Enlightened Conflict

being yourself (part 2) … and mockingbirds

July 20th, 2014

be yourself and changing

 

———-

“Embrace your complexity, stretch your creativity, and live up to your potential, you are what makes the world great.”
Dan Wells

———-

 

 

Oddly.

 

I thought about being yourself the other day when I saw a mockingbird chirping away loudly <as mockingbirds do> … proudly singing its song … and … well … every other bird’s song within ear reach.

 

Mockingbirds are the world’s best mimics.

 

They are also quite aggressively protective of their nests and feeding territories.

 

 

Their call is a loud, sharp ‘check’ and their song is a long, complex song consisting of a mixture of original and imitative phrases, each repeated several times.

 

So while ferociously independent … they are excellent mimickers of other birds.

 

 

In other words … they are strong defenders of self and self space … and yet more than willing to forfeit any sense of self in their vocalness … how they express themselves.
Well.

 

Being yourself is a topic that ever gets old … because it is so difficult to actually do <and advice spans from ‘don’t go changing to please anyone’ to ‘being different is good’ to … well … suffice it to say pretty much everyone spouts out ‘be yourself despite what anyone tells you’>.
I have tackled this topic twice before:

 

 

————

http://brucemctague.com/being-yourself

———–

http://brucemctague.com/to-be-yourself-or-nobody

————-

be yourself self expression

 

Regardless.

 

 

Simply suggesting ‘be yourself’ <with the unsaid ‘so damn the torpedoes and full speed ahead’>is a very poor attempt in simplifying something very complex.
You would think who you are, as in being yourself, would be simple … but it’s not.

 

 

And it’s not just that the world is constantly trying to change you <it is> … and that people around you are constantly trying to change you <they are> … but rather your inside <head & heart> are always changing.

 

 

And this whole ‘being yourself’ matters because it reverberates not only in your personal life & relationships but also in your business life.

 

 

Oh.

 

And there is certainly a relationship between talent and personality.
Ok.

 

Maybe not talent per se … but rather being as good as you can be at whatever you are actually naturally good at <and figuring out what you are actually good at is a test in itself>.

 

When misaligned ‘being yourself’ can hold you back or even be detrimental. It also certainly can lead to ‘being different for different sake.’
Here is the issue.

 

Much of being yourself is a moving target.
Personalities evolve.

 

be yourself who we are freeI hesitated to say ‘adapt’ … because I simply believe as you mature you are better able to asses yourself.

 

I imagine I am suggesting there is an inextricable link between being yourself & finding yourself.

 

——–

“In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

———

 

It is a Life truth that many things you felt strongly about with regard to ‘being yourself’ at 15 will look very very different <’awful’ different in fact> at 25 let alone 35.

 

In addition.

 

In youth ‘being yourself’ may not exactly match up with ‘your best.’ You may want to be the best guitarist in the world … but you find you have no rhythm <or any knack at catching a rhythm>. Being yourself in youth is expansive mostly because you do not really own any particular talent so you own personality.

 

As life goes on you acquire more & more talent and therefore can afford to lose components of that ‘being yourself unequivocal stance’ you took in youth as you gain other more tangible reflections of ‘yourself.’

 

 

Shit.

 

Just to be clear … even older people don’t get it right <in a different way … they tend to shrink>.

 

 

While in youth ‘yourself’ is forming itself in unimaginative ways <or maybe imagined ways> … unfortunately Life has a habit of squeezing ‘yourself’ as you age so that it becomes a smaller shrunken core <not suggesting that core isn’t really really important … just that it can get pretty frickin’ small if you let Life squeeze it too hard>.

 

Life is educational with regard to ‘being yourself.’

 

 

And as with any lessons in education … you listen … you learn … you make mistakes thru trial & error … and you move on to the ‘next level of yourself.’
But the uncomfortable Life truth is that yourself changes … and therefore being yourself changes.
It is uncomfortable because so many people spout the ‘don’t go changing’ tripe <and it is difficult to ignore>.
And that suggests you hold on to the initial ‘yourself’ for far too long.

 

Well.

 

It is an uncomfortable Life truth that letting go is difficult in and of itself … and even more so when discussing aspects of ‘yourself.’

 

 

But.

 

You have to learn to adapt. To hold on to what is important and let go of what is less important <which sounds incredibly easy in those few words but incredibly difficult in reality>.

 

This leads me to share a really nice thought from the musician William Fitzsimmons:being yourself apology

 

————

“The last couple years have been…full (kind of difficult to describe years in a single word). They have been wonderful, painful, long, incredibly brief, and more educational and rewarding than any I’ve ever lived before.

I finished touring on the previous record feeling very conflicted. The longer I’m given the wonderful opportunity to write and create things, and subsequently share them with others, the more seriously and preciously I take that endeavor and responsibility.

It is something I look upon with the utmost gratitude and respect.

And yet at the same time I find myself making art in a field that is itself quite the opposite of it. I am learning that one of the most difficult things about being human is not merely facing things that you don’t generally find comfortable or appropriate or even good, but actually learning how to live in the midst of it and not let it take over who you are.

When you feel you are on a wrong-headed path, the quickest way to get where you want to go is to turn around, head back, and start again from the point you went askew.

And so I did.

I returned simply to the things, which have always brought me some measure of understanding, peace, and movement.

William Fitzsimmons

————

 

Ah.

 

Starting again.

 

 

Starting again with ‘yourself.’

 

 

Maybe that is the most uncomfortable truth about ‘yourself’ … sometimes you need to turn around … head back … and restart.

 

 

REstart as in … take a couple steps back … to take the steps forward you want.

——-

“Very few people do this any more. It’s too risky. First of all, it’s a hell of a responsibility to be yourself. It’s much easier to be somebody else or nobody at all.”

Sylvia Plath

———

Yeah.
Its risky … this ‘restarting’ thing.

 

Stepping back means … well … shit … that some people and some things may pass you by while you are focusing on where the heck is that one place I can finally get to in order to restart.

 

being myself agony hope

That is really really hard.
Mentally and practically.

 

But as with anything in life … its about choices. And what is most important to you.
The mockingbird has sacrificed a part of ‘self’ … and yet has maintained other aspects that make it thrive in almost any neighborhood you visit in its territorial world.

 

It’s funny.

 

I used the mockingbird as an example … because I <personally> would never sacrifice my ‘song’ with regard to being myself.
Never.

 

That is the line I have drawn for myself.

 

And we all should, and need, to draw our own line.

 

 

Regardless.

 

I imagine my point is that we adapt ‘self’ as Life goes on.

 

We embrace some aspects and let go of others.

 

That’s what growing up is all about.

 

It’s a hell of a responsibility to being yourself … and even more so if you actually evolve.

 

Yup.

 

More so.

 

Because many people – who typically like to slot you in some general category – will struggle with any changes you make and aspects you ‘let go of’ … almost always coming back to ‘but you used to …’ as an example of ‘you are compromising yourself.’

 

being yourself cahnging
They are wrong.

 

We change.

 

We adapt.

