Introduction & Programs ~ Starting Out; Some Basics ~ Success Journeys ~ Accelerate Your Learning ~ Time: Your Most Valuable Asset ~ How to Feel Good All the Time ~ How to Overcome Self‑Interference ~ A Few Health Basics ~ Cause & Effect ~ Additional Articles
Here is knowledge to enable you to become more successful, earn more money, feel good, enjoy great health (while cutting your health bills), and extend your life...
Dyslearning & Learning
#13: Learn Mind Mapping
#14: Unleash the Power of Learner Questions!
#15: Use Afformations
#16: Kurt Wright's "What's Right Questions!"
#17: Give Yourself Permission to Succeed
#18: Use Questions as Power Success Tools
#19: Use Breakthrough Questions
#21: Get & Apply Feedback to LearnTop 10 Things to Learn
#21A: Mine the Gap
The Big Opportunity Gap
Tentative Upgrade Principles
The Taleb Challenge
Billgatus of Borg
#21B: Become a 10X Performing Person
#21C: Apply Paul Polak's Ideas
Human Development Roadmap
Project "Learn to Think!"
"The deepest human defeat suffered by human beings is constituted by the difference between what one was capable of becoming and what one has in fact become." -- Ashley Montagu
"A failure is a man who has blundered but is not capable of cashing in on the experience." -- Elbert Hubbard
"Mishaps are like knives, that either serve us or cut us, as we grasp them by the blade or the handle." -- James Russell Lowell
"It AIN'T so much the things we don't know that get us into trouble. It's the things we "know" that just ain't so." -- often attributed to Mark Twain
It would be prudent to regard all your "knowledge" -- everything you "know" -- as PROVISIONAL, i.e., subject to improvement. ARROGANCE is the biggest enemy of learning!
One of the reasons why the Titanic sank was because people ARROGANTLY believed it was "unsinkable!"
Fundamental Question: What can you learn quickly that will help you learn other things more quickly?
How Can You Bootstrap Yourself?
"Dyslearning" is the opposite of learning. Whereas learning moves you in a positive direction, dyslearning moves you in a negative direction.
When you accept false information as true, you dyslearn. The false information tends to make you worse. If you believe the typical TV advertisements about "antacids to treat heartburn," you may be dyslearning -- see Beware Medical Scams -- Take Control of Your Health.
Dyslearning can also be called "negative learning." Typically a major portion of "compulsory schooling" consists of dyslearning -- see Dumbed Down by "Education!"
Potentially, you can dyslearn from anybody or anything! If people are being brainwashed with falsehoods, then dyslearning is occurring. If you make false conclusions as a result of either or both "bad" and "good" experiences, then you're dyslearning.
It's quite possible that many people who've been trying for a long time to make money online without success, have been dyslearning. If so, they become less capable of online success over time.
Are there people in the world who would benefit if most people were ignorant, docile, obedient, and gullible? If people were better informed about heartburn, would they spend billions on antacids? Hopefully, you can see that other people can cause you to dyslearn, if you believe them.
Have you ever formed a conclusion, and then later changed it? If yes, then you're capable of drawing false conclusions. Can you appreciate that you can have a "very false" conclusion, later realize it's false, and then replace it with a "less false" (closer to correct, but still false) conclusion? Hopefully, you can see that you can form some false conclusions, while learning, because they take you closer to the truth!
Of course, you could also be forming conclusions that are progressively "more false." This would involve dyslearning.
If you were to remove from your mind "mistaken" beliefs you learned in the past, this could be regarded as "unlearning."
Anyway, can you see that other people could mislead you, resulting in your dyslearning, if you believe them? Can you also see that your own thinking can lead you astray, making you dyslearn?
Note that to both "Expand/Improve Information" and "Correct/Fix Information" can be added "Improve existing skills" and "Acquire new skills." To "Identify Incorrect Information" can be added "Identify missing/inadequate skills."
One of the characteristics of "98%ers" is that their Ability to Learn has been damaged, or reduced to zero. That may be the case with "R.T." -- see "Personal Competence and Power Shift (PCAPS)."
A concomitant characteristics of "98%ers" is that they're reluctant to ask questions, or don't ask questions at all. Some people may remain stuck in mediocrity because they Fear Looking Stupid. They don't ask questions. For some, the only way to rise up from mediocrity to competence is to ask "stupid" questions!
Both the Inability to Learn and Denial may be important Make-or-Break Issues (MBIs) for some. If they deny their mediocrity, what will ever persuade them to become responsible enough to take the steps to become more competent? What can make them realize that they need to "Pay the Price of Asking Dumb Questions and Looking Stupid" to become more competent?
"Over the years, easily 90% or more of everything I've been taught has been contradicted by direct observation. I suspect that at least a majority of what you or anyone has been taught is likewise contrary to what direct observation will show. Frankly, I trust what I can see for myself far better than I trust what I've been taught or "what everyone knows." How certain are you about all that you've been taught?" -- Dr. Win Wenger ("Master Intelligence Increaser")
Maximize the Power of Your Brain - Tony Buzan MIND MAPPING - 6 mins - January 08, 2007
As an exercise, you're invited to draw Mind Maps of the above Dyslearning and Learning Loops, including how they might apply to you personally.
See also: Mind Mapping for Accelerated Learning by Stephen Pierce - 8 mins - June 07, 2006 (click to watch video)
Click for Wikipedia article on Mind Mapping.
Marilee Adams: Change Your Questions, Change Your Life
"Buy Book from Berrett-Koehler Publishers. Visit Author's Book Website.
Virtually everything we think and do is generated by questions. In fact, all through the day we ask ourselves multiple questions -- from "What should I wear?" to "What should I do with my life?" Our self-esteem, relationships, and careers are all profoundly affected by the kinds of questions we ask. Change Your Questions, Change Your Life introduces "QuestionThinking," an easy-to-use methodology for transforming thinking, action, and results through intentional and skillful question asking. Executive coach and organizational consultant Dr. Marilee Adams shows readers how to discern the kinds of questions that block us, and the kinds of questions that help evoke breakthrough thinking and desired new results."
The distinction between Learner and Judger is most important -- it's related to our distinction between "Eagerness Orientation" and "Vigilance Orientation." Note that when you're in the Eagerness Orientation, you engage different parts of your brain, compared to when you're in the Vigilance Orientation. "Eagerness" is much more conducive to learning than "Vigilance."
Amazon.com review by Hal-Zina Bennett New Dimensions in Problem-Solving and Creative Thinking, May 18, 2004:
"I had the extraordinary honor and pleasure of reading this book and offering my opinion on it prior to its publication. My first response was that this was a revolutionary work, presenting a whole new way of formulating and then asking questions. What the author describes is a way of opening up a vast area of our minds - simply by knowing how to access the hidden powers of the question. What's even more amazing about this book is that the author accomplishes so much in so few pages - and does it in a way that is as entertaining as it is informative. A real page-turner with a practical message! Written as a story, just as we find in WHO MOVED MY CHEESE or Sheldon Bowles' GUNG HO!, Dr. Adams has used the art of the story-teller to open our minds to a brand new set of possibilities that we can apply, in a practical way, to every area of life, but most particularly in our business and personal lives. This is a 'must-read' and, like WHO MOVED MY CHEESE, it can change forever how you think about the questions you ask or hold in your mind."
