John Horky’s analytical mindset has shaped his perspective on life

John Horky is fascinated by the analytical process of breaking down the whys behind happenings in the world and his life.

John Horky

John Horky is fascinated by the analytical process of breaking down the “why’s” behind happenings in the world and his life.

Senior John Horky watched a two-hour video on the ranking of Disney movies, fascinated by the analysis.

In the video, the YouTuber broke down the aspects of the characters, delving into the details about their attributes and what makes them resonate with the audience. Another covered Marvel characters, illustrating how the familial ties in Black Panther subtly make us root for the villain.

For John, looking into these specifics is like solving a puzzle, and he strives to put the whole picture together.

“I’m always looking for patterns,” John said. “It’s a bunch of little moments that lead up to something, and it was hinted at. Or, in a murder mystery, I’m always trying to [figure out] who it is earlier, like all the rest of us, but I really actually try and put things together instead of just taking a guess.”

John looks for the connections and clues to understand what’s going on, rather than passively taking in what happens.

He began to take that mindset and apply it to analyzing human behavior. To explore this further, he took AP Psychology and learned about the functions of the brain, specifically the inner workings behind thoughts and emotions.

This gave John the opportunity to see the science behind the analysis process he loved. He discovered the intricacies behind people’s opinions and why they think what they think.

“Most of this trying to understand people is [figuring out] why people accept that they’re wrong so sparingly,” John said. “I can prove that you’re wrong. I know I’m right. I have all this evidence, and you just won’t see. And, it’s a list of reasons. You can break it down.”

He found that these reasons are related to the body’s involuntary responses. It’s all tied together, from emotions to habits, building up over time to form patterns.

With his analytical mindset, John started to notice these habitual trends in his own routines, too, especially in his sleep cycle, which is remarkably consistent.

I don’t have anything to be driving home too fast about or rushing through my day for. [I’m] trying to get home and, what, watch Netflix on my couch? There’s no need for that.”

— John Horky

“You wake up at 7:18 a.m. every day, [with] no alarm, just because that’s what you do,” John said. “That’s what I did today. [Despite the] two-hour delay, I just woke up at 7:18 on the dot. No reason. It’s just your circadian rhythm [(the body’s internal clock, regulating such processes as sleep)].”

AP Psychology isn’t the only class that John has connected back to real life. He takes two math classes, Linear Algebra and Differential Equations, at Calvin University.

His teacher explains the applications of these difficult mathematics, making all the work put in worth it.

“We do a month of math,” John said. “It makes absolutely no sense, and it’s just utter garbage. Then, at the end, he’s like, ‘Oh, we can use this to predict the spreading patterns of the flu,’ and he shows us [how]. It’s like, ‘Wow, that’s amazing!” And, he says, ‘You can do that at the end of our course.’”

While school subjects tend to have more apparent utilities, smaller everyday experiences are often overlooked. However, the connections from his classes have shown him the significance of each aspect of his life. Seeing these general patterns and real-world applications pushed John to also look carefully at his own actions.

John especially is concerned with his impatience and the broader significance of his disposition.

“I’m just not very patient, and I don’t know why,” John said. “I don’t have anything to be driving home too fast about or rushing through my day for. [I’m] trying to get home and, what, watch Netflix on my couch? There’s no need for that. And, I think it’s just the way I’ve always lived. I get home, and I do a certain set of things.”

John believes that this tendency to rush comes from the continuous pressure he feels to complete tasks in order to accumulate free time. He’s picking out a college right now, which he says is so that he can get a good job and retire early and thus have as much free time as possible.

He realized this from his analytic mindset and now wants to change this lifestyle and focus on the big picture, all the puzzle pieces finally put together.

“When I really look back at it in a wide-angle lens, all my life is about trying to be done with everything,” John said. “And, it’s just a bad way to live life—a moment at a time. What I came to realize is that it’s a mix of the two: you have to be able to enjoy the common things every day and also have big goals.”