 

Being yourself is not stagnant.

 

Nor should it be.

the most when least expected

July 19th, 2014

expectations reality diagram

———

“Maybe who we are isn’t so much about what we do, but rather what we’re capable of when we least expect it.”

Jodi Picoult

———-

“After all, our lives are but a sequence of accidents – a clanking chain of chance events. A string of choices, casual or deliberate, which add up to that one big calamity we call life.”

Rohinton Mistry

———-

 

Ok.

 

So I tend to believe we measure ourselves by what we expect of ourselves when … well … we have expectations of ourselves.

 

 

But.

 

expect seldom occursIf this big ‘calamity we call Life’ is simply a sequence of accidents … a chain of chance events … maybe we should be measuring ourselves by what we are capable of when we least expect it.
Most of us are capable of a shitload.

 

And most of us give ourselves a shitload of criticism for not meeting expectations when we expect to do something. And, yet, most of life is a shitload of unexpected things.

 

It would be nice if Life acted upon the same principle as the programming technology industry … the principle of least astonishment.

 

In other words … if some key technology feature has a high astonishment factor <the surprise factor> they immediately conclude it may be necessary to redesign the feature. The design should match the user’s experience, expectations, and mental models <in other words … surprises are bad>.

 

 

expect most all
Well.

 

 

Unfortunately Life doesn’t work that way.

 

And neither do we.
Life astonishes us on a fairly consistent basis … and we astonish ourselves on a far equal amount of the time.
Least expected typically refers to something that is the least likely <or most unlikely> to happen.

 

 

And yet what we do, what we are capable of, in these least expected moments … are actually the least unexpected.

 

 

Because least unexpected refers to something that is the least unlikely <or most likely> to happen.

 

In our heads, and often in our words, unlikely or unexpected get jumbled up with least likely and least expected and in all the jumbledness the result ends up least unexpected.

<don’t worry … my head started getting confused & hurting when I wrote that>

 

see what we look forJust to be silly … I would suggest that all the misuses are not in the least unexpected.

 

Just to be not silly … I would suggest that what we are capable of when we least expect it is typically pretty frickin’ amazing.

 

 

 

In the unplanned calamity of Life we make choices … and in a least unexpected way we do pretty fucking well.
Remember this:

———

“Adventures do occur, but not punctually.”

E.M. Forster

———

Life is not punctual.

 

Nor is Life planned ahead of time.

 

Life is often one big calamity.

 

The only thing we can expect of Life is the unexpected.

 

 

The least unexpected thing?

 

What we are capable of … and who we are is not just defined but what we do <in general> but rather what we do in the unexpected calamity of Life. The create you are whatchoices we make in the unexpected chain of moments that make up most of Life.

 

 

Any idiot can ‘do’ in the expected moments.

 

The measure of a person is truly found in what you do in the unexpected moments.

 

growing up unevenly

July 18th, 2014

 growing up and shutting up

———

“We do not grow absolutely, chronologically. We grow sometimes in one dimension, and not in another; unevenly. We grow partially. We are relative. We are mature in one realm, childish in another. The past, present, and future mingle and pull us backward, forward, or fix us in the present. We are made up of layers, cells, constellations.”

Anaïs Nin

———

 

 

So.

 

No one grows up evenly.

 

Shit.

 

We don’t even think and learn evenly.
<my 2011 post: http://brucemctague.com/intellect-ignorance-the-learning-boundaries>

 

Here is the truth.

 

Ignorance is boundless.

 

Knowledge is limited <only in terms of time>.

 

And learning is never symmetrical.

 

 

 

If you believe how you think, what you think … and what you know <and what you think you know> is the foundational idea of Life <and growing up> then you would have to believe by expanding the circle of knowledge you are simultaneously expanding the boundaries of ignorance.

 

 

In other words, the more things you learn, the more things you become aware you don’t know.

 

Now that, my friends, is an awesomely simple concept.

 

 

The whole idea of ignorance always outpacing knowledge and learning is something I believe we should think about more often.

 

 

Why?

 

learn stupid 1 boy meets worldlearn stupid 2

Because <1> … we make comparisons or judgments based on linear standards.
This is relevant to growing up, test scores and even performance reviews.
“If you started here you should be here by this time.”

 

 

Because <2> … we feel a constant failure to learn everything <or more>.

 

Therefore we constantly get discouraged because by remaining in the ‘ignorance zone,’ despite having invested energy in knowledge gathering to actually get out of that zone, one can theoretically never feel a satisfaction of ‘something completed’.

 

 

Because <part3> …. Ignorance attacks you in a 360degree fashion.

This only matters because we attack ignorance on a focused limited degree approach.

 

I will illustrate by showing you this diagram <which I did not do> where the circle of knowledge has inconsistent edges.

uneven Circle Of Knowledge-

 

When I saw this diagram I thought it perfectly reflected:

 

-              how people expand their learning knowledge <outside a school construct as well as inside a school construct>

-         my own personal challenge when it comes to increasing knowledge and ignorance

-            why people <in general> grow up unevenly

——–

 

Suffice it to say … even as we expand ourselves and get better … the choices we make … well … make us grow unevenly.

 

And that can not only make us feel uncomfortable but it can also make the people around us feel uncomfortable.

 

———

“Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you.”

Gayle Forman

——–

 

Regardless.

 

All this unevenness is simply growth … and growing up.

 

Each spike in learning and knowledge is the another initial breakthrough in the attack on ignorance.

 

Each spike inevitably leads to a curiosity driven rounding out of fuller understanding and knowledge.
Using myself as an example … beyond some ’rounding out’ I would imagine there is an inevitable new ‘spike’ somewhere else … I assume I had read or heard something that piqued my curiosity in another direction.

 

Therefore, and I believe this is the neatest thought, this is a perpetual process with spikes and rounding out but in the end the circle just keeps getting bigger and bigger <and bigger is better>.

 

 

Unfortunately … this is also a reflection of growing up.

 

Growing up is uneven.

 

You become more expert and informed on certain topics at the expense of others … some experiences at the expense of others.

 

 

sitting in doorwayThis also has repercussions on where people end up in Life.

 

The well rounded circle – that might have characterized the end of the classic education system and the classically defined ‘well rounded person’ – is inevitably being replaced with the profile of an expert <or increased passion on a topic> in some particular domain.

 

 

This inevitably means creating a person who will never end up with a perfect circle … but rather an ellipse, at best, or some wacky trapezoid <or some random shape with edges … not rounded curves>. And some people will actually be a straight relatively thin rectangle.
But.

My main point?

 

There is no such thing as a well rounded person. You may aspire to be well rounded but even at your best … you are some shape other than a circle type person.

 

I admit.

 

I like this thought.

 

I like that we all grow up unevenly and we learn unevenly,

 

It implies society & culture is like a jig saw puzzle up to us humans o figure out how to fit together.

 

But his also creates some problems for us wacky ‘comfortable with a plan’ group of citizens.

 

It focuses us on ‘we need to build this type of expertise’ silos of people. And yet people, in general, are maximize in a more random ‘stimulate and go in whatever direction you want to go way.

