It’s Hard To Be Really Good At Anything You Don’t Think About In The Shower

A Paul Graham-ism that brings me comfort as I get water all over my bathroom floor while trying to record voice notes mid-shower, risking life and limb (and confusing my dog, who is patiently waiting for me to stay in the shower long enough to steal my socks). 

It’s hard to do a really good job on anything you don’t think about in the shower. 

If you’re obsessed, it’s a good sign. Pull THAT thread. 

Also – and equally importantly (!!!) – know how to change-up what’s “top of mind.” 

The reason I’m almost dying flopping out of my shower is because “you have to be clean, sir” is top of mind. That focus is what allows the other ideas to percolate and ADHD their way to the surface. 

And also-er – and equallier importantlier (I got carried away, I’m sorry) – don’t let stupid things occupy your top of mind OR next in line for top of mind either. 

If you get hurt by someone, don’t let them hurt you twice. Huh?

If you’re still thinking about the hurt after the hurt’s been inflected, and it’s not a productive think – you’re really losing. I’ve been stuck in this hole before. Graham’s quote on this is priceless and might help you as much as it’s helped me (emphasis added):

Turning the other cheek turns out to have selfish advantages. Someone who does you an injury hurts you twice: first by the injury itself, and second by taking up your time afterward thinking about it. If you learn to ignore injuries you can at least avoid the second half. I’ve found I can to some extent avoid thinking about nasty things people have done to me by telling myself: this doesn’t deserve space in my head. I’m always delighted to find I’ve forgotten the details of disputes, because that means I hadn’t been thinking about them. My wife thinks I’m more forgiving than she is, but my motives are purely selfish.

Put the right thing on top. And a cherry on top. And of course, put the love on top (respectively, respectfully).