When you find your mind wandering, ask yourself these two questions:
What am I thinking?
Why am I thinking this?
And when you’re busy, ask these three:
What am I doing?
What do I hope to gain by it?
Why does this matter to me?
Ask these questions and you’ll sidestep the bullet Socrates fired into the future when he said,
“The unexamined life is not worth living.”
Reality Television. Why are we so quick to examine the lives of others and so reluctant to examine our own?
Carl Jung gave us another lens for self-examination when he said,
“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.”
Make a list of your pet peeves and you’ll learn something about yourself.
But then we must contend with Dr. Richard Cytowic, that famous neurologist who tells us,
“Not everything we are capable of knowing and doing is accessible to, or expressible in, language. This means that some of our personal knowledge is off limits even to our own inner thoughts! Perhaps this is why humans are so often at odds with themselves, because there is more going on in our minds than we can ever consciously know.”
Wow. According to Cytowic, there’s stuff happening in our heads that can’t be spoken; stuff we don’t even know that we know.
And then, just to make absolutely certain that we don’t get too cocky about this whole self-examination thing, MIT’s Dr. Jerre Levy throws her own special molotov cocktail into the mix:
“The left brain maps spatial information into a temporal order, while the right brain maps temporal information onto a spatial order. In a sense understanding largely consists in the translation of information to and fro between a temporal ordering and a spatial one – resulting in a sort of stereoscopic depth-cognition.”
Strangely, the solution to unraveling this hopelessly tangled knot we call self-identity can be found in the advice of an imaginary person in a science fiction book about archaeology on other planets:
“Show me what a person admires, and I will tell you everything about them that matters.” – Maggie Tufu, The Engines of God, p. 398
Do you want to know yourself better?
Quickly make a list of:
2 favorite visual artists
3 favorite poems
4 favorite stories
5 favorite movies
6 favorite songs
When you’ve made these lists, take them with you into the rabbit hole and Indiana Beagle will tell you what to do next.
I’ll see you there.
Roy H. Williams
Are you ready to publish? I knew my publisher was hard to meet – impossible almost – and I knew that more than half the books he had ever published had become Wall Street Journal and New York Times bestsellers. No other publisher has ever reached even 5 percent. But I’ve got to admit I wasn’t ready for what happened when I strolled with him onto the floor of the 2,670,000 square feet of Chicago’s McCormick Place in 1999. It was the National Booksellers Convention. Every publisher on earth was there and virtually every author. But when Ray Bard walked onto that floor, it was as though William Shatner and Leonard Nimoy had walked into Comic-con dressed as Kirk and Spock. A tidal wave washed me out to sea as I saw Ray become a smaller and smaller island in the distance. Publishers and authors were crowding in from every direction, wanting to buy him drinks or lunch or dinner or breakfast. Ray had to push his way through arms holding out business cards to make his way back to me. When Pennie and I launched Wizard Academy in 2000, Ray Bard agreed to serve as our first Chairman of the Board. And now he has agreed to tell you everything there is to know about publishing your non-fiction book. Life comes down to just a few moments. Meeting Ray Bard, for me, was one of them. – RHW
As a futurist, Thomas Frey stands shoulder-to-shoulder with such well-known visionaries as John Naisbitt, Alvin Toffler and Ray Kurzell. In fact, according to Google’s definitive ranking system, Frey is America’s #1 rated futurist speaker. He’s also today’s featured guest at MondayMorningRadio.com