 

———

“Any fool can know. The point is to understand.”
Albert Einstein

———-

Look.

 

We know what we want.
We want ourselves, anyone in fact, to simply be a well rounded individual maximizing their talents.

 

 

We don’t really understand how to attain it <because there is a randomness to the plan>.
While “we are made up of layers, cells, constellations” is a little too poetically nebulous for me … I do like ‘we grow up unevenly.’
And I do believe it makes us a little uncomfortable … this unevenness.

 

And we try and try <and try again> to even it out as much as we can.

 

 

Uhm.

 

Maybe we should be investing the same energy to encourage passionate energetic unevenness instead.

 

Maybe if we did that the overall ‘grown-upedness’ or intellectualism of all people would simply reside at a higher level.brain and clever pooh

 

 

And then I would have to assume we would be smart enough to then figure out how to put all the uneven jig saw pieces together and create a better happier world <with happier people as individuals>.

 

 

Just a thought.

 

But I am an uneven guy.

if you liked this you may want to do this

July 17th, 2014

behavior people quote

 

Ok.

 

This is about the quasi-persvasive myth of ‘the best predictor of someone’s future behavior is their past behavior’ <which is actually not really true> and how to actually ‘predict’ some behavior yet do so without invading someone’s privacy.

 

 

———-

Psychological scientists who study human behavior agree that past behavior is a useful marker for future behavior. But …. only under certain specific conditions:

1. High-frequency, habitual behaviors are more predictive than infrequent behaviors.

—-

2. Predictions work best over short time intervals.

—-

3. The anticipated situation must be essentially the same as the past situation that activated the behavior.

—-

4. The behavior must not have been extinguished by corrective or negative feedback.

behavior figuring it out—-

5. The person must remain essentially unchanged.

—–

6. The person must be fairly consistent in his or her behaviors.

———

 

Well.

 

That is certainly a list that filters a shitload of people OUT of past behavior predicting future behavior <… uhm … how many of us have not changed ?>.

 

 

Projecting behavior, secrets and … well … personal privacy in a transparent online world is a complex discussion.

 

 

Oh.

 

And it is also a formula that doesn’t quite add up to me … sharing a secret + seeking advice on what to do <personal behavior> does not equal personal privacy.

 

 

Uhm.

 

In fact … it almost presumes shared privacy & sharing secrets <albeit with some limits I would assume> in order to receive the desired projected behavior tips & suggestions.
In other words … I cannot get something without giving something.
Anyway.

 

That said.

I did not mistype the headline.

 

I imagine all of us have shopped online or read an article online where the website has a nifty feature which says something like “you may also like” or “if you bought this you may like” tips.

 

 

Well.

 

Some smart writers came up with that wording … because the technology behind all the analysis that allows the suggestions to occur … is really saying to you “if you liked this you may want to DO this.”
Please note as I discuss his topic … while technology has changed a shit load of things … technology is simply a facilitator <sorry … it is not evil in and of itself>.

 

It is the deliverer of the real game changer … behavioral analysis.

 

 

Now.

 

Behavioral analysis can quickly get abused … in that if we people do not think for ourselves and assess the information and ‘guidance’ we receive … we simply become sheep to technology herders.

 
And I shared that ‘sheep’ thought because there is something called life-logging <a wearable or portable technology> that not only tracks us and what we do and where we go … but it can quasi-predict your next ‘expected’ move.

 

It actually predicts and encourages your next move as well as provides a personal stream of information of your life <hence the name ‘life-logging>.

 

Yup.

 

This is the technology version of “if you did this then you really want to do this.”

 

I believe there are several options available now but I am going to highlight Saga because I liked the way they crafted and wrote their site information:

——–

 behavior predict lots people

Saga automatically records your real life story, as told by the places you visited and the things you’ve done. We all have a great story to tell. Let Saga tell yours. Remember Everything. Life is short. Capture every moment, even the little ones, in your lifelog. Learn about your habits and set meaningful goals with the insight you gain. the apps integrate with services including Twitter, Foursquare, and Instagram, enabling users to pool and manage their own personal data. Narrato provides users with a “lifestream” so that information is available in one place and exportable for users to manage and save, creating an extremely rich picture of the user’s activities.

 

——–

In doing some background research I have noted that lifelogging apps do everything in their power to suggest they are not stalkers or creepy … they do so by suggesting personal empowerment … ‘giving power to the user’ … and all the time allowing all that personal data to be managed safely in their own “personal cloud”.
Ok.

 

Before I tell you how it works.

 

Let me move to ‘secrets’ for a moment.

 

Which … by the way … is a version of security <or personal privacy>.

 

Lets face it.

 

Like it or not <and boy oh boy older people do NOT like it> in a technology world … secrets will be … well … fleeting.

 

no_secret

In fact … I sense the only way to keep a secret is to not place it anywhere in or on technology <in fact I just saw an article where Germany is suggesting using typewriters again solely to combat spying>.

 

 

Now.
Before anyone goes ape shit on privacy and such … keeping secrets has never been easy.

 

In fact.
People have always sucked at keeping secrets.

 

Thinking that technology is ‘infringing upon things that are ours’ is … well … archaic thinking <at least to some degree>.

 

 

I am not absolving technology for having some moral & ethical guidelines … but let’s be realistic.

 

 

Anything comes with a price tag.
Everything is a tradeoff.

We seem to want one thing <secrecy & privacy>.

 

 

Uhm.

 

We also seem to want ‘if you liked this you may like this.’

 

Can’t have both folks.

 

Sorry.

 

And it is gonna get tougher for all of us as ‘lifelogs’ slide into our lives.

 

That said.

 

How do lifelog apps work <in this case Saga as my example>?

 

They use the sensors on your smartphone to build your lifelog.

It records the places you’ve visited and the trips you’ve taken without any input from you.

All you have to do is go about your Life … living it … and the sensors tag along for the ride <recording & capturing everything>.

 

It’s certainly not perfect because it cannot always guess your location correctly <the first time around> but ongoing action and behavior constantly improves the location algorithms.
Saga actually does a nice job explain this aspect:

 

——–

There are a few reasons why Saga could get your location wrong.

The Problem: Your current location isn’t in our database.
While Saga knows millions of places worldwide, chances are pretty good that your home, work, or favorite bench may not be in our database.

The Fix: It’s easy to add new places to Saga in the Change Place screen. And once you do, Saga should have no problem following you to all the places you go on a regular basis.

The Problem: You may have a bad GPS fix.
It happens. While GPS satellites are amazing, there are times that they’re just not accurate enough to figure out that you’re at the coffee shop and not the burger joint down the block.

The Fix: Buy yourself a personal GPS satellite. Or invest in a portable cell tower. Or just wait for a few minutes until you get a better connection. Saga will deal.

——-

The Problem: You’re at a new or obscure spot.
Saga can get confused if you go to a really obscure place. Especially if that really amazing, but unusual bar is right next to a super popular restaurant, shop, or landmark. When Saga can’t decide between two nearby places, it’ll often predict that you’re at the more popular place — just to be safe.

