What’s worse, thinking you’re being paranoid or knowing that you should be?

The devil’s on his way

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Years ago, on the day of a performance review, I stopped by the market on my walk home from lunch.

And I was this close to not buying groceries to keep at my desk.

Because I just knew it would jinx me.

That’s the way the universe works, right? Clearly, the treacherous and unholy act of buying thirteen dollars worth of pickles, trail mix and string cheese would create a ripple in the space time continuum and lead to my immediate termination.

I can already hear their laughter.

Groceries? Who the hell does this guy think he is?

These are just a few of the insane paranoid movies that screen through my brain. I allow myself to become completely consumed with intrusive, irrational thoughts. Believing that I can somehow jinx myself into a bad outcome by doing or even thinking the wrong thing.

Psychologists actually have a name for this. It’s called the uncertainty hypothesis. It’s when people are unsure about an outcome, so they try to find a way to control it. In this case, with superstitious thinking.

But as I once learned, paranoia is just a way of avoiding being present to life with its full range of safety and danger and potential for good an evil.

And so, this constant search to control our unpredictable lives, paranoia is not serving us. We must celebrate our liberation from superstition. We must remember that guilt always hides in the places where we are afraid. And we must not use irrational and complicated logic to show that all events are directed toward ourselves.

Because whether or not we return to the office with a bag of groceries has zero impact on our employment.

Stevie was right when he sang, when you believe in things that you don’t understand, then you suffer, very superstitious, the devil’s on his way.

What’s worse, thinking you’re being paranoid or knowing that you should be?

* * * *

Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
Author. Speaker. Strategist. Inventor. Filmmaker. Publisher. Songwriter.

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