Life has good and bad moments, though sometimes it seems you only get the bad: your car breaks down, your job is awful, or your girlfriend dumps you.
Everyone reacts differently in these moments: some cry, some sleep, some eat…and some brood.
Anyone can complain or sulk in the corner, but productive brooding in an art. It requires time, and in today’s quick fix and distracting culture, it’s rare to find.
Yet, brooding is easy, and requires nothing but dwelling in your personal sorrow.
A productive brood will take a man away from the pain, away from the sorrow, and bring him to a place of action. For some, it’s using the pain to fuel a passionate fire.
Brooding is not a new concept and has been mastered by many through the centuries and in literature.
Here are 9 great brooders:
- Martin Luther – Brooded over man’s depravity and its consequences, leading to the Protestant Reformation.
2. Alexandre Dumas – Used the tragedy of his father’s false imprisonment as the basis for The Count of Monte Cristo.
3. Abraham Lincoln – Fought to preserve the Union, but was also known for fighting depression.
4. Mark Twain – Perhaps the best example of covering annoyance, pain, and/or misery with humor. He would often take depressing circumstances and twist a humorous anecdote or maxim from them.
5. King David – just read through the Psalms.
6. Winston Churchill – Fought against depression his whole life, but always came out on top.
7. George Washington – A man of great self-mastery, he would concentrate of resolving the problem, rather than merely getting miserable over it.
8. King Alfred the Great – When the Danes took over his kingdom, it was his famous brood that distracted him and caused the cakes he was supposed to be watching to burn. But, that time gave him the inspiration to fight back.
9. Job – Proof that friends are not always helpful when brooding.
Steps for a Good Brood
Privacy – Usually, others will not benefit from your brood. Instead, when trying to sort through your thoughts, look for a secluded location. Avoid distractions that interfere with the process. Friends can be helpful afterwards, but can cause more confusion in the beginning. Good locations are places like fields, quiet parks, your study.
Activity – If you can add a simple activity to your brood it can accelerate the process. It’s best to stick with things that require little thought: walking, running, shooting hoops, pacing, even writing in some cases. Pick an activity that works best for you.
Set a Goal – Going into your brood, know what you are looking for. If dwelling in your misery is your intention, then that’s what you’ll get. If you want a plan, an idea, a purpose, you need to make it your goal to have one by the end of your brood.
The purpose of a brooding session is to resolve your emotional anguish with a productive end. Sadness and depression will seek to overpower you, to change you into a man no one wants to be around. A productive brood will give you wisdom and clarity, giving you strength to move forward to the next challenge.