The Fix: Tell Saga where you really are. It’ll file that information away, and won’t make the same mistake twice. (Don’t worry, we won’t clue others into your secret little hideaway.)behavior deep thoughts

——-
<just a quick note on Saga: their website is very well written … an authentic honest straightforward conversational tone walking you through in a realistic way what they can, and cannot, do.>

——-

But here is where lifelogging behavioral is genius.

 

Because it is pop psychology <hence not really true> that ‘past behavior is the best indicator of future behavior.’

 

 

Oops.

 

That psychology is not so much a fact.

 

Sorry.

 

The truth is that the situation more often dictates behavior rather than anything we may have done in the past <and we also accumulate knowledge and therefore adapt>.

 

——–

“Researchers have determined that the situation plays a critical role in behavior. The situation is often more determinative than individual character traits. Personality theorist Walter Mischel – frequently cited in connection with the “best predictor” maxim – suggests that behavioral consistency is best described through if-then relationships between situations and behaviors, as in: “She does A when X, but B when Y.” So, a person may engage in heavy drug use when in the company of drug-using peers, but may stop using when she moves away and gets a fulfilling job.

———

 

 

This suggests lifelogging is genius.

 

It can actually assist in managing some behavioral aspects at the prime time to do so … within context … situational context as a matter of fact. It can see past behavior, recent actions and movement behavior. It can predict by combining past behavior & situational context.

 

Ok. It cannot predict … but rather ‘smartly suggest.’

 

 

Anyway.

 

While lifelogging sounds really cool <in one way> … it also sounds quite ‘big brother-esque’ in another way.

 

The app seeks patterns in human behavior recording how much time you spend going places and doing things.

 

Based on this information the app then provides suggestions <and while we humans hate to admit it … we are quite susceptible to suggestions … uhm … particularly if they are based on past behavior>.

 

Supposedly as we learn more about ourselves and what we do <behaviors> we would begin making decisions based on what they’ve learned about themselves and not what businesses are pushing down their throats.

 

I imagine we will all struggle a little bit on whether these apps predict things we would like to do … or influence us in some way in ‘guiding’ us to some actions.

 

 

 

Well.

 

I guess so.

 

Now.

 

As for the unequivocally good.

 

There is a company called Geppetto Avatars which has developed a health care with virtual physician’s assistants <that quite feasibly could actually be smarter than any doctor in the world>.
For example.

 

———

In one of the company’s allergy applications, a sympathetic young doctor named Sophie talks you through air quality and the pollen index in your neighborhood. Then, she makes sure that you’re taking your prescriptions right. When you tell her you’re feeling really bad, she gives a gentle “mmm-hmmm,” to let you know she’s been there and wants nothing more than to help you feel better.

———

 

Well.

behavior predict questionAfter reading that and thinking ‘no computer can replace a doctor’ … I would suggest to you that here is where we face the true dilemma – when it comes to raw data … computers are smarter than us.
The wealth of wisdom housed on connected hard drives around the globe is simply more than a human brain can handle. Therefore <using medicine as an example> when you go to the doctor no matter how smart & good the doctor is … you really only have access to a fraction of knowledge.

 

 

That said.

 

People will be quick to point out the infamous ‘human factor.’ This is the tried & true anti-technology point of view that computer programs have always lacked the ability to read body language, non-verbal cues, and all those parts of communication that make us human.

 
Uh oh.

 

THAT is changing too.

 

As with most of these interactive type applications, the more you use it, the better job it does at reading you — picking up whether your voice is hoarse or your breathing labored, or whether you sound worried or anxious.

 

There are programs in development now <some actually in market> which are able to detect your mood, read your state of mind, and respond accordingly with one of its tens of thousands of recorded answers.

 

 

Whew.
So these new apps can also share your information with anyone you choose … from a health care professionals to your favorite store.

 

 

This is our brave new world.

 
Like it or not … giving some technology some information about us will make our world, and Life, better.

 

 

Ok.

 
I say all this because there is a shit load of discussion going on about privacy.

 

I actually suggest this is going to be a clash of generations.
Older folk think ‘big brother’ and ‘invading my privacy’ <I will also note here that these are the same people who cannot understand how young people share everything on twitter, snapshot and any social media channel>.

 

On the other hand … younger people think … “hmmmmmmmmm … convenience.”

 

Gratification faster.

 

 

Look.

 

We older people don’t get it.

 

We are not only afraid of ‘having someone know too much’ but also don’t get that younger people are just more comfortable with sharing some things than we are.

 

By the way … I would also suggest to old folk that younger people certainly understand limits with regard to what they share.

 

Simply because they share things we cannot fathom ever sharing … they will protect their ‘important secrets’ as well as anyone older.behavior theory simpsons

 

 

We are going to just throw up roadblocks and bitch & moan about privacy and … well … all the shit that old people bitch about as young people pass them by.
If you liked this you may want to consider this.

 

Behavioral tools are here to stay and will be used by everyone … well … everyone being anyone under the age of say 35 or so.

every fairytale needs a good old-fashioned reader

July 13th, 2014

about books and dreams book nerd

 

——–

“So, I just went and counted my books. I own 610 books (lots of those bought recently), not to mention my 200+ ebooks. Yeah, so, problems with that.”

Márcia, Brazil <I read books and I blog about them>

———

Ok.

 

 

This is first and foremost about a young blogger … Marcia in Brazil … who has a nifty tumblr blog called – http://about-books-and-dreams.tumblr.com/
In my eyes it is kind of an aspiring http://a-thousand-words.tumblr.com/ blog.

 

Close … but not there yet.

She, and her blog, are a nice work in progress.

 

Doesn’t really matter though because I like to see young people … especially readers … take action and build a site where they can share book reviews and quotes and thoughts.

 

 

Oh.

 

And just in case they read this post … while I love the quotes and books and images … I wish they would write some of their thoughts on occasion.

 

They should use a quote … or a line from a book … and tell us what they think about. Both these young ladies seem to love words … and they should begin sharing their own.
Anyway.

 

The author of ‘about books and dreams’ is a reader … “I accidentally read for 11 hours.” <which made me chuckle>

 

 

Her main thought is every fairytale needs a good old-fashioned reader.
And I love that thought <and she should write about it … often>.

 

 

I love the double entendre.

book fairy

There is the obvious written fairytale, the books and such, which should never be lost for a reader.

 

 

And then there is the not so obvious … the fact that everyone, everywhere, has a fairy tale … and someone should be able to hear it, listen to it … read it as it were.

 

 

Ok.

It may not be a fairy tale <as such> … but suffice it to say everyone has a story to tell.

 

Nuts.

Let’s be real.

 

Everyone has a fairytale.

 

Everyone deserves to have someone care enough to sit down … open the cover … and read what lies inside.

 

It’s a nice thought.

 

 

Regardless.

 

Why I am writing about this tumblr blog.

 

She plays a really nifty game with her followers. … “Let’s play Burn Read Rewrite.”

 

It is an awesome challenge.