Paul Bridle: The Power of Questions (click to watch video)
In the video, Paul Bridle mentions a few questions as examples, including:
Afformations by Noah St. John
By Noah St. John
On October 20, 1997, my life was changed forever. That night, I went to a seminar on eating disorders. Although I didn't have an eating disorder, I'd known many people who had suffered from anorexia or bulimia, and I thought the seminar might shed some light on what caused these conditions.
The speaker at the seminar began to describe why someone develops an eating disorder, and said that these individuals are not merely trying to lose weight or look like a supermodel. Rather, she described a person who was hypersensitive, felt overly responsible for everyone else's feelings, and suffered from a deeply negative self-image. All these factors combined caused the person to simply refuse to eat.
In short, the person wasn't starving herself to lose weight -- but in an attempt to "not be here." Her research had also shown that eight times as many women develop eating disorders as men. After I heard this description, I said to myself, "Wow, that sounds just like me!" Even though I'd won numerous scholarships, awards and accolades, I had often wondered what I was doing on Earth and certainly felt responsible for everyone else's happiness. "Why, then," I asked myself, "did I not develop an eating disorder? And why do eight times as many women develop eating disorders as men?"
All of a sudden, I knew the answer to both questions. It was the moment my life made sense for the first time. I suddenly realized that women in Western culture have been told - and believe unconsciously - that their worth or value as a person comes from their physical appearance. At the same time, men are taught that their worth comes from their material possessions, status, or level of success. In that instant, I realized that rather than starving myself of food, I was starving myself of "success."
I sat there, stunned, because I realized that I had just discovered what really causes the so-called "fear of success" and "self-sabotage." The cause was a condition that no one had ever identified before, and that therefore didn't even have a name. I realized that the most accurate name for this condition would be "success anorexia" - because rather than not being smart or talented enough to achieve success, the person is literally starving herself or himself of success.
Here is a simple way to see if you may be suffering from success anorexia (starving yourself of success). How many of the following descriptions can you identify with?
If you can identify with 6 or more of these warning signs, you maybe at risk for success anorexia. To reverse success anorexia and allow yourself to succeed, here are some steps you can begin today:
Identify Your Loving Mirrors
A Loving Mirror is someone who can see you for who you really are, someone who can love and support you unconditionally. While this may sound "touchy-feely," we all need the loving encouragement of someone like a coach, teacher, or mentor to become all we can be.
Make a list of the people in your life who can offer you unconditional support. Then call them and ask them to help you list your strengths and understand your weaknesses. One of the great ironies of being human is that others can often see us more clearly than we can see ourselves.
Become Willing to Succeed
Few people realize that what we want is also what we fear. If you're afraid of success, no matter how many "how-tos" of success you know, you still won't let yourself succeed. What could possibly be a drawback to succeeding? For one thing, you may have to face your fear of the unfamiliar or people being jealous of you. What if people expect you to do and be more than you think you can? Write down the pros and cons of success for you. Get the drawbacks and benefits to success down on paper and you can finally face and overcome your fears.
Establish Goal-Free Zones
Set a time and place where you don't do anything. This is vital because many of us are overwhelmed by our To-Do lists every day. In addition, people who starve themselves of success are literally addicted to goal setting, and feel incredibly guilt-tripped if they stop, even for a moment, to take time for themselves. I counsel my students to establish Goal-Free Zones, because this is the only way we can learn that the world won't end if we take time for ourselves. Astonishingly, this can be one of the hardest steps for people to take because of the overwhelming guilt they feel when they do something "selfish."
One of the greatest realizations of my life was that stopping myself from success not only wasn't helping others, it was actually hurting those I care about most. You can use the methods I've described to stop pushing away the success you want and deserve.
Noah St. John is author of "Permission To Succeed: Unlocking The Mystery of Success Anorexia." He works with people who want to stop limiting their own success and with a limited number of companies that want to increase their profits while fulfilling their mission and purpose. To sign up for Noah's FREE newsletter go to www.PermissiontoSucceed.com.
In his book Breaking the Rules: Removing the Obstacles to Effortless High Performance, Kurt Wright makes a distinction between "What's Wrong Questions" and "What's Right Questions" -- see Clear Purpose Management and CPM Publishing.
Several decades ago, Kurt Wright made the Fundamental Decision to ask "What's Right Questions" rather than "What's Wrong Questions." The diagram indicates part of the contrast between the two:
Note that "What's Wrong Questions" are closely related to "Judger Questions" and "What's Right Questions" to "Learner Questions." Also note how the above diagram ties in with the distinction between "Eagerness Orientation" and "Vigilance Orientation." Compare to the following diagram:
The 5 Right Questions:
"What's right?" or "What's working?" -- the agenda-setting question.
"What makes it right?" or "Why does it work?" -- the energy-generating question (also intuition-engaging and insight-producing).
"What would be ideally right?" or "What would work ideally?" -- the vision-building question (also analytical-engaging).
"What's not yet quite right?" -- the agenda-setting question (also motivating and ultimate intuition-engaging). Can be expanded to identify the "weakest links" or "leverage points.")
"What resources can I find to make it right?" -- the action-engaging question (also focusing to guide constructive action).
The following is reproduced from the original:
What's the characteristic you'll find in every three-year-old child?
- Have you ever noticed how peak performers, visionary thinkers and three-year-old children all have the same amazing abundance of creative energy? (Hint: Could this possibly have something to do with the way they each ask questions?)
- Have you ever noticed that whenever you ask a "What's-wrong?" question, you experience a negative drain on your emotional energy? (See: "What's Your Style of Asking Questions?")
- Do you realize that peak performers and visionary thinkers both use their rational mind primarily for communicating with their intuition, and that they do this by controlling the way they ask questions?
- Has anyone ever told you that the conscious, analytical part of your brain by itself is incapable of "knowing" anything - or even distinguishing truth from fiction - and that all it can actually do is execute programs installed in its memory? (This little-known fact was discovered by Dr. Roger Sperry and others during medical research that won them the 1981 Nobel Prize for medicine.)
- Do you know that the analytical part of your brain cannot tell whether the programs it's running are flawed, in conflict with each other, out of date or invalid? (This explains why it was so difficult for planet Earth to change from being flat to being round!)
- Did you know that by asking "What's wrong?" questions, you cause all of your thinking to be done by the analytical part of your brain - the part that cannot distinguish truth from fiction?
- Has anyone ever told you that the best way to keep yourself from being truly effective is to judge yourself, others, ideas, actions or things to be good or bad, right or wrong?
- Are you aware of the fact that it is impossible for you to have any kind of anxiety, stress or even anger without having first judged something to be good or bad, right or wrong? (Want to stop having stress? It's all under your control.)
Take control of your life!
These are just a few of the life-changing principles presented in Kurt Wright's book, "Breaking the Rules," a book that offers an unmistakably clear path for taking control of your life and learning how to bring out the best in yourself and others. Two of the most important things you could learn from reading this book are:
- How to become entirely free of judging, and
- How to master the art of asking questions that will give you real-time, productive use of your intuition.
If you are looking for a way to develop the mental clarity and emotional maturity that will let you listen to the wisdom of your heart in both your personal and business life, you will want to read and learn to follow the principles set forth in "Breaking the Rules."
