I just got back from my date (yes, that’s why my blog is late) and it went well.  Not spectacularly, but well.  I hope we go out again! :)  Sorry, Eric, no essay quite yet!

The topic that was on my mind today was how humans are insanely good at projection – that is, putting ourselves in the place of others.  It’s why we are so naturally empathetic.  But more than that, humans are actually very good at making predictions (not necessarily being right about them, I guess, but that’s not the point)… and predictions are sort of like projections into the future.  I tend to trip myself up by putting too much thinking time and stock into these predictive plans.

Here’s an example – say that there’s a girl I like.  Rather than do the obvious, intelligent thing, and just live in the moment, I set up these imaginary possible futures in my head.  How would a relationship with this girl be?  What would life be like? etc.  I get so wrapped up in what things could be like that I forget to (or can’t) spend energy on what things are like.  This bites me time and time again, one of the major liabilities of being such a thinker, and you’d think I’d learn, but I don’t – and I think part of the reason is that it’s natural to default to exercising this powerful skill of prediction even if it’s emotionally negative.

My temporary (outer self to change the inner self?) solution is to be more spontaneous.  For example, I jumped in the Seattle Center fountain tonight during the date.  I was walking and thinking “man, I kinda want to jump in that fountain” and then, well, did.  She laughed and we bonded a bit over it, I think it was overall positive. :)  So that’s progress!