 

It’s like ‘Kill Fuck Marry’ … but with books.

The game is … you give someone the name of three books and they have to choose which one to burn … which one to rewrite … and which one you just read as is.

 

 

What a great fucking game.

 

What a fucking difficult game <at least for people who love books>.
You are choosing the fate of sometimes the best of the best.

 

Here is an example of what she faced:

———

what-is-your-perspective asked: A Game of Thrones, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes

Oh, you are an evil person haha

Burn: A Game of Thrones

Read: Harry Potter

Rewrite: Sherlock Holmes

Thank you! :)

———-

about books and dreams logic

Here is another:

——–

Anonymous asked: Harry potter, The hunger games & The lord of the rings.

Mmmmm… Difficult!

Burn: The Hunger Games

Read: The Lord of the Rings

Rewrite: Harry Potter

Thank you! :)

———

 

 

Yikes.

 

It’s like choosing amongst your children if you are a reader.

 

Here is where it really hit me.
The ‘rewrite.’

 

I kept pulling a book out of the ‘burn’ category because I felt there was something worth saving … and could make it spectacular if rewritten <or at least portions rewritten>.

 

The ‘rewrite.’
Well.

 

How dare me … but … even with some classics I found myself thinking ‘geez … if they could only rethink/edit/redo this section it would be awesome.’

 

 

Regardless.

 

What a fun game.
Even more fun if you have to explain your choices.

 

When using really good books in this game there are rarely really good reasons to place one book under one ‘fate’ … but the reason you have create discussion and thinking.

 

And that is what great books do.

 

Force the mental gymnastics which exercise the mind.

 

 

Aw.thousand words book

 

It may be a silly game.

But it’s the kind of silly game I like.

 

 

Well done ‘about books and dreams’ writer.

 

I will continue to follow the site as it matures.

 

Oh.

 

Every fairytale needs a good old-fashioned reader … there is something to really think about.

graffiti … or art

July 12th, 2014

 

graffiti heart money

——–

“Art is an evolutionary act. The shape of art and its role in society is constantly changing. At no point is art static. There are no rules.”

Raymond Salvatore Harmon

——–

“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish… but that’s only if it’s done properly.”

Banksy

———-

 

 

Ah.

 

 

Art.

 

And graffiti.

 

 

Could graffiti really be art?

 

Well.

 

graffiti art frameThere is an endless debate over that question.

 

 

That is maybe until this guy named Banksy came along.

 

He kind of made graffiti … well … art.

Let’s maybe call it ‘wall art.’

 

Banksy is a quasi-anonymous English graffiti artist.

 

According to Tristan Manco, Banksy “was born in 1974 and raised in Bristol, England. The son of a photocopier technician, he trained as a butcher but became involved in graffiti during the great Bristol aerosol boom of the late 1980s.”

<please note ... I was never aware there was a ‘great aerosol boom’ in the late 80′s let alone any time>

 

Regardless.

 

I love Banksy’s stuff. Heck. I love any of the good graffiti art.

 

Its poignant.

 

Its satirical <or simply artistic renditions of some sardonic, if not ironic, glimpses in Life>.

 

Its topical <on politics, culture, ethics or simply highlighting the complex moral choices we make in simplistic visuals>.

 

It’s art <at least to me>.

 

 

But it sure ain’t just some scribbling on a wall … that’s for sure.

 

Oops.

But in many cities it is a criminal act.

 

graffiti art not a crime

Anyway.

 

Criminal or not Banksy has created some amazing ‘things.’

 

 

Boredpanda.com has done a nice job compiling 80 Banksy works:

 

http://www.boredpanda.com/80-beautiful-street-crimes-done-by-banksy/

 

 

Now.

 

Graffiti art is one of those things which certainly is polarizing.

 

Some old folk just see it simply as destroying or defacing property.

 

 

They suggest ‘there are rules and this breaks them’ and they say things like ‘if they are that talented why don’t they do it like the classic artists did it?’

 

 

You read things like this:graffitti how did they

——-

James S&%*&@#h

  • • 4 years ago

 

Artist? All graffiti people are vandals engaged in destroying other people’s property and calling it “art”. The should all be in jail and taken out each day to clean their scribblings off walls, then returned to jail each night.

True, some show real talent.

So then let them paint on canvas or other media that belongs to them. If I catch anyone spray painting my walls, they will never do it again after I break both their hands and arms. Damn vandals.

——-

 

Uhm.

‘damn vandals’?.

I imagine that is the issue … artists or vandals.

 

 

Well.

 

That is certainly a question that everyone will have to answer all by their lonesome.

 

 

Artists are artists because they make their own rules.

 

That is what creativity is all about.

 

 

And in the end … I think Banksy has the right idea:

———

“Graffiti is one of the few tools you have if you have almost nothing. And even if you don’t come up with a picture to cure world povertygraffiti art men crack you can make someone smile while they’re having a piss.”

Banksy

——–

 

All I can end with is to say art is supposed to make us think … and art typically changes how we think about things.

 

I would then suggest good graffiti is art.

 

the genius of the American constitution and government

July 11th, 2014

constitution american-flag-all-rights-reserved-by-jade-leyva

———

‘On great occasions every good officer must be ready to risk himself in going beyond the strict line of the law when the public preservation requires it. A strict observance of the law is doubtless one of the highest duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of a higher obligation … to lose our country to a scrupulous adherence to a written law would be to lose the law itself.”

Thomas Jefferson in his “great occasions” speech

———-

 

Well.
When viewing American politics I certainly hesitate to use the word ‘genius.’

 

Absurd yes.

 

Genius no.

politics lies and truth and repeating

Politics has always been absurd to me … mostly because I think we all want the same objective <something better> and we all end up haggling over how to meet the objective so much and so often … we end up doing nothing <and I would rather do the wrong thing than nothing>.

 

 

Politics has always been absurd to me because even when a decision is made and implementation is in progress … it starts getting pecked to death by the ducks. Most governmental decisions … shit … most good business decisions … have limited short term successes … and need to be evaluated on the echoes of the decision. I would rather invest all energy in implementing well <even the wrong thing> than second guessing or ‘pecking’ which could affect the long term success.

 

And now politics has reached a whole new level of absurdity in that the current American president is so divisive among pundit views … that we are starting to act like presidents have never acted like the current one.

 

That President Obama is ‘more illegal acting’ than any president before <and therefore a dictator or imperial or some nonsense type wording>.

 

 

———

“President Obama’s rewarding of lawlessness, including his own, isyes or no crazy the foundational problem here. It’s not going to get better, and in fact irreparable harm can be done in this lame-duck term as he continues to make up his own laws as he goes along. It’s time to impeach.”

Sarah Palin

——–

 

 

Look.

 

Acting.

Decisions.

This is what presidents do.

 

Make decisions … popular or not … and let the chips fall as they may.

 

People may bitch and complain … but if they really do have a bitch or complaint … impeachment is the measurement of actions.

 

But … let’s be clear … all presidents <and I imagine all country leaders> “break” the law.

