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Going in Circles

21 May

It is interesting what comes to mind when you think about those three simple words – Going In Circles. To some, this can conjure up the pointlessness or futility of a particular activity, where our ‘going in circles’ is a statement of the meaninglessness of our action. How many times have we found ourselves in intense discussion with someone who is not understanding our explanation of the facts as we see them and we repeat ourselves and repeat ourselves and repeat ourselves only to arrive exasperated at the exact same jumping off point where our journey began.

To others, ‘going in circles’ is a description of their beloved motor racing sport of choice. In this instance, ‘going in circles’ is essential and the faster that translation can occur then the better it is for the driver and his team. For some reason, this form of ‘going in circles’ is not meaningless, but meaningful – as long as you are talking to the right person.

But what about going in circles around a specific object – or mentally circling  specific idea? In this scenarios, there is limited physical activity, however the exertional stresses can far surpass the longest of Nascar races. It is this method of ‘going in circles’ that I find most fascinating, and yet most frustrating – even more frustrating than the constant left hand turns of a car race. When I find myself ‘going in circles’ around a subject I find myself losing sight of everything else and becoming transfixed on the object of my concentration. It is as if I fail to look at where I am actually going and in stead affix my gaze on the center of the circle I am drawing around this mental exercise. I find myself circling and circling until an answer becomes apparent, at which point an exit ramp magically appears and I have the freedom to leave that circle and to pursue other interests.

Do you ever find yourself going in circles? Is it more often a good thing or a bad thing? How do you break the arc and return to linear motion once more?

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