Copyright © 2006-2007 CPM Publishing
Important Note: There may be a potential trap in trying to use certain techniques to avoid confronting and overcoming Make-or-Break Issues (MBIs). Sometimes there are MBIs such as Low Mood Levels that need to be Fixed First! Once you've identified an MBI that needs to be fixed first, you may be able to use Right Questions to fix it more effectively and efficiently.
Noah St. John: Permission to Succeed (click to watch video)
In 1998, Frederick Mann bought a groundbreaking book by Noah St. John of the The Success Clinic, called Permission to Succeed: Stop Starving Yourself Of The Success You Deserve. St. John starts by recounting how he got "permission" from his father to become much more successful than his father had been. By doing this, St. John in effect gave himself permission to succeed.
St. John had some major realizations about how he had been starving himself of success ("success anorexia"), and how this mechanism was related to food-related anorexia, after listening to talk by Peggy Claude-Pierre, author of The Secret Language of Eating Disorders: The Revolutionary Approach to Understanding and Curing Anorexia and Bulimia. Claude-Pierre is also the founder of the famous Montreux Clinic where eating disorders are treated.
Claude-Pierre makes a crucial distinction between the "Negative Mind" and the "Actual Mind." This distinction is similar to our distinction between "Eagerness Orientation" and "Vigilance Orientation." Note that when you're in the Eagerness Orientation, you engage different parts of your brain, compared to when you're in the Vigilance Orientation.
St. John quotes William James: "One thing is clear: when we talk about human beings, we can see that they are not driven by logic or reason. Ultimately, human beings are driven by their emotions -- by their passional nature." This suggests that most people spend most of their time in the Vigilance Orientation, which does not engage the parts of the brain used for logic and reason.
You can think of success as something you "eat." The chances are overwhelming that for practically all the readers of this Page, the "food they need to eat" in order to become much more successful is available to them in abundance! You just "eat the food of success" and then you succeed!
And how do you "eat the food of success?" Well, it's like putting one piece of good food into your mouth, chewing it, and then swallowing it. Then you take the next piece of good food, and continue the process until you've eaten enough! You can start at the top of this Page!
Noah St. John has also made a great contribution to success methodology with his discovery of "afformations." Afformations are much more powerful than affirmations. An "afformation" is basically a question that engages your brain in a positive way. Afformations are self-empowering questions. Examples: "How am I making this work most effectively for me?"; "Why am such a big success?"; "What's the best question to ask myself right now?"; etc. As St. John says, "The bottom line is that questions asked of the mind [afformations] are far more powerful than statements that are tacked onto the mind [affirmations]." You can find out more about afformations at The Success Clinic and at Afformations.com.
Maybe it's worth thinking for a few minutes about questions in general. Suppose you're trying to achieve something... anything! Ask yourself: "Is it humanly possible to achieve it?" If it is humanly possible, then ask: "Is the information on how to do it available?" Then ask: "How can I find and/or develop the information?" "What skills do I need?" Can you see that anything that's humanly possible can be actually achieved by asking questions... and then following through with appropriate actions?
You may already "know" a great deal. You may even be proud and/or arrogant because of "all the things you know." But what if some of what you "know" is preventing you from achieving what you want out of life?
The following is an outline -- adapted from the original with some extracts and comments added -- of the book by Dorothy Leeds, The 7 Powers of Questions: Secrets to Successful Communication in Life and at Work:
1) Why a book about questions (p1-14)"A WHOLE NEW DIRECTION Are you getting everything you want out of life? Are your relationships focused and heading in a positive direction? Are you satisfied with the way your career is progressing? Do you feel as if you are reaching your highest potential? ...My goal in this book is to create a mental and emotional turning point, to get you to start thinking in new and different ways..." Comment: You may currently be on a path that makes success impossible. You may be able to use questions to change direction and switch to a path that makes success possible.
2) POWER NUMBER ONE -- Questions demand answers! (p15-35)"When someone asks us a question we are compelled to answer it. This feeling of obligation is what I call the answering reflex."
3) POWER NUMBER TWO -- Questions stimulate thinking! (p36-60)"When someone asks a question it stimulates thinking in both the person asking and the person being asked."
4) POWER NUMBER THREE -- Questions give us valuable information! (p61-88)"Asking the right question can give us the specific and relevant information we want and need."
5) POWER NUMBER FOUR -- Questions put you in control! (p89-109)"Everyone feels most comfortable and confident when he or she is in control Because questions demand answers, the asker has the power position."
6) POWER NUMBER FIVE -- Questions get people to open up! (p110-130)"There is nothing more flattering than being asked to tell your personal story or to give your opinions, insight, and advice. Asking questions shows others that you are interested in who they are and what they have to say -- and when that happens, even the most reticent individuals are willing to share their thoughts and feelings."
- Emotional questions, revealing answers (p110-113)
- The "let's talk about me" factor (p113-115)
- Pursuing the reluctant talker (p116)
- Look for areas of comfort and confidence (p116-118)
- Why don't we open up more? (p118-121)
- We don't have a clear idea what the problem is (p119)
- We have been hurt in the past (p119-120)
- We feel there is a penalty in telling the truth (p120)
- We are afraid of being judged (p120-121)
- We feel our ideas are not appreciated (p121)
- Questions show that you care -- listening to answers and building one question on another (p122-124)
- Put your body into it (p125-126)
- Opening up techniques (p126-127)
- Develop a good rapport (p126)
- Start with broad, open questions (p126)
- Save the most difficult questions for late in the conversation (p127)
- Use nonverbal signals to indicate interest (p126-127)
- Truth, lies, and opening up (p128-130)
7) POWER NUMBER SIX -- Questions lead to quality listening! (p131-156)"As you improve your ability to ask the right question, the answers you get become more pertinent and focused, making it easier for you to concentrate on what's important to the situation."
8) POWER NUMBER SEVEN -- Questions get people to pursuade themselves! (p157-168)"People believe what what they say, not what you say. They are more likely to believe something they thought up, and a well-phrased question can get their minds headed in a specific direction. The question is the most overlooked tool in the art of persuasion."
9) SELL, LEAD, THINK -- Use questions to transform your organization! (p169-215)
- The thinking organization (p169-171)
- Questions as a catalyst for change (p171-173)
- The sales team led the way (p173-174)
- A question of values (p174-177)
- Simple steps toward a questioning culture (p177-179)
- Model the questioning culture (p177)
- Build questioning into every business activity (p177)
- Create multiple platforms for asking and answering (p177-178)
- Sell better -- change your definition (p179-182)
- Questions can transform your salespeople (p182-183)
- Selling and the seven powers -- Always be conversing, clarifying, connecting, gaining commitment, and closing! (p183-187)
- Qualify with quality, close with quantity (p187-189)
- An objection is an unaswered question (p190-192)
- Using questions to close the deal (p192-195)
- Probing the mind of the market (p195-198)
- Everyone is a salesperson! (p198)
- The leadership power of questions (p198-199)
- Hire people who ask questions -- force them to think (p199-201)
- Influencing behavior -- training and mentoring -- questions are the catalyst (p201-204)
- The art of mentoring (p204-206)
- Learn to love meetings (p206-210)
- On-the-job creativity and the power of questions (p210-213)
- Brainstorm with yourself (p213-215)
10) Closer knit than ever -- How questions can draw families together (p216-243)
11) Rediscover questions -- recapture and redefine the essential you (p244-270)
12) The fifty smartest questions (p271-279)
SUGGESTED READING (p280-283)
AUTHOR BIOGRAPHY (p299)
"A "Breakthrough" in learning is a breakout, or breakaway from a past point of view. "How To" directions are trying to manage learning, but self-discovery and awareness skills -- lead learning in the direction of long term progress." -- Michael Hebron (Golf Swing Secrets... and Lies')
"A prudent question is one-half of wisdom." -- Sir Francis Bacon
"Useful instruction is not about giving people the right answers, it is more about helping people to learn to ask the right questions." -- Michael Hebron (Golf Swing Secrets... and Lies)
We live in a competitive world. Generally, people enjoy advantages (strengths) and suffer disadvantages (weaknessess). All around us there are people doing things to improve themselves to gain advantages (increasing their advantages and decreasing their disadvantages). If you stay the same, you may be getting further behind -- finding it more difficult to compete with those who move ahead steadily, as described by Alexander Graham Bell. These pages may provide you with many potential advantages to gain. It's up to you to decide where to start and what to do next...