 

They do not rewrite the constitution or act like criminals … they simply do what leaders are supposed to do … take action for the benefit of the larger organization.

 

 

freedom and responsibility
Thomas Jefferson said it best in his “great occasions” speech …. ‘A strict observance of the law is doubtless one of the highest duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of a higher obligation … to lose our country to a scrupulous adherence to a written law would be to lose the law itself.”

 

That said.

 

These leaders take these actions without moral dereliction of duty.

 

The decisions may be difficult and unpopular and unclear with regard to strict legality … and sometimes even come at the expense of citizens … but if anyone suggests an American president takes immoral action … well … they are the absurd ones then.

 

 

Suing a president? Silly <if not stupid>.

 

Bringing criminal charges against a president? Silly <if not stupid>.

 

Impeachment is the ultimate measurement of a president’s actions. And I would like to point out that talking about impeachment and actually agreeing to an impeachable action is very very different.

 

 

Anyway.

 

Serendipity is a funny character in Life.

 

Just as I listened to some mind numbing diatribe on some talk radio show I read some interesting words from author Martin Gross in a book he wrote in the late 80’s <I believe>.

 

I thought I would share.

 

 

<excerpts from words spoken in a court of law by one of the characters in a book of author Martin Gross>

———-

The commander in chief cannot declare war … that’s up to congress, but he can make war and he’s done that more than congress. We have had military hostilities over 200 times … maybe 20 or so considered ‘serious’ and congress has only declared war maybe 5 times. Andrew Jackson took Spanish Florida without congressional approval. We had invaded Mexican territory for 3 weeks before congress approved it. Truman made war in Korea without global unrest pining for a worldcongress approval ad Roosevelt started a sea war with Nazi submarines before world war 2. The Monroe doctrine was never authorized by congress. Reagan made war in Grenada and we bombed Libya … and congress did nothing. Bush did the same in Panama and most likely would have one the same in Iraq whether congress agreed or not. The president is far more than an ordinary person with regard to the law.

Presidents have always been sneaky. In a crisis they generally try and do what they can before congress can get their hands on them. President Tyler made a secret deal with the Republic of Texas to get them into the United States and almost got impeached for it. President Jefferson grabbed the chance to make the Louisiana Purchase from a poor Napoleon for 15 million dollars. When congress complained they hadn’t authorized the money Jefferson asked if he should give back the land. Even Lincoln was sneaky. Before congress could meet in the civil war he raised an army, spent money on arms and even eliminated habeas corpus.

I sometimes think the founding fathers made the separation of powers of the president and the congress somewhat vague so that this battle – a political one really, of public support, or lack of support – could go on.

The constitution outlines what is legal and what isn’t by a president by providing impeachment. Outside of impeachment where the people’s representatives speak, the president has been able to do whatever he can get away with. If you want him to stop doing something … whatever … you have to impeach him. If he is not impeached by default it’s apparently legal <or justified>. Constitutionally and practically.

This is what presidents do. Make decisions … popular or not … and let the chips fall as they may. People may bitch and complain … but impeachment is the measurement of actions.

———

Thomas Jefferson said it best in his “great occasions” speech:

‘On great occasions every good officer must be ready to risk himself in going beyond the strict line of the law when the public preservation requires it. A strict observance of the law is doubtless one of the highest duties of a good citizen, but it is not the highest. The laws of necessity, of self-preservation, of saving our country when in danger, are of a higher obligation … to lose our country to a scrupulous adherence to a written law would be to lose the law itself.”

———-

The constitution is almost perfect in this discussion. It rests in the people. And the people not only rest in the president , the only one elected by us all, but in the congress as well. So, the congress can always kick out an evil president. That’s what makes the perfection. The constitution accommodates both politics and legality. The people’s will within a framework of law.

 

Will we ever answer the question of what a resident can or cannot constitutionally do?

“Never if God grants us continued liberty someone will always be sitting in some chair a hundred years from now arguing the same battle and the same issues … searching for the right answer. That’s the genius of the American constitution and government.”

———-

 

Whew. What a great speech.

 

In the end.

 

We will never really answer the limits of any president.

 
And that is the genius of the American Constitution and government.

 

We will constantly be searching for the right answer and seek the right limits.

 

liberty freedomnotfortimidthumb

 

And we will do so because we have the liberty and freedom to argue about it yesterday, today … and 100 years from now.

 

 

And I hope we are still debating it 100 years from now.

 

 

I simply wish that politicians and right & left wing pundits would embrace the genius aspect of who America is rather than the idiot * absurd aspect. I wish they would think of it all as ‘work in progress’ rather than ‘faults.’

 

I wish they, and everyone, would remember one person will never destroy a great idea and great ideas do not just happen by themselves … nor do they occur as planned.

 

90 minutes for 1 moment (world cup 2014)

July 10th, 2014

soccer ghana wish

——–

“Both teams produced exactly one chance in the second half in a bid to break the deadlock.”

World Cup semifinal Argentina/Netherlands

———

“The moves weren’t like Colombia’s samba or their version of “The Twist,” but more like Elvis Presley’s duck walk splashed with a little “Moonwalk.”
International Business Times on Ghana’s goal celebration

———

 

 

So.

 

I will admit … I am not a futbol <soccer> guy.

 

But even I have to watch some of the World Cup.

 

Here is the truly crazy part about soccer.

 

People stay glued to a TV for 90+ minutes … just so you do not miss the almost inevitable 40 seconds that makes it all worthwhile.

 

Yup.

soccer world computerPeople just do not move.

Where else … shit … what else … would anyone in the world today do nothing for almost 2 hours to see nothing <nothing as defined as something which would create a win or result> just so they could see the one 30 to 40 meaningful seconds?

Uhm. I would suggest nowhere else.

 

<note: plus … isn’t it for this exact reason sportscenter highlights were created?>

 

Soccer matches may seem odd to Americans in that they are 90 minutes long by definition where there are no time outs … the clock starts from the opening whistle, takes a break for halftime and winds all the way through to its conclusion.

 

Ah.
But a soccer game rarely lasts just 90 minutes. Time of the match is up to the discretion of the referee.

 

Huh?

 

As part of the ‘Laws of the Game’ while each half is 45 minutes long the referee can supplement those allotted periods to compensate for stoppages during the game. Each referee can add time as desired or as needed. There are guidelines — goals and substitutions usually bump stoppage time up by 30 seconds each — but the referee operates as the sole arbiter of Time <I wonder of we call him Father Time?>.

 

Regardless … as you can imagine … this uncertainty creates some angst and frustration because of this seemingly random coexistence with Time.
The application varies from game to game and referee to referee. Similar stoppages in two different matches could produce an extra two minutes on one match and perhaps 30 seconds in another. And the referee can end the game before the posted time or extend it beyond the supplemental period if required.

 

Anyway.soccer dutch

 

Despite its peculiarities … those 90+ minutes give you the one minute.

 

 

The goal.

 

And the aftermath of the goal.

 

As a non-soccer aficionado I am sure I miss the true spectacular nuances behind most of the goals.

