Of Diets And Stupid Thinking

While I do not claim to be a slim person, I have lost a considerable amount of weight, and I must confess that there was a time when I was really quite portly.

Like everyone else, I know the theory. Eat less, eat a balanced diet, and exercise well. Yet, putting it into practice was a different story altogether. So finally, I was convinced to going to a cardiologist, who had turned his medical practice into a diet therapy practice, a practice that was doing bloody good business.

So, after having my vital stats measured and called out in a room, I was ushered into the office of the good doctor, who gave me a diet chart for the week. I looked at this, and a part of our conversation went like this:

Me: “Doc, it says here one toast for breakfast. One, or two?”

Doc: Does it say two pieces of toast?

Me: No, it says one piece.

Doc: Then, it means one piece

Me: With butter?

Doc: Did I write toast with butter?

Me: No

Doc: Then, it means no butter

This went on for a bit, and then the doctor kindly interjected and said, “You are well educated and seem to be reasonably intelligent. Why is this so hard to understand? You are not stupid”.

Well, I lost a lot of weight, and went to the good doctor for five months. Then, I said to myself that I am paying a lot of money to cut my calories, something that I, as an intelligent person, should be able to do anyway.

So, what makes us intelligent people so stupid sometimes? I honestly do not have an answer to this, I have seen this happens in all walks of life.

On a personal level, we do stupid things to our bodies. We buy things we don’t need

In business situations, we often find ourselves blindly attached to certain projects that we are passionate about, when (if we take a step back) we can see that the project is doomed, or is fatal.

Common sense dictates that decisions should be executed with passion, but the decision making process itself should be calm and rational. While making strategic documents, we often get caught up in our grand vision, and fail to see ground realities or, brush them aside. This happens also, when we are caught up in our vision of ourselves as invincible.

Not that I say that passion is not important, and neither do I say that having ambition and a vision is not important. These, to me, are critical. We cannot survive without them.

However, when do these very things – ambition, vision, passion – cease to lead us, but start to blind us?

When do we lose our touch with reality, and when do we see that there are paradigm changing actions that can alter our destinies?

Passion and detachment, in the ideal world, should go together. Yet, this is a hard act to follow.

At the end of our conversation, I asked the doctor, “Will I survive this diet?”

The doc just smiled, with a glint in his eye. A cruel glint, I thought at that time.

Yet, that diet changed my paradigms of what I could survive on. I was forced to see an alternate reality.

Why, and when, we fail to see these paradigm changing realities, and convert our thinking to stupid thinking? 



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