"The most successful people in the end are those whose success is the result of steady accretion. It is the one who carefully advances step by step, with his mind becoming wider and wider -- progressively able to grasp any theme or situation -- persevering in what he knows to be practical, and concentrating his thoughts upon it, who is bound to succeed in the greatest degree." -- Alexander Graham Bell
People who are not making long-term progress are stuck in their disadvantages. You can break out of being stuck in your disadvantages by asking yourself certain Breakthrough Questions. Here are some candidates:
Exercise: Look over this page. Note all the questions. Which of these questions could be breakthrough questions for you? Do any of these questions suggest what might be breakthrough questions for you, personally?
"Great minds ask great questions. The questions that "engage our thought" on a daily basis reflect our life purpose and influence the quality of our lives. By cultivating a Da Vinci-like open, questing frame of mind, we broaden our universe and improve our ability to travel through it." -- Michael J. Gelb (How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci)
Exercise: Do the "Hundred Questions" exercise in How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci by Michael J. Gelb.
"Most business innovations are inspired by the question "What if . . . ?"" -- Michael J. Gelb (How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci)
Also read some of these books:
Some of these questions may be breakthrough questions for you:
"Watch your thoughts; they become words.
Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."
-- Frank Outlaw
Do I have psychological habits that prevent my success?
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again, who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions, and spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best, knows the triumph of high achievement; and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat." -- Theodore Roosevelt
"My personal advice is to remember the words of Winston Churchill, who said, 'Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm'." -- Ross Perot
"We can do anything we want to if we stick to it long enough." -- Helen Keller
by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
Freenoting provides a way to get far more out of any text you read and any lecture you attend, and is a major technique for solving problems.
This writer gets pulled into a lot of conferences and symposia. Because of curiosity he often sits in on sessions on topics he knows nothing about - and knowing nothing about the presenter. As a result, the sessions he exposes himself to are of mixed quality.
In several of those sessions where the presenter and presentation left something to be desired, yours truly tuned out the presenter and in whimsy turned to writing "his own presentation" on the topic he "knew nothing about." Two results were most surprising:
With a little checking, I learned that nearly everything I had written, after the first couple of pages, was accurate - including much about the topic or subject which the presenter never got around to saying, but maybe should have! By Freenoting, I had gotten far, far more from that presentation session than the presenter had presented!
Why it works
This phenomenon turned out not to be "psychic," however. Here is how I found that out. When I experimentally attended sessions presented in a language foreign to me, I'd still render a pretty decent dissertation on the previously "unknown" topic, but of nowhere near the quality as when in a session taught in English. The explanation, indeed, turned out to be pretty simple, and confirmed what we had already found to be the case also in other contexts: By ignoring the presenter, I had routed such information as he had to offer straight to the part of the unconscious which reflexively sorts out ALL our data, past and current, conscious and unconscious. By this rapid torrential profusion of writing, the insights, formed from this process and pulled into the focus of consciousness through this writing-stream, reflected this sort-out and data-association. It also reflected, among these, the pattern predicting where it was the presenter was going with his lecture.
Most important, no matter how unknown a topic or subject was to me consciously, enough data and cues were floating around unconsciously to become embodied, through that sorter and through that writing, into a respectable and reasonably accurate short book or long paper. Even in the worst presentations, the presenter usually was presenting enough fresh data to enrich this outcome, accounting for why I was getting such better results in English-language sessions than in those conducted in a foreign language.
This worked even though I was ignoring that presenter so hard that whatever he presented was skipping my conscious mind altogether, enroute to that reflexive insight-sorter.
Characteristics of good Freenoting
With a little modest experimentation, the best Freenoting turns out to have these characteristics:
Freenoting can be done the usual way, hand-written on paper; or onto keyboard as in typewriter or computer; or into a tape recorder, though ease of retrieval becomes an issue there. Although a live human listener is by far the most preferred way to do most of our other Project Renaissance procedures, a live listener is not recommended for use in Freenoting, simply because the torrential monologue becomes a bit much for most listeners! Anyone who knows Gregg's Shorthand would be at an extreme advantage here because the speed of uninterrupted, torrential writing is so key to excellence of results.
If you decide to try out Freenoting in some class or at some lecture, take along a tape recorder the first time or so to allay your concern over "missing something." The lecturer will be flattered because s/he will think you are paying close attention to what s/he is saying. In a way, you are.
This procedure is excerpted from one of the many major methods to be found in the book, Beyond Teaching And Learning, which is reviewed and available in the Books section.
Reader feedback: 1 | 2
This brief may be freely copied - in whole, but not in part, including its copyright notice - for use with people whom you care about.
Comments to: Win Wenger
PO Box 332, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332
© 2001 Project Renaissance
and Theory of Human Development, Learning, Creativity and Genius
by Win Wenger, Ph.D.
In a changing world, living systems of any complexity, to survive for long, always have had to monitor and respond to how their surroundings are reacting to them and to their actions. Thus, all such surviving systems become - and are - susceptible to feedback as behavioral reinforcement, known in psychology as the famous universal natural Law of Effect: You get more of what you reinforce.
As organisms become more complex, more intelligent, one more and more has to monitor one's own output behavior, to coordinate better between goals or intentions and outcomes.
The more intelligent a system, the more complex are its actions which must be coordinated with its (often likewise complex) intentions. This "feedback directly from output" becomes ever more important.
In humans, this dimension appeared to reach critical mass about three million years ago, in developments of speech, of hands with opposable thumbs, of cross-torso lateral musculature (which allows dance), and eventually of the phenomenal human brain. In just speech alone: tonality, nuance, phraseology, sequence, timing, gesture, context, and subtle marginally conscious side-associations became a rich tapestry way beyond any formal analysis. And one offshoot of speech - music - holds incredible and otherwise inexplicable power for us.
Environment is only a small, though essential, part of the feedback which reaches us and shapes us. Nearly all of our feedback is from our own outputs, to the point where, contrasted to the usual models of teaching and learning, the reality is that such learning as does happen has to ride in on the output-feedback loop almost as on a carrier wave, rather than as a meaningful input in its own right.
Everything does still get in, but outside the focus of attention, and nearly always goes to the unconscious. It usually takes some sort of engagement with the loop before the datum gets attended to or consciously learned.
Minimum requirement for survival in a changing world: feedback from the environment.