 

And while they almost all look spectacular to me in that I have no clue how they get in position to do what they do and then do what they do when given the opportunity <let alone how they do what they do> … the aftermath makes it all worthwhile.

 

The smiles.

 

The dances.

 

soccer ghana danceThe celebrations.

 

Because the ‘moments’ are typically so few & far between … when they do happen … grown men become little boys.

 

It is in those moments I think all of us who love sports get reminded why you play sports.

 

It isn’t the money.

 

It isn’t the fame.

 

It isn’t the cameras and adulation and fans.

 

It is the sheer joy of the moment.

 

And I believe the World Cup adds another dimension.

 

Team & country.

 

 

Aw.

I don’t know.

 

Maybe I am making too much of what I see.

 

All I really know is that I am seeing people sit and watch 90+ minutes of what I only see as almost ‘nothing’ as guys run around and on occasion the ball actually enters the zone from which it seems at least viable a score could happen.

 

And they watch for that one moment.

Or two moments.

 

Any and all of which total less than one minute.

Let me repeat.

 

Maybe one minute out of 1 1/2 hours.

 

 

Ah.

But in that one or two moments we see men become little boys.soccer frog

 

And that gets frozen … imprinted in our minds … and as they smile … we smile.

 

And while this World Cup has seen some spectacular goals in spectacular fashion … to me … it was when Asamoah Gyan scored in the 63rd minute to give Ghana a 2-1 lead and he was joined by teammates for a hypnotizing celebration dance that did it for me.

 

The video does not do it justice.

 

Watching it live and how the camera lingered on this group of young men doing this dance you couldn’t stop watching was mesmerizing … chuckling … and delightful.

 

Ghana celebrates: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GgzMHCxSJzM

 

 

Look.

 

In a world where we bitch & moan about not having any time or not enough time to do everything … could you ever imagine sitting for 90+ minutes just to soccer germany rainget 1 minute of ‘doing’ satisfaction?

 

 

The entire game has a seemingly random coexistence with Time.

 

Frankly … that is what makes it special.

 

Take a moment and watch if you haven’t yet.

 

That one moment will be so worthwhile you will not regret you took the time.

startling

July 9th, 2014

hugh life nature and you

——–

“To live is so startling it leaves little time for anything else.”

Emily Dickinson

———

Life is startling.

 

 

Well.

 

That is if you let it be.

 

So often we spend time comparing ourselves to others … comparing our lives to others …comparing what we have versus others … and comparing where we are … versus others.

 

Others, others, others.

 

 

Life isn’t a race.

 

It is a journey for fuck’s sake.

 

———

“Stop comparing where you’re at with where everyone else is. It doesn’t move you farther ahead, improve your situation, or help you find peace. It just feeds your shame, fuels your feelings of inadequacy, and ultimately, it keeps you stuck. The reality is that best day of my lifethere is no one correct path in life. Everyone has their own unique journey. A path that’s right for someone else won’t necessarily be a path that’s right for you. And that’s okay. Your journey isn’t right or wrong, or good or bad. It’s just different. Your life isn’t meant to look like anyone else’s because you aren’t like anyone else. You’re a person all your own with a unique set of goals, obstacles, dreams, and needs. So stop comparing, and start living. You may not have ended up where you intended to go. But trust, for once, that you have ended up where you needed to be. Trust that you are in the right place at the right time. Trust that your life is enough. Trust that you are enough.”

Daniell Koepke

———

Life can be a shitload of fun if you enjoy it.

 

 

Yes.

 

I can guarantee on the journey:

 

-    Your car will break down <on occasion>

-    You will get caught in a downpour <so strong you cannot see an inch in front of your face>

-     There will be nights so dark you will feel alone

-     You will get lost

-    You will have an accident

-    <add in any unfortunate mishap you can think of>

But.

You will drive <you do actually get to steer you know>.

You will experience shit.

 

 

You will laugh & cry & be disappointed & be delighted.

 

 

You will be … well … startled.

 

startling success

——–

“One of the interesting things about success is that we think we know what it means. A lot of the time our ideas about what it would mean to live successfully are not our own. They’re sucked in from other people. And we also suck in messages from everything from the television to advertising to marketing, etcetera. These are hugely powerful forces that define what we want and how we view ourselves. What I want to argue for is not that we should give up on our ideas of success, but that we should make sure that they are our own. We should focus in on our ideas and make sure that we own them, that we’re truly the authors of our own ambitions. Because it’s bad enough not getting what you want, but it’s even worse to have an idea of what it is you want and find out at the end of the journey that it isn’t, in fact, what you wanted all along.”

Alain de Botton

——-

 

 

Aw.

 

I don’t know.

 

 

Maybe I have a whacked out view on what and how Life is and should be.life love alone valentines day

 

But.

 

Startling?

 

Whew.

 

 

It sure sounds like a good Life.

 

ideas, questions and bathrooms

July 8th, 2014

 

ideas Crumpled paper

——–

“Nothing is more dangerous than an idea when it is the only one you have.”

Émile Auguste Chartier <Alain>

———

 

 

Well.

 

I love this quote.

 

One idea is really <really> dangerous ground to stand on <part 1>. Dangerous in that it may be the most solid ground you have ever stood upon … and yet … you may leave it seeking another idea, and place, to go.

 

One idea is really <really> dangerous ground to stand on <part 2>. Dangerous in that it may be the most unstable ground you have ever stood on … shit … it may simply be a lily pad in the middle of a volcano … and yet … it’s ‘moment of stability’ seduces you to hold on to the idea like it is a gift from God.

 

Ideas, in general, are dangerous creatures.

 

One idea.

If you aren’t in the ideas business as a company you are simply in the ‘doing most effectively’ <which is actually “we all do well so please pick me by my price”> business.

 

 

Ideas are the lifeblood of any business.

 

And ideas … at least good ones … are one of the most elusive objectives anyone can think of. You can set up the best of the best methodologies, you can train, you can encourage, you can give everyone funky crayons <and remind everyone that because we all grew up with crayons anyone can be creative – which is a slightly absurd encouragement in its own right> … but suffice it to say … a good idea just happens <and you hope like hell they happen when you actually need them>.

 

 

I believe most creative idea generator people are highly attuned to the where and the how they come up with ideas <therefore ‘forced idea thinking environments’ are not effective>.

 

ideas stretchedOh.

I also believe that that entire ‘how to’ knowledge is mostly nontransferable to others.

 

That said.

 

There is an interesting guy named Chic Thompson who, while I think he says some mumbo jumbo type stuff with regard to ideas and coming up with them, has suggested two things that I believe are good for people to take note of when discussing the whole ‘coming up with an idea’ discussion:

 

 

-          How you mentally approach ideas.

 

He says things like … rather than ask your students “what did you do at school today?” you should instead ask something like “what questions did you ask today?”

 

He also argues that changing the way we approach questions, problems, and solutions can reshape the outcomes <this sounds basic yet ‘idea creating methodology seems to fly in the face of this thought>.

