wisdom

When Your Mind Travels at Warp Speed: Tips for Intense, Deep, Sensitive Thinkers.

 

You have a lot to say. A gazillion ideas run through your head. Insight. Analysis. Book reviews. Strong opinions. Inventions. Songs. Stories. Hopes. Diatribes. Responsibilities.

Poems. Musical scores. To-do lists. Intuitions. Worries. Dreams. Fears. Speeches. Choreography. Self-criticism. Images of catastrophes yet to unfold.

You may have trouble communicating these ideas. Being heard. Feeling understood. Fitting in.

For several possible reasons:

How do you choose which of the gazillion to share? It’s hard to grab on to any one idea when they’re flying so fast. You don’t know anyone who cares about dark matter or radical feminist theory. You could pontificate excitedly for hours about your latest research, but even your dog falls asleep after 10 minutes. You can’t control your urge to correct people’s errors. You were told girls shouldn’t look too smart.

You were seen as the troublemaker in your family. Teachers ignored you when you raised your hand for the 10th time that day. You were told boys shouldn’t have so many feelings. You’re an introvert. You’re an extravert. You’re not speaking your native language. You’ve been bullied for your smartness. You talk really, really fast.

So, what do you do?

First of all, you need to understand that your fast, deep, sensitive mind isn’t something you need to hide. Or dumb down. Or diagnose. In fact, it’s something to celebrate. To appreciate about yourself. I mean it.

You may have been called a geek, nerd, know-it-all, or weirdo. You may have been diagnosed OCD, ADD, or bipolar. You may have been told that you’re too intense, too dramatic, too verbal, too curious, and too sensitive.

The truth is it’s likely that you’re ahead of your time.

As far as I can tell, there aren’t many of you out there yet. I’m hoping that more humans are being born every day whose minds travel at warp speed. Who think a lot, feel a lot, know a lot, question a lot, and care a lot. And yes, admit it, who cry a lot.

You just might be an old soul. A trailblazer. A visionary.

And that can be inspiring, exciting, and lonely.

Extraordinarily lonely.

What, then, can an old soul, trailblazer, visionary, fast thinker, deep feeler, and all around sensitive human do once you’ve appreciated your you-ness (which may take some time, but is so important) but are still lonely?

Well, here’s an idea.

Find activities where you can feel nourished while letting your mind soar.

Make a list for yourself and then do them. Here are some of my ideas:

Start a blog. Keep a journal. Write a book. Get another degree. Become a researcher for Wikipedia. Learn to meditate. Study a martial art. Let yourself geek out whenever you can. Become an indexer. Become an entrepreneur. Get involved in activities you love and use your intuition to find other fast, deep thinkers. Run for a political office. Learn the Argentine tango. Become an astrophysicist.

Start a Silent Book Club in your town. Talk to trees and rivers and let them love you. Paint. Become a contributor to Rebelle Society. Start a podcast. Read Maria Popova’s Brain Pickings. Give yourself permission to change jobs/careers when you need to. Make art. Read and contact your favorite authors. Find a therapist who loves smart people. Read and write comments on Your Rainforest Mind.

And remember this: You have a lot to say, and the world needs to hear it.

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Paula Prober is a licensed counselor, consultant, author, and tango dancer in private practice in Eugene, Oregon. She’s spent over 30 years working with gifted youth and adults as a teacher, consultant, adjunct instructor with the University of Oregon, and a guest presenter at Pacific University and Oregon State University. She consults internationally with smart and sensitive adults and parents of gifted children. Her book, Your Rainforest Mind: A Guide to the Well-Being of Gifted Adults and Youth, was released in June 2016. She blogs at Your Rainforest Mind, a blog in support of the excessively curious, creative, smart and sensitive.

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