Even without the clear and cogent findings to the same effect throughout the last century by Maria Montessori, Santiago Ramon y Cajal, Omar K. Moore and Marion Diamond - and even without what was earlier so dramatically demonstrated to us by the Socratics - we are led inescapably toward the Feed-the-Loop model, in which:
Why have we needed such a model before we, as a society, begin finally to see that what's taught in schools doesn't matter a bit; it's what's learned in schools (and/or elsewhere) that matters!
We clearly have not learned as a society, or as educators, that our business is not really that of accounting for what's taught in a politically and bureaucratically determined curriculum; that, instead, we must indeed be accountable for what's learned across such a curriculum. So little have we learned that when our students fall unacceptably short on standardized tests relating to that curriculum, we've moved even farther away from engaging the student's learning by trying to teach the tests, stripped even of any pretense of conveying the larger context of meaning, civilization, culture or career.
Our schools are in the position of assuming that if the kid doesn't get what we are throwing at him so didactically, it's his fault and not the school's. Or if that seems too harsh, we spread the blame among parents, television, peer pressure, and environmental conditions. And budgets. Always budgets.
What we teach the student doesn't matter. What the student learns, does. Until WE learn that, we are going to continue to lose our children to unacceptable failure rates.
Complexity theory shows a defining condition of Mandelbrot sets and fractals of all kinds to be that of an evolving system which incorporates a portion of its own feedback into its evolvement. It is this adaptability which makes it possible for us to survive and to evolve, while conserving our unique identities. Simply put, nothing less will do.
More about this rich loop model:
Make friends with this loop. It's not only a generalization about learning. It's what enables YOU to survive. At the very least, notice that you can't even sit in a chair without feedback telling you up and down and where your body parts are. That is how universal this model and physical law are, even if until now we had not conceptualized it.
Most current teaching assumes teachers should put information directly in. But virtually none of that teaching can become learning unless it rides in on the feedback of the learner's own actions as on a carrier wave.
Until now most human development models, and most therapies, have seen matters in terms of putting in stimulus and interventions just as teachers have seen matters as putting in information, in what can now be seen as a hopelessly static model of the learner, patient, person. Instead: Touch the flow. Build the flow. Feed the flow.
Build what's coming back in through the Action Point: Nearly all learning and growth occur at that singular point in this loop model where one is taking in and processing the feedback on what s/he has put out.
Nearly all actual learning and growth have been only incidental, because we hadn't conceptualized this model and learned to feed the flow.
What can we do now, directly, to build the flow of learning and growth coming through the Action Point as feedback?
Consider: like with many other circuits, when you improve or inhibit this circuit at any point, you improve or inhibit that whole circuit, including the flow of what's reaching that crucial point of action for learning and growth. So.....
With complexity and intelligence, coordinating through feedback from one's own output becomes much more important...
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...to the point where environment is only a small but essential part of what's going on. Any external learning has to ride in as on a carrier wave.
It's necessary for best results that these outputs be externalized into some sort of definite action. Our immediate external sensory feedbacks are much more immediate than our internal feedbacks, and force a much closer relationship between the respective parts of the brain involved.
Once you see this whole Feed-the-Loop model, you can begin to ask some useful questions of it and get some useful answers - answers which may be truly surprising in terms of how greatly can be improved the quantity and quality of flow through that point of action. With this model before us, we can now usefully ask:
You can start with Mihaly Csikzentmihalyi's Flow: the Psychology of Optimal Experience; or with rapid-flow processing and Project Renaissance's torrential description methods; or with Project Renaissance's current efforts to assemble a science of Intermodulation in the Mindfield section of this website.
Putting together from the five questions these many answers -
If each of these hundreds of apparently useful answers is factored together...
The development of these useful answers renders feasible a rather substantial improvement or increase in learning and in personal growth.
This Feed-the-Loop model itself is new, and nearly all of its development and application still lie ahead of it. Retrofitting the model with some existing practices may also result in some improvement of results of those practices. Let's to it!
Tapping further, untapped resources within each human individual:
Take a look at the surface your foot is resting on. All of that surface, not just the part near to your foot. Be it rug, floor, greensward or skating rink!
Let all of that surface represent the resources of your mind and brain.
Let the little part of that surface that's covered by your foot represent the part of your brain and mind which are conscious.
The actual disproportion is far greater than that. Only a tiny portion even of YOUR mind and brain is developed and consciously available! Yet it is now so easy to develop so much more!...
Feed-the-Flow to simply bring online much more of your brain and mind
Whatever context you want to develop, whether understanding and learning in some field or topic; whether awarenesses and answer-solution to a question or problem; whether a sophisticated sensitivity in some sense or in some art, or some physical skill such as in the arts, in athletic sports, or in the workplace...
Set up an expressive flow-loop going in that direction, from whatever sensory perceptions you can bring yourself to notice in that context. Keep feeding that flow until that flow becomes genius!
YOU are brighter than you think!
That genius IS there and is you! In fact, how intelligent you now are reflects your recent and life history of what proportion of your own perceptions and awarenesses you've responded to. That you've responded to and thereby reinforced and thereby reinforced being perceptive and aware!
Your own perceptions and awarenesses. Not someone else's. Not what you've been taught. Not what everyone "knows."
Self-reinforce the best within you
Respond in some way to your own perceptions. Respond in some way even with just writing yourself a little note, or at least SOME response to your own ideas, to reinforce being aware, reinforce being creative.
Each time you let one of your own ideas, your own awarenesses, your own perceptions, slide by, you are reinforcing the response and idea that your own awarenesses aren't worth responding to. (Yet this is what you've been taught all your life to do - override and ignore your own awareness and do as you've been told.)
At this moment...
Even as you read these lines, thoughts and perceptions are occurring to you, stray thoughts and perceptions which are a lot more relevant to this than you think!
A little self-experiment you can try:
On any topic or question or problem, record the first 3 or 4 unrelated(!) thoughts, memories, perceptions, awarenesses which come to mind for you in that context. Associations which, because they seem unrelated, you consider just a distraction to be ignored and shut away so you can concentrate on the problem...
THEN: find out what those 3 to 4 unrelated awarenesses have in common.
THEN examine: in what ways might that common factor or those common factors represent a major answer or insight to that context?
Chances are good you will find that the factor or those factors in common are your key, and a key you likely would not have gotten at by more usual ways of thinking!
FLOW methods to get to, use, and bring online your true genius:
But it does need to be your output, your expressive flow, in order to stir up those unrelated, oh-so-relevant key associations, and in order to generate from your own output flow the feedbacks which guide you to the answer and to greater awareness. You need to pay close attention to and describe your own immediate sensory perceptions, instead of settling back into what you know.
Set up that flow-with-feedback, get on that roll, stay on that flow, keep returning to that flow in whatever defined context and close to your ongoing sensory perceptions, and you will, indeed, discover that true genius which is you! You get more of what you reinforce.
Root findings regarding the brain, learning, and human development:
This brief may be freely copied - in whole, but not in part, including its copyright notice - for use with people whom you care about.
Comments to: Win Wenger
PO Box 332, Gaithersburg, MD 20884-0332
© 2001 - 2005 Project Renaissance
It may be a good idea to maintain a list of the "Top 10 Things You Intend to Learn." This section was inspired by Things You Really Need to Learn by Stephen Downes. His list:
It may be worthwhile for you to make your own list in the sequence of what you think is most important for you personally. Some of the items on your list may be Make-or-Break Issues (MBIs). Some may be Leverage Points.