 

In addition … I believe beyond rethinking the ‘how to’ generate ideas we also have to learn the mental assessment of risk and response. By that I mean I think ideas should typically be slotted so that mentally not only do we ask the right questions while thinking about an idea … we also ask the right questions in discussing an idea.

 

Someone came up with this chart <which I have recreated from some notes I made years ago>:

 

 

FactorTime 

Depth

 

 

Solution

 

 

Risk

 

 

Reward

 

 

Level OneFast 

Known

 

 

Expected

<comfortable>

 

None

 

 

A little

Level TwoTakes awhile 

Unknown

 

 

Unexpected

<uncomfortable>

 

A little

 

 

A little

Level ThreeNeeds to germinate 

Surprise

 

 

Challenges organization

<seems impossible>

 

A lot

 

 

A lot

 

 

 

<sorry for the crappy chart but I suck at creating these things>

 

 

I buy this.

 

People who come up with ideas are typically quite comfortable letting things germinate and have them bubble up.

 

On the other hand … non good idea thinkers like a ‘point & shoot’ process … and even more importantly … like the comfortable ‘know we/I can do’ type idea.

 

idea bathrooms five_stages_of_idea_acceptance

Idea generation can often feel slightly chaotic … and … well … it is. However … within that chaos a good idea generator tends to be able to reach in and pull something good out of all the swirling shit.

 

Uhm.

A lot of people don’t like that a process that looks like that.

 

 

 

Next thought from that Chuck guy.

 

 

-          Ideas take time and a sense of relentlessness <I like to call it restlessness> intertwined with a willingness and resilience to bear a shitload of failures <bad ideas> to find the solutions <good ideas>.

 

 

Apparently it took Chuck roughly 40 years to see an invention come full circle to its original solution in the right environment.

 

Which led him to note … “when something goes wrong, something goes right … you learn from trial and error.”

 

40 years?!? <insert a ‘yikes’ here>.

Sorry folks … but an unspoken truth in the idea business is that 90% of great ideas are lost simply because when arrived at … it just wasn’t ‘their time’ … and when it DID become their time … they were in some landfill because they had landed in some trash can months, if not years. ago.

 

idea that was shitI say that <getting back to the one idea thought> because not only do we often suck at agreeing on the ‘one idea to focus on’ in the moment … we also tend to throw away a shit load of great ideas simply because it is not their time <and in business … if you pull out an idea that was thought up months ago … or years ago … it cannot be used because it is … well … an old idea … or ‘it cannot be relevant because that was then and this is now’ – note: both those comments are dangerous because they are rooted in logic but absurd in practicality>.

 

Einstein was once asked what the difference was between himself and another person … he suggested that when challenged to find a needle in a haystack … others would stop when they found one … he tears apart the haystack looking for any and all that could be there.

 

Thompson always suggests … “always look for a second answer” when you imagine solutions to problems in a unique way. He was <is> a big proponent of young people bringing unique and fresh perspectives to discover creative outcomes.

 

 

I buy this.

 

Great ideas are typically born from other ideas. The original idea may be good … but they tend to be soft around the edges … and they need to be sharpened. I know that while I often like my first idea I will tend to ‘steal’ additional aspects from lesser ideas to strengthen another idea. It helps to look for and see all ideas and answers <albeit … in today’s business world many people struggle to discern crappy ideas from good ideas which inevitably means a good idea generator likes to protect a good idea by not offering ‘options’>..

 

 

 

Look.

 

 

Discovering creative outcomes & ideas typically comes down to unique and fresh perspective.

 

This means looking at things differently <which typically doesn’t translate into ‘methodically’>.

 

There are a boatload of tricks on how to come up with ideas.

 

“Thinking in opposites” … uncovering what can be flipped to get the right solution.

 

“Start off with what’s positive and then go to the negative” … then focus on making the negative positive <or how it represents some opportunity>.

 

 

I would be delighted to tell everyone what to do here … but I will note … because I cannot.

 

What makes me hesitate to endorse any ‘idea generation protocol’ and ‘what questions to ask to stimulate effective ideas’ is that most ideas are actually thought up <insert a huge DOH! Here> in the shower or on the toilet.

 

 

Yup.

 

There are a bunch of surveys <informal and formal> and in general they have the following list of ‘where do you come up with your ideas’ when asking known & proven idea generators:

ideas urinal

  1. When showering or in bath
  2. Commuting to work
  3. Sitting on the toilet <note: this is good because it seems like per research we spend about 3 years of an average lifetime in the bathroom>
  4. While falling asleep or waking up
  5. During a boring meeting <note: this can also be an ideation or brainstorming meeting>
  6. Leisure reading
  7. Exercising

 

 

Most good ideas do NOT come from brainstorming meetings … or any meeting at all.  And they rarely come at your desk.

 

Ideas tend to come from the stimulus of the setting <and what that setting does to your mind … relax & think at the same time>.

 

Therefore … the corollary is … the loss of ideas comes from the stimulus of the setting.

 

 

By the way.

 

 

While there is absolutely a relationship between creative & ideas … not all creative people are good idea generators.

 

That said.

 

You increase the likelihood of good ideas if you encourage creativity.

 

And there is a reason I bring this up. While we give ‘everyone is creative’ a lot of lip service the reality is that we tend to squeeze the creativity out of people as time goes by.

 

Read this and be prepared to be depressed:

 

———

George Ainsworth Land, author of Grow or Die, gave five-year-olds a creativity test used by NASA to select innovative engineers. Ninety-eight percent of the children scored in the “highly creative” range. When these same children were retested at ten years old, only 30 percent were still rated “highly creative.” By the age of fifteen, just 12 percent of them were ranked “highly creative.”

 ideas bathrooms and age

What about the average adult population? Only 2 percent of the adults who took the NASA tests were rated as “highly creative.” Therefore, our lifetime creativity, measured in terms of our ability to generate a number of new ideas, is at its highest point at five years old and lowest around forty-four years old. It seems that creativity is not just learned, but unlearned as we advance through life.

——–

 

 

My main response to what we just read <after I pulled myself out of the depths of despair … because I am WAY past even the lowest ideation point> is that all our ‘planned ideation processes’ kill creativity … they don’t enhance creativity.

<I believe I just suggested killing an entire industry>

 

 

In our ‘outcome focused business world’ where ‘let’s use process so we can be as efficient as possible with regard to everything we do’ <ideas included> the process most efficiently kills creativity.

 

 

All that said.

 

I will end with 5 Ideas secrets <these are not mine … they are from some expert who I have forgotten … but I like these secrets>:

 

 

-          Creative Secret #1: Ideas are the currency of your future

 

-          Creative Secret #2:You come up with only 1% of your ideas while at your desk.

 

-          Creative Secret #3: By age 44, your creativity score is at a lifetime low and doesn’t go back up until retirement.

 

-          Creative Secret #4: The world isn’t going to slow downideas are scary

 

-          Creative Secret #5: Good ideas are scary.

 

 

Oh.

 

And the last secret?

 

 

Go to the bathroom as often as possible.

 

It increases the odds you will have an idea.

Enlightened Conflict