It’s how we think now. That things aren’t black and white any more.
When you’re talking about race and gender and sexuality, grey thinking is a beautiful thing. Grey thinking tells us that there is no ‘wrong’ any more. That no one deserves to be lynched or burned at the stake or run out of the village with pitchforks for being not-the-same-as-you. Vive la difference. Grey thinking is fantastic.
But not in every part of our lives. Grey thinking about your ambitions, your dreams and how you want your life to play out is actually pretty fucking harmful. It’s frustrating, it ups your stress, and it can make you miserable as hell.
In some areas of life, grey thinking can give us that ‘I’ll do it tomorrow’ mentality. Dude, you could be dead tomorrow. There is no tomorrow. You’re giving yourself permission to be lazy. You’re refusing to put any kind of pressure on yourself to go through discomfort in order to achieve your ambitions and engineer a better life.
It could be the kind of thinking that tells us that watching movies, playing video games and reading books all count as ‘research’ for what we want to write. Fair enough; if those things inspire you then use them in your writing. But ask yourself how much time you actually spend writing and how much time you spend ‘getting inspired’.
I’ve done it myself. I’ve been guilty as hell. And I’ll tell you now that unplugging my TV was the best thing I ever did, because suddenly I’ve got all this time free where I’m not sitting on my ass letting advertising vomit its consumer shit all over me. Now I only care about one thing: being a bestselling author. Suddenly, minus the distractions, everything else in my life has begun to revolve around it. Suddenly, without TV, you start to get shit done.
Grey thinking can be great, in some parts of our lives. In others, don’t go there. Some areas of life need black and white thinking. That you’re going to be a success, or you’re going to be a failure. That you’re going to look back on a life of insane ambition, or some mediocre existence because you never kicked yourself in the ass to do anything.
I’m not telling you this because I think I’m better than you. I’m telling you this because I’ve been worse than anyone I know, and I’ve snapped out of it. Kill your TV, write your book. Don’t look back on a life of what ifs.