You could draw a Mind Map for your top item. You could repeatedly ask "What's missing?" This may turn out to be a great method to expand your knowledge and skills in those areas most critical to your success!
Jim Edwards: Mining The Gap (click to watch video)
The "Gap" is a most important concept. It tells you where there may be "gaps," "holes," or "openings" in the market -- needs and/or wants that are not being met -- products and/or services that are "missing," that someone could profitably develop, market, and deliver. It could also be called the "Opportunity Gap."
There's also more to the "Gap" than Edwards reveals in the above video. Suppose someone with heartburn doesn't know the best way to treat their condition -- there's a Gap in their knowledge. There are several ways ruthless companies can Mine this Gap:
They can sell products that are useless and essentially don't change the Gap. In this case, the demand would never be satisfied. Customers would tend to keep buying.
They can sell products that are worse than useless, making the condition worse, essentially widening the Gap. Customers would tend to buy more and more over time. The demand would keep growing.
They can sell products that cause side effects -- create more Gaps. Then they can Mine these extra Gaps by selling additional products. They increase and widen the demand. Customers would tend to buy more and more of a widening range of products.
You may regard the above as an overly cynical perspective. If you investigate the heartburn and depression "treatment industries" thoroughly, you may come to see #1, #2, and #3 above as accurate descriptions of the way at least some of the operators play the game! See #35: Beware Medical Scams -- Take Control of Your Health
A "big opportunity" is available to advanced thinkers and entrepreneurs who can come up with the practical and effective means for "normal humans" to "upgrade their brains (both hardware and software)." Part of the opportunity stems from the "Big Gullibility Problem." That so many people believe TV ads and their doctors, and spend billions on antacid drugs that are generally useless or worse, is an indication of the degree of "general gullibility." (Examining mystical, religious, and political beliefs, systems, and practices may indicate that the "Big Gullibility Problem" is not limited to antacid and antidepressant drugs!)
What if gullibility is a "Make-or-Break Issue" (MBI) for many people? In fact, what if "general gullibility" is one of the biggest factors that constrains people? Of course, gullibility can be described as "deficient thinking."
We live in a time of information explosion. What if more and more of the available information is deceptive (by design or accident)? What disadvantages do people suffer if they're deficient in their ability to judge the veracity, accuracy, and utility of information?
The other side of the coin, what advantages do antacid and antidepressant drug companies enjoy because of the gullibility of their victims? How much more money do they make? Billions?
Another element of the "Big Opportunity Gap" stems from the fact that the vast majority of humans operate with "brain hardware" that's in some respects unsuited for their current environments. In particular, their amygdalae are too sensitive, triggering inappropriate and disproportionate fear and/or anger in situations perceived or imagined as "dangerous" or "threatening."
The amygdalae (each human brain has two) are like hair triggers designed to set off alarm bells at the slightest hint of danger. The human organism must be instantly prepared for fight or flight. The frontal cortex (conscious thinking brain) must be shut out of the loop, because it's too slow to cope with imminent danger. This brain is ideal for life in the jungle or the tall grass of the Savannah, where a large animal can kill you at any instant. To survive it's often necessary to react faster than the neocortex can think. But the portion of this brain that responds so dramatically to real or imagined danger is not suited for today's world, where most people live in much safer environments.
Humans in general have some brain hardware challenges! Some people also face challenges like anxiety, depression, and helplessness that range from mild to severe. Some of these challenges may have both hardware and software components. For example, someone can have chronic low serotonin and/or noradrenaline (norepinephrine) levels causing helplessness, coupled with an "I can't..." program. The helplessness prevents the person from replacing "I can't..." with "I won't..." and the "I can't..." program prevents the person from taking the steps to raise his or her serotonin and/or noradrenaline levels! See also Raise Your Mood Level.
The common "human deficiencies" (generally involving less than optimum brain hardware and/or software) that constitute the Big Opportunity Gap can be summarized:
Much of the bad software involved with the above is passed on from generation to generation. Some parents, politicians, preachers, teachers, doctors, and the media play major roles in perpetuating such "dead-end human software."
An important consideration is that the current "human condition" may be so "riddled with defects" that only drastic action will prevent the human species from going extinct as an "evolutionary dead end."
"Our fundamental idea shall be that man as we know him is not a completed being; that nature develops him only up to a certain point and then leaves him, to develop further, by his own efforts and devices, or to live and die such as he was born, or to degenerate and lose capacity for development." -- P. D. Ouspensky
Nassim Nicholas Taleb (Fooled by Randomness: The Hidden Role of Chance in Life and in the Markets): "We are still very close to our ancestors who roamed the savannah. The formation of our beliefs is fraught with superstitions... We are flawed beyond repair, at least for this environment... We are faulty and there is no need to bother trying to correct our flaws. We are so defective and so mismatched to our environment that we can just work around these flaws. I am convinced of that after spending almost all my adult and professional years in a fierce fight between my brain (not Fooled by Randomness) and my emotions (completely Fooled by Randomness) in which the only success I've had is in going around my emotions rather than rationalizing them. Perhaps ridding ourselves of our humanity is not in the works; we need wily tricks..."
Currently, except for some relatively isolated instances, nobody we know of is providing humans in general with effective means to "upgrade both their hardware and software." There are many philosophies, brands of psychology, self-improvement gurus, books, seminars, workshops, motivational speeches, etc., but nobody we know of comes even close to providing an adequate "general upgrade job." It's a $12-billion-per-year industry aptly described by Steve Salerno in his book Sham: How the Self-Help Movement Made America Helpless. The vast majority of "success seekers" is unlikely to gain any significant benefits from much of this industry.
There's a huge imbalance or "Gap" between most people's "current levels" and the "much higher levels" they could attain. The knowledge, methods, and techniques to make dramatic upgrades are available... on the GRSS pages and elsewhere...
This Gap between what is and what could be is the "Big Opportunity Gap."
Think of the modern PC. Think of the first PCs about 20 years ago. Think of the difference between the first PCs and modern PCs as a similar "opportunity gap." With his role in the software upgrades that helped advance the first PCs to the modern PC, Bill Gates became the richest man in the world. (This is neither an endorsement of Bill Gates nor of Microsoft products, with their typical security flaws and other weaknesses.)
The "Opportunity Gap" between where most humans are and where they could be is vastly greater than the "PC opportunity gap" Gates utilized to become the richest man in the world. Providing humans with the means to upgrade -- and persuading them to utilize the means -- may be a vastly bigger challenge than upgrading PCs!
In GRSS, we attempt to identify all the important ways people might be "bugged" and how they can fix their "bugs" (or at least work around them).
If anyone can figure out the basic methodology to "persuade people to upgrade" (apply the "fixes") this would be an historic breakthrough, providing incalculable benefits to humans who avail themselves of the opportunities to upgrade themselves!
The huge imbalance or Opportunity Gap between "what is" and "what could be" provides the potential for megaprofits to those who bridge it!
#1 success principle (?): Choose grandparents and parents carefully. Ensure that they're wealthy and influential and that mother is an "IBM insider" -- Google: +"bill gates" +mother +IBM .
#2 success principle (?): Choose a father who is a lawyer. Learn the most effective "lawyer tricks" to apply in business.
#3 success principle (?): "Study the life and career of Napoleon Bonaparte carefully -- learn the principles he used to conquer much of the world!"
