How to Stop Thinking

Good day, class. Today I’m going to teach you how to stop thinking.

I don’t mean I’m recommending you completely stop thinking. I certainly don’t want you to stop thinking about what I’m presenting to you, or to stop remembering to keep reading my works. It is how terminating the thought process benefits in selective circumstances I wish to explain.

Such as at work. Particular moments when you might want to stop thinking at work include: when you are in a long, boring meeting; when you are talking to a long-winded, boring, coworker; or when you need to fail to demonstrate the aptitudes your boss thinks you have so you can get out of crappy work detail.

You might think that shutting off the thought process is easy, simply turn on the nearest television to popular programming. Congratulations, you are well on your way to stopping thought, as you have already forgotten that televisions are not always present where you wish to stop thinking, like at work. See how you did that? If not, congratulations again.

If you are still following at this point, a most effective first step is to make sure others see you as incapable of thought. Feign your best look of not thinking, which might include glossy eyes and a glazed over expression. A slackened jaw and opened mouth add to the look of thoughtlessness. Also effective is your manner of dress – mismatched colors, fabrics, or styles add credence to cluelessness, particularly if paired items – shoes, socks, gloves – do not match. Top it off with uncombed hair. Stare straight ahead as if the software in your brain became stuck in a loop, and you are waiting for a reboot.

If someone approaches you with conversation, a well-timed “huh” or “did you say something” is effective in telegraphing your inability to think; this response must come only after an appropriate time to appear to bring your brain back online. When you do acknowledge others’ comments, punctuate them with “Wow, I never thought of that.” Be careful not to slip and say something like, “Boy, I have a lot to learn,” as such a response illustrates you are capable of the thought required to learn. Also, try not to go too far and respond with, “I ate a cookie today.” The goal is to appear thoughtless, not idiotic.

Once someone has your attention, you will need to appear to lose your train of thought, or really lose it. To actually shut off thought, you must redirect thought patterns. One effective way is to recite a mantra such as “I want pudding, I want pudding” or “domo origato Mr. Roboto.” In fact, thinking of any Styx, Journey, or REO Speedwagon lyric is sufficiently strong to clear your mind of useful thoughts. Be careful not to recite the mantra aloud; the goal is to appear incapable of sustaining topical thought, not rational thought. You want to be left alone, not committed.

Sitting in a lotus position, or assuming a yoga position, is usually recommended to help clear the mind. It certainly adds the benefit of keeping people away, as the position will make them think you are unapprochably weird. But keep in mind it is also a position that is easily distracted from. It is better to repose in a very uncomfortable position, such as on a solid bar, or with something jabbing you in the back, as it will result in difficulty thinking of anything other than your discomfort. If you are in a situation where comfort is the only possible option, dig your nails into an arm, leg, or other body part until all you can think about is the pain. But do not make it too painful, you want your expression to be blank, not wincing. The goal is to appear empty minded, not busy thinking; the busy person can be easily reassigned to some other, crappier, busier task.

You know you have achieved success when...wait. What was I talking about?

Class dismissed.