Why deep thinkers often feel out of place in today’s fast-paced society

If there’s one country that is caught up in the chaotic, frenzied spiral of fast-paced life, it’s America, says therapist Dr. Stephanie Brown says in The New York Post

People are chasing power, success, and a wilder pace of life. “Just like any addiction, people are out of control in their behaviors, feeling, and thinking, yet they believe they are normal. This is progress in America,” says Dr. Brown. 

She believes that the problem with this is that we don’t pause or reflect. We’re so afraid of falling behind or worrying what will happen if we stop moving. 

“Fast at any cost is the mantra of a stressed and distressed American society today,” Dr. Brown continues. 

Deep thinkers may feel especially out of place in this kind of frantic-paced society. Here are seven reasons why. 

1) They like to live slow and steady and hate hustle culture 

Deep thinkers despise being rushed. They think the concept of multitasking is a modern malfunction

There’s no need to do a million things at once. Not only is it unsustainable, but whatever it is you’re doing is unlikely to have the best possible quality if it’s being completed that fast. 

Deep thinkers abhor the idea of over-scheduling and double-booking. They don’t see that as a point of pride because it shows the world how busy and in demand they are. Conversely, they see it as more of an embarrassment because it shows a lack of commitment, respect, and compassion. 

Deep thinkers tend to be long-term thinkers; therefore, they know the rat race will inevitably lead to mental and physical health issues. 

Life is too short to run yourself into the ground before you can finally enjoy yourself. Deep thinkers want to stop and smell the roses. And they do.

2) They don’t think daydreaming is a waste of time 

Our hustle and bustle culture looks down on daydreaming. It’s thought of as unproductive and a pastime that only children have a real right to. 

Deep thinkers know that this is far from the truth. 

“Deep thinkers see it as an intellectual adventure. They frequently drift into their imaginations, exploring possibilities and ideas,” says Badiuzzaman Pappu

They think that letting their mind wander enhances their creativity and even their problem-solving skills. 

People avoid slowing down to sit and think because they believe it will be boring, says Kou Murayama, PhD

“In the modern digital world, it’s so easy to ‘kill time’ when there is free time,” Murayama says. “But it may be a good idea to immerse ourselves in thinking in such a situation.” 

Distraction-free downtime gives your brain a break, allows you to reset, and it reconnects you with your most authentic hopes and desires. 

Deep thinkers do this on a regular basis because they know that slowing down helps them tune into who they really are instead of being caught up by the dictates of worldly labels. 

In our fast-paced frazzled world, the problem is that we no longer know how to think, says Steve Mueller from Planet of Success. 

“Our thinking is unfocused, superficial, and not directed,” he says. “It simply occurs randomly, but we don’t give much thought to it. At the same time, we don’t use our thinking processes to think deeply. We no longer seek to think beyond our boundaries.”

Deep thinkers may feel out of place not being as out and about in the world, but they would rather tune out all the noise to tune into themselves because self-evolution is their prime goal. 

3) They don’t get why people need to have instant gratification 

No doubt we live in a world of instant gratification. We want everything yesterday. 

If we have a dream and it hasn’t manifested within a short amount of time, we get restless and give up. We expect life to be akin to an Amazon order: if it isn’t here by the next business day, we don’t want it. We move on to something else that promises to come faster, even if it isn’t right for us. 

“Deep thinkers would rather wait a little bit longer and get what they really want,” says Jano Le Roux from Medium. “They know that if they want something, they need to work for it. In a fast-paced world, it’s easy to get caught up in the need for instant gratification. We want what we want, and we want it now.”

Patience is certainly a virtue, and I’ll be the first to admit that it’s not something that comes naturally for me. I have had to learn it. 

But I’ve found that having to wait for something is often a blessing in disguise. It usually means that something better is coming, or it means that the timing isn’t quite right. When it does come, it’s always better than I imagined and it comes at a time when I can truly appreciate and enjoy it. 

4) They don’t feel the need to always be “on”

pic1481 1 Why deep thinkers often feel out of place in today’s fast-paced society

Deep thinkers tend to be loners in this fast-paced world because they’re not on the level with second-by-second Whatsapp messages or they haven’t been posting daily to their Instagram stories. 

They’ll only post something to social media—if they do at all—when it moves them to do so or they think it is worthwhile and significant, and it makes them happy to do so. 

Similar to the last point, they don’t see the point in being “on” and getting attention on Twitter unless they have something meaningful to contribute to the conversation. 

5) They take the time to communicate thoughtfully 

In this frantic-speed world we live in, it seems that everybody has an opinion. This is great, of course, but it also depends on if you’re not really thinking about what you’re saying in a thoughtful way and are only adding to the noise.

In other words, you’re adding to the problem or issue instead of offering well thought-out solutions that could make it better. 

I recently interviewed Alia Bhatt, arguably the most successful actress working in India today. She also recently made her Hollywood debut Heart of Stone opposite Gal Gadot. 

I asked Bhatt if her father—famous Indian director Mahesh Bhatt—ever gave her advice on her acting career. 

This is what Bhatt told me: 

“He has always said this to me: ‘You can always have an opinion on anything from disease to divinity but the world can do with one less opinion.’ I truly believe that opinions too often give what’s not necessary,” she says. “I believe in making a situation better. If you’re just going to add to the noise, then don’t bother.”

In other words, deep thinkers don’t feel the desire or need to rush in with their own opinion. They would rather come to their own conclusions and only add to the situation if they have something unique and purposeful to add. They aren’t ones to clamor for attention or need to prove to the world that their perspective is the right one. 

Thoughtful communication is a hallmark of deep thinkers,” says Pappu. “They carefully consider their words before speaking, rather than blurting out the first thing that comes to mind. It reflects their thoughtfulness and consideration.”

6) They can’t stand cutthroat competition

Deep thinkers feel out of place in the rat race of life. They don’t get office politics and the idea of stepping on others so that they can get ahead.

They know that their only real competition is themselves. They just want to be better than who they were the day before. 

That doesn’t mean they’re not ambitious—deep thinkers are actually some of the most successful people in society. But they believe that their livelihood should be purposeful and give back to the world. 

They want to leave the planet in a better place and want to know that their personal contribution mattered. 

7) They steer clear of over-stimulation 

One big reason that deep thinkers tend to feel out of place in our fast-paced society is that they unplug often—whether it’s from their smartphone, social media, the news, and television in general.

They may not be in the “loop” about everything but they prefer it that way because they could do without the stress, anxiety, and sense of burnout that these devices can exacerbate. 

When our brains are constantly bombarded with sensory information or have to process too much information, we can become overwhelmed and exhausted,” says the team at Heal Your Nervous System. Being exposed to too much sensory input at once can lead to feelings of stress, tension, irritability, and fatigue, they say. 

Deep thinkers know that over-stimulation can cause a host of problems such as difficulty focusing, restlessness and agitation, irritability, and brain fog. 

It can also cause an aversion to sensory input and heightened sensitivity to loud noises or bright lights. 

For this reason, deep thinkers like to be surrounded by a soothing, calm environment. This can mean soft lighting and muted color tones in their home and office. 

Rather than see them flying out of their car to a Starbucks with their phone to their ear, you’ll spot them walking their dog at sunrise in complete contemplation. They’ll be the ones sitting quietly on the bench by the river, staring into the distance. 

Really, isn’t this how life was meant to be experienced after all?

Wendy Kaur

Wendy Kaur

Wendy Kaur is a Toronto-based journalist whose work has been published by The Globe & Mail, ELLE USA, ELLE Canada, British Vogue, Town & Country, and others.

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