#4 success principle (?): "This is Admiral Billgatus of Borg, resistance is futile, prepare to be assimilated or destroyed!"
#5 success principle (?): Use every dirty trick you can get away with -- Google:
Don't ever accuse Billgatus of being like the Mafia. After all, does he ever use enforcers with clubs and guns to collect protection money or smash businesses? ... Or do his lawyers (with the support of territorial gangsters with clubs and guns who call themselves "government") perform similar functions?
In your head you most likely have a "program" about how fast your earnings and/or business can grow -- or at what pace your career can progress. "10% per year" is a typical "growth program." If you have such a program in your brain, it almost forces you you to think and act in ways that limit you to "10%-per-year" growth. It's a kind of self-fulfilling prophecy!
Would you like to earn ten times as much as you are now earning? Or... progress ten times faster with whatever you're trying to achieve?
You most likely have a "rate-of-growth" program in your brain that limits your thinking and actions, holding you back.
In 1984, Jack Welch who was then Chairman of General Electric Corporation, was introduced to the "ten-times-growth" (10X) program. Over a period of 18 months, starting in 1985 when GE was a $30 billion company, the "10X-growth" program was introduced to thousands of GE managers. By 1988, GE had grown into a $300 billion company, and as a result GE's shareholder value had grown ten times!
We don't know what other factors may have contributed to the tenfold growth of GE. We also don't know for sure just what role the "10X program" played in the growth of GE. We nevertheless expect that at least some people will be able to implement the "10X software" and, as a consequence, become much more effective, efficient, and productive.
We also suspect that some people are constrained by "Make-or-Break Issues" (MBIs) that may prevent them from installing and benefiting from the "10X software." Such people may be able to apply the "10X training" to identify and overcome their MBIs much more quickly.
You can also read the book Software For Your Brain online.
If you are not yet utilizing the "ten-times-growth" (10X) program, we're happy to tell you that FREE TRAINING (via email) is also available.
Do you want the FREE "ten-times-growth" (10X) training?
The training consists of 35 lessons. There are no fees of any kind. The success of the 10X approach is based on a few basic principles:
More good news! FREE Sales X 10 training (called NewSell and consisting of 15 interactive lessons) is now also available.
[NOTE: The service used to send the emails is now defunct. If you have a copy of these emails, or know of a replacement service, please contact me.]
Paul Polak is the author of the book Out of Poverty: What Works When Traditional Approaches Fail.
"OUT OF POVERTY teaches us to think simple. Paul Polak brings forward ideas and solutions that bypass government agencies and other leaden institutions. Ideas that work!" -- Paul Newman
Review on Amazon.com by Karin Hibma -- "How do we change how the world thinks and acts about dollar-a-day poverty? (January 30, 2008):
In July 2005, we met Dr. Paul Polak at the first Aspen Leadership Summit and began to understand his insights and work of twenty-five years. He described "The Four Revolutions Needed to End Poverty" in a way that inspired us as designers and problem-solvers:
"I believe that nothing less than revolutions in water, agriculture, markets, and design are needed. All four are doable and practical, and I'm committed to making them happen before I die.
How do we change how the world thinks and acts about dollar-a-day poverty? I want to make three things happen:
Change the way design is taught in the west.
Change the way design is taught in developing countries.
Create a platform for 10,000 of the world's best designers to address the practical problems of the other 90% of the world's customers."
This delightful book is the beginning of finding ways for everyone to jump in as major players, in a way that fits with their dreams. It's an education, an insightful and inspiring process and a great opportunity for us all.
In its current form, most of the information on these pages cannot be of much practical value to most readers. To make the information more useful, a "Human Development Roadmap" (HDR) needs to be compiled. HDR needs to consist of a series of developmental stages, starting with those identified by Piaget. Also to be considered:
While compiling HDR, some stages are bound to be missed initially. They can be identified and added as the work progresses. For each stage within HDR, there needs to be information, techniques, processes, etc. that enable individuals to complete their personal development for that stage. The information on these pages, and whatever needs to be added, can be categorized by developmental stages.
Advising people to "take evolutionary steps" -- as is done in The Master Success Principle -- is unlikely to work for most people, in the absence of an HDR that provides a proper and complete sequence of evolutionary development steps.
A major challenge is that compiling the HDR is a massive undertaking. Furthermore, the number of steps individuals might have to take to develop themselves to reasonably mature levels might seem overwhelming. HDR needs to include methods -- such as the "80/20 Principle" -- individuals can use to identify their "next best step."
Rather than just a "straight-line sequence," HDR will also include certain "branches." There would probably be a sequence of evolutionary steps most humans would want to complete in order to become "properly developed." There could also be a "medical branch" for doctors and "specialty branches" within the medical profession. Similarly for educators, psychologists, etc.
HDR will need to take into account the obstacles individuals may have to overcome in order to take certain evolutionary steps. In some cases, just overcoming the obstacles could be regarded as evolutionary steps in themselves.
HDR will also need to take into account any "primitive animal programs" many humans suffer from -- such as "pecking-order-bully-system" programs.
Compiling HDR and its content may be an ideal way to bring about a Human Renaissance.
School curricula need to be considered from the perspective of what might be missing from them. More importantly, compulsory schooling needs to be analyzed from the perspective of what "maldevelopment" it causes. HDR needs to include developmental stages to enable individuals to recover from the "maldevelopment of compulsory schooling," as well as to "fill the gaps" of what has been missing. Gatto's work is particularly relevant in these respects.
Gurdjieff's work can be regarded as an attempted HDR. Gurdjieff's and similar attempts at "general human elevation" should be considered. Typically, such attempts have been like blind men discovering an elephant, thinking that the parts they identified constitute the whole elephant.
Much of "common human social development" should be considered "maldevelopment." Such forms of maldevelopment need to be identified and HDR needs to include developmental stages to enable recovery from all "social maldevelopment." From the point of view of "normal humans" (and particularly corporate, political, military, and religious "masters"), parts of HDR will seem profoundly antisocial and a devastating threat to their power and influence.
Google has launched Project 10100, inviting submissions of "ideas to change the world." They provide these criteria:
The following are parts of a submission by Frederick Mann on 10/13/08:
8. Your idea's name:
Learn to Think
9. Category that best describes your idea:
10. What one sentence best describes your idea?
Constraint theory, most common human constraint: thinking deficiency; leverage point: what, if improved, provides greatest return on effort invested?
11. Describe your idea in more depth:
Apply Goldratt's constraint theory; identify most important human constraint. Related topics: "barrier analysis," "causal factor analysis," "fault tree analysis," "leverage point," "liebig's law," "psychological inertia," "reverse salient," "root cause analysis," "TRIZ," "weakest link." Thinking deficiency possibly most important human constraint. If so, then improving thinking skills likely to yield greatest return on time, etc. invested. Tentative principles of efficient & effective thought:
12. What problem or issue does your idea address?
Specifically and directly, deficiencies in human thinking skills. More generally and indirectly, all human problems.
13. If your idea were to become a reality, who would benefit the most and how?
People who are reasonably literate, sufficiently open-minded & who make a focused and persistent attempt to improve their thinking skills. They would be able to improve many areas of their lives. Such improved thinking skills would yield improved knowledge, technologies, products & services. All humans could potentially enjoy greater prosperity, health & happiness. Individuals (both inside & outside institutions) would increase the benefits they provide & reduce the harm they do. In areas, such as currencies, enterprises, business practices, health care, etc., superior alternatives will be implemented to replace what is currently dysfunctional. Societal problems such as poverty, famine, pollution, disease, crime, etc. would be ameliorated considerably. In general, people would enjoy longer & higher quality lives.
