On page 52 and onto page 53 of the American mass market paperback of Terry Pratchett's book "Moving Pictures" (a specific detail I just laboriously discovered via flipping,) there's a quote, that reads:
Cut-me-own-Throat Dibbler was one of those rare people with the ability to think in straight lines.
Most people think in curves and zig-zags. For example, they start from a thought like: I wonder how I can become very rich, and then proceed along an uncertain course which includes thoughts like: I wonder what's for supper, and: I wonder who I know who can lend me five dollars?
Whereas Throat waas one of those people who could identify the thought at the other end of the process, in this case I am now very rich, draw a line between the two, and then think his way along it, slowly and patiently, until he got to the other end.
Not that it worked. [...]
It's for pages like this that Terry Pratchett is one of my favorite authors -- and, indeed, this quote comes back to me every once in a while, though I've only just now finally gotten around to digging it out again.
And I think he's right. I know people who think -- er, I know one person who thinks -- in straight lines, the way Pratchett is describing, and he is, generally, quite a lot better off than a lot of the other people I know.
I also know that I don't have that talent, myself. I'm very much the type of person whose train of thought contains, in one sitting, "I want to be famous" and "This small craving for avocado seriously needs to be addressed."
And I think much of my self-improvement work has been centered around developing work-arounds for this shortcoming. (One of the best ones is, if thinking it through isn't working, don't think it through at all -- one is more likely to succeed striking out wildly in the general direction of the goal than deciding to have lunch instead. This is how my better drafts get written.)
So, that's my inspirational advice for today. Don't pay too much attention, and read more Pratchett.
Talk to you tomorrow.