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Saturday, August 30, 2008

Communicating Humility While Writing

Ok, talking about motives. Going after one preference over another means that someone would be making the selection because of getting a certain payoff from it, right? No matter what the payoff, correct? The payoff could be a paragon of personal martrydom or another one of the rainbow of motives. It's whatever gets you off, so to speak. Different strokes for different folks. The payoff is still some sort of a motive that drives the definition of value of making the selection.

To be honestly self-referent, the payoff I get from writing about thinking is immense, actually. I don't know why this is true, but it motivated me to learn to write in order to do this very thing I'm doing now.

The medium is important, not the massage, the message. The WAY something is done is often overlooked. If I wanted to pound in a message the way DonL likes to pound in his message of how arrogant and self-deceptive the "I" "I" "I" "I" "I" action is, it would be that one. But I don't like to pound, because I regard repetition as a disrespectful tactic of advertising. Guess that is also why I find it distasteful to "sell" what I feel is valuable.

Why can't people just GET that these things are valuable and take the value of what I have to offer them? Why do I have to SELL what I feel is valuable? Why don't people just look at me and figure out they could be as deliriously happy as me if they'd just...

I guess because people would never otherwise have a clue that the value even exists.

The connection between the medium being congruent with the message defines the level of effectiveness. If they match, the message is related in a much more powerful fashion. (This is, in a nutshell, what is the defintion of ART for me.) The way the selection process is communicated (or imposed on others) is important - not the content of the selected value.

Gawd, I feel like a salesperson sometimes when I write this stuff.

For me, putting "I" before something or using qualifiers such as IMHO, etc. means that it's coming from just little old me. That what is being said not the BIG TRUTH with a CAPITOL "T" - I'm not puffed up into wanting to define the nature of life, the universe and everything.

Funny, huh? I regard the use of "I" to indicate a directly opposite evidence that of how DonL regards it. Don believes that writing without the "I" is evidence of less egotism. For me, the humble use of "I" implies a lack of arrogance, a lone voice in the wilderness speaking from the point of view of one person's experience - one person who speaks only for themselves and not the Royal WE of those who have empowered me to represent them.

Because one person talking doesn't imply the puffed-up importance of defining the absolute FACT of The Way Things Are. That's how it comes across to me when the "I" is left out of what is being expressed. I think that it deceptively hides the content as if it is "fact" when it is only merely someone's opinion.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Why Did I Do That?

Do people do things for negative reasons?
I used to imagine they do. I used to think I did. But now as I have come to watch myself and others, I don't think that is the case.

What someone chooses to do, their choices may have negative consequences. It can be argued in many cases that people are a product of their conditioning - their own, environmental and parental, etc. So they don't really have a choice. But, (as far as I can tell,) everyone chooses an action (or lack of it) because of its positive aspects, not the negative ones.

Often the choice is not so wise, or the selection doesn't take crucial things into account that should have been obvious to the person. Even more commonly, the person feels as if they "must" make the choice for various justified points that they are aware are negative. Such as choosing between two evils, such as what we have to do so often when we vote. Sometimes people are aware of the negative aspects, but they decide the costs are "worth it," possibly because sometimes the costs are deferred until "later." Some people like to gamble and play the odds, imagining they won't be the one to suffer the common consequences.

I quipped lately, when in the presence of a friend of mine who is a confirmed drinker, (alcoholics go to meetings) that has more time than a smoker to change her ways, because drinkers live much longer than drinkers who smoke.

Most often, I think what happens when people make what later turns out to be a "negative" choice -- it's that their priorities changed somewhere along the line. They got trapped. Sometimes they forgot to consult all the priorities, or to even realize they might have had priorities at all.

It's as though, sometimes, we are a multitude of shifting priority. Not every priority is present at every moment. So it's possible to make a decision that caters and answers to one particular member of the multitude of priorities, and forget a crucial one that got left out. Guess this is where the ideas of the subconscious came from.

Some of the time, nobody can anticipate the sum total of how things will turn out. So it's not possible sometimes to know how a particular choice will affect things on down the line. You just have to find out, and change things as you go.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Advice for Problem Solving

Had an ex who tended to add up his distresses that separately were merely a little annoying and together turned into a landslide. In typical Drama Queen style, he would use the process to completely re-evaluate his life, and jump immediately to make the changes, usually to its detriment. Although your problems are more serious than contrived, when things that are bothering you begin to pile up, it's very tempting to add them together - and then your mind ranges from thing to thing in a horrendous circle of "Queen for a Day" sort of way.

Things have a way of working themselves out in the wash. What will happen, happens - and then you can decide what you are going to do about them. I would want to plan the whole thing ahead of time, but sometimes you need to act to get somewhere before you can stand on the previous steps to see the step ahead. Now for myself, I have come to regard worrying as a signal that I need to goad myself to act in some way - that I really care about outcomes and I'm not doing anything about them. Also realize that it's a significant challenge to come up with creative solutions when you are thinking in terms of survival issues.

Taking a cue from the example of the ex, creative solutions come to me easier if I address the fact that I'm upset first and do things that I know will spell effective indulgence and "mini-vacations" for me personally. Once I'm in a much better state - fed, watered, pain-free, comforted, bathed, calm, etc. then I think of my "problems" with a pen in hand and a big piece of paper for a "mind-map" to get everything out. Writing for me helps with stopping the cycling around over and over of the same issues in my brain. Then once they are out on paper, I can stop thinking about them incessantly. It may be another activity besides writing that allows you to "clear your mind" and see the situation with a more objective eye - but perhaps you can make this approach work for you.

Without committing myself to a course of action, also you might do some research about ways that other people have dealt with the same problems. You might access others who seem to have some creative ideas about your issues at which is a website with interesting ideas about how to solve social problems.

Perhaps check out Edward de Bono's creative thinking techniques outlined in his books.
For instance, if it's a decision such as "do I move to where my parent is, or do I move my parent in with me?" - might do a Consequences PMI - make separate lists for the positive, negative and Interesting parts of what could happen, given however many certain possible circumstances.

Anyway - my intent here is just to open up possible solutions for you that you can do for yourself. From what I'm reading, it sounds as if you are allowing the circumstances to run you around instead of exploring how you may be able to influence them. There's sometimes only so much that you can do about certain situations, and then your only option is to wait and ask yourself if there will be consequences to putting off making decisions once the outcomes are there. Helps to be able to anticipate the point of no return when the decision will be made for you unless you act, so you know when your options are closing down.

Good luck!