14. What are the initial steps required to get this idea off the ground?
15. Describe the optimal outcome should your idea be selected and successfully implemented. How would you measure it?
The overall outcome would be akin to a renaissance after a dark age. Individuals would experience improved prosperity, health & happiness. If the "Learn to Think" project were to result in useful knowledge, technologies, products & services gaining market acceptance & penetration, its success could be measured by improved statistics in areas such as education, economics, inflation, productivity, pollution, health, life expectancy, etc.
18. If you'd like to recommend a specific organization, or the ideal type of organization, to execute your plan, please do so here.
by Frederick Mann
My gratitude goes to Win Wenger, Ph.D for the many ways in which he has contributed to my thinking. Among other things, following his suggestion, I regularly swim underwater holding my breath, so as to increase the size of my carotid arteries, to supply more blood to my brain... and to improve my brainpower!
In my Google submission (above), under Item #18, I recommend Project Renaissance as an "ideal organization to execute this plan." However, anyone is free to proceed with any aspects of this plan, and do whatever they like with it!
"I have a very strong sense of being in the middle of a historical wave. One hundred and fifty years from now, what will the historians say about this age? What was really important? What was going? What was finished? My belief is that much of what makes the headlines is finished, and the "growing tip" of mankind is what is now growing and will flourish in a hundred or two hundred years, if we manage to endure. Historians will be talking about this movement as the sweep of history, that here, as Whitehead pointed out, when you get a new model, a new paradigm, a new way of perceiving, new definitions of the old words, words which now mean something else, suddenly you have an illumination, an insight. You can see things in a different way." -- Abraham Maslow, The Farther Reaches of Human Nature
The basic idea of Project "Learn to Think!" is that if a few people can be inspired to think in certain "ways"... and then spread these "ways"... then a human renaissance could occur. These "ways" are not entirely new...
"...[A]t a grand committee, some days ago, this important discovery was made by a certain curious and refined observer; that sea-men have a custom when they met a whale, to fling him out an empty tub, by way of amusement, to divert him from laying violent hands upon the ship. This parable was immediately mythologiz'd: The whale was interpreted to be Hobbe's 'Leviathan,' which tosses and plays with all other schemes of religion and government, whereof a great many are hollow, and dry, and empty, and noisy, and wooden, and given to rotation." -- Jonathan Swift, A Tale of a Tub: Written for the Universal Improvement of Mankind
If a few of us "moderns" could learn to think the way Swift thought about 300 years ago, we might be able to engineer a human renaissance!
A second basic idea of this Project is to provide the means to make a human success explosion possible. I spent many months researching why most "success products" provide practically no benefits to most "success seekers." These pages represent my attempt to provide something "more useful" -- "Personal Competence and Power Shift (PCAPS)."
A third basic idea of this Project is that it's self-financing. No funding is required from Google or anyone else! (Nevertheless, if a network of competent thinkers could be formed to move this Project forward, they may be able to utilize extra funding to speed things up.) These pages are part of a moneymaking system. Practically anyone can take a few of the steps suggested on the Program Page to make money for themselves. Whether or not they're interested in anything "humanitarian," by taking some of the steps, they may automatically make more individuals aware of this Project. Of course, they also help to finance the Project!
I don't know the probability that this Project will help bring about any increase in "human success" or even a "human renaissance." But I'll continue my attempts to improve it. Fortunately, the probability is quite high that, irrespective of any "humanitarian benefits," the Project will continue its profitability!
Below, I elaborate on some of the points of my Google submission:
#10 & 11. See Identify Your Most Important MBIs (or Personal Constraints) and Focus on Getting Unstuck from Those that Harm You Most.
#11-1. In addition to what's already on these pages, more content will be added to address other steps to physically improve brain function. Some important issues related to brain function will also be covered:
Many stimuli provide information to the brain, but are too low in intensity or duration for the individual to become consciously aware of them. (This makes "subliminal advertising" possible.)
There's typically a half-second delay between the time brains make decisions and the time individuals become aware of the decisions (and deceive themselves that they made the decisions) -- Google: "Libet half-second delay."
Given the above two items, coupled with Kellerman's "anger theory," Sarno's "mindbody theory," Pinker's "baloney generator," the way the amygdalae react to perceived dangers and threats, and all the other unconscious brain functions, how is it possible for humans to manifest "free will," "responsibility," "self-motivation," etc?
#11-2. See How to Disagree and Question Everything.
#11-3. Some psychologists and sociologists use the phrase "socialization without reflection." This is what happens when a parent, teacher, or preacher says, "It's so, because I say so!"; "That's just the way society or the world works!"; "Everybody knows that's the way it is!"; "You have to believe it to fit in!"; "Everybody must get a government education!"; etc. Children are effectively forced to believe what they can't perceive with their senses. They then more or less turn off their ability to use their senses to discern reality, particularly in areas related to religion and politics. They switch to using "subjective social agreement" to misperceive aspects of reality in the same ways their parents, teachers, preachers, etc. do. They learn that "conformity trumps perception."
According to Andre Bacard in Hunger for Power: Who Rules the World and How:
"It is hard to overstate how deeply many followers conform to their leaders. The passion to obey is every bit as intense as the hunger to command. When Soviet dictator Joseph Stalin died, millions of Russians rushed into the streets and cried. Persons whose families had been sent to Siberian labor camps mourned the mass murderer who fomented their nightmares. These rank-and-file citizens deluded themselves that Stalin was innocent of all wrongdoing, that his orders were misinterpreted by zealous subordinates (like themselves)..."
In James P. Hogan's science-fiction story, Voyage from Yesteryear, the children of Chiron were raised by computers/robots so they weren't brainwashed the way practially all "modern humans" have been -- with "hatreds and prejudices [that] were programmed in at an early age."
In Kicking the Sacred Cow: Questioning the Unquestionable and Thinking the Impermissible, Hogan wrote:
"Before long I found myself questioning and checking just about everything I thought I knew... The problems that the world had been getting itself into all through history would all be solved straightforwardly once people came around to seeing things the right way." [The way Jonathan Swift saw things?]
[In my opinion, some of Hogan's arguments in Kicking... concerning "evolution" and "intelligent design" are suspect.]
#11-7. See Why You Must Recognize and Understand Coercion
#11-9. Google "logical fallacies" -- A much more comprehensive "compendium of fallacies and biases" than any now in existence needs to be compiled.
#11-10. See Cause and Effect
#11-11. See What Constitutes a Solution?
#11-12. Google "TRIZ"
Apart from potential wider benefits, individuals who participate in this Project may learn new things from one another (growing new synaptic connections), thereby improving their own brain health and longevity!
My challenge to the advanced thinkers of the world:
Dare you elevate your thinking skills, in terms of questioning things, to the level Jonathan Swift reached 300 years ago?
Introduction & Programs ~ Starting Out; Some Basics ~ Success Journeys ~ Accelerate Your Learning ~ Time: Your Most Valuable Asset ~ How to Feel Good All the Time ~ How to Overcome Self‑Interference ~ A Few Health Basics ~ Cause & Effect ~ Additional Articles
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