Because the physician’s motto is Primum non nocere, right?). In my practical lesson with friends I even didn’t want to stick the needle into my friend’s vein before I try it myself.  That way I can really know and feel how it is. And I will be sure with what I am doing.

The last time I feel like the same person maybe when I was in pediatric ward, which is my 6th out of 15 internships (each internship takes 1 or 2 months in different wards, such as surgery, dermatology, pediatric, and so on), in June, 2009. I remember how many books I prepared. I remember how many information I tried to dig out of a lot of “experienced” people (most of them actually only friends who’ve finished their pediatric round :p), I remember the schedules scattered everywhere in the wall, including the schedule for cooking, the menu that I have to buy to use the time efficiently, when to do the laundry and the clothes that I have to wear at a certain time. Because I have limited “resource”, I couldn’t buy clothes as many as I want. So, in order to have a comfortable clothes when I did my night-shift in the hospital, because I have to move fast, efficient (and of course hopefully graceful :p), I have to really schedule when to wear certain clothes. Sleeping also one of the matter to be scheduled. Because being a doctor means we’re related with someone’s life. It’s not about graduating with a good GPA and pass the exam!! That’s how I perceived my medical education.

But in the process of maintaining that personality, of course I encounter so many new things, I learn how is the rythm of  the real world, or of this particular real place that I lived in. That’s not in the same rythm with mine. I felt rather disappointed with reality. For example, my idea of Medical Records, electronic or not, with high technology or not, is everything we notice in a patient, with careful consideration, applying what we’ve learned throughout or education, not just filling some form for administrative purpose. Our age maybe different with Hippocrates, who noticed the wind and the weather in accordance to someone’s health, and wrote it in his record. No, maybe it’s too much, I can imagine how if we allowed to notice the weather in our modern medical record, we’ll write a poem instead. πŸ˜‰ Still, we can improve our way in examining the patient, rather than write something only administratively.

At that moment, I loosened my grip into my own principle. I became someone who goes with the flow. Because that’s the easiest way. I was tired. And everything moved so fast that I can’t remember the details of my journey from that moment. I wasn’t the one who think carefully again. I was just a puppet on the river stream. I didn’t consider a lot when I make a decision. My principle is like: well, a decision has to be made, whatever it is. If it’s wrong, then let’s start all over again. :p I know that’s not really bad, but some of my decisions are really lousy, and I still feel guilty until now. For example: what will I do after I graduate from medical school? Hmm, let’s see… what, there’s a job opportunity in there? Okay I’ll try. But at the same moment I also plan something very different that I couldn’t carry out both of the plan at the same time, so I end up as a disappointing people, and got several problems.

But the good thing is that, for some time, I enjoyed the world.
But after a while, I start to hate myself. I struggled to come back to the old me with a hard effort.
And it is really, really, not easy AT ALL.

I’m still doing something impulsively, not thinking, and I hate that.

But here’s come the life event that triggers me to write:

Two days ago I went skiing.
People asked me whether I was afraid. And I tell them, yes I’m afraid.
While in fact, I can’t feel anything. I answered like that, because that’s normally what “my old me” would feel. I was much worry by the fact that I wasn’t afraid. I don’t know anything about skiing, and I didn’t prepare anything, but I wasn’t worry at all. I was more afraid of the possibility that now I am an ignorant person. That’s really annoying.

But well, I went through all the process. I start sliding on the snow -without thinking of the whole process, how I can move, how to brake, how is the correct attitude, how to make myself less injured when I fall, and soon, no I wasn’t thinking about those-, and I did it! It felt really good. And then, at a certain point I saw someone fell. Then I start thinking about falling. I start concentrating on my move, I thought of every single movement, and realized I didn’t know anything. That was when I start to feel afraid.

Then I fell to the ground. πŸ˜›
Lying for a while, couldn’t stand because I don’t know how to stand with those skiing equipment on my feet. But it wasn’t that bad. I struggled to get on my feet again. And that’s all.
But… after that, I start to be more careful and thoughtful.. and then I fell more often!! ha ha ha.. πŸ˜€
In the end I decided to just keep trying, without thinking too much, and it worked. I really enjoyed it. πŸ™‚
Well, I fell several times. But I just let the gravity pull me the ground, :p Laughed, and not worried to much, because, even if no one notice or help, you’ll get on your feet again, after you’re ready.. after some moment of pause.. don’t worry, you’ll stand again.. when you feel up to. πŸ™‚

I remember how I thought my sister was a lousy teacher when I asked her to teach me to drive a car, because in my view, to be able to drive, one should know how the car works, how the steer can move the whole body, and so on. :p And I didn’t feel sure to drive before I know all of those. πŸ˜›
I remember how I hate to learn to bike when I was a kid, because I didn’t understand the whole process and my sister just told me to do this and that. What is it that I am doing??? That’s how my mind screaming. πŸ˜›
Then, when I learned how to drive the car again, after my mind was “empty”, well, I did it much better. πŸ˜› I still feel uncomfortable that I don’t know anything about the car, but when I keep practicing, without fussing too much, I think that’s also a way to learn something. πŸ™‚
And that leads me to what Harry Potter said.. real life is different with classroom or textbook, or theory.. Sometimes it’s only you and your own guts.. But you still have to keep moving.. even though you’re not sure.. Keep moving, while learning..

But, in a way.. I will be more comfortable if I can be the same well-organized person who think thoroughly, even though this “less-thinking” version perhaps is not really bad.. πŸ˜›
Well… every personality has its plus and minus points maybe, that’s a whole package.. :p



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