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« Notice your happiness | Main | Visualization flashcards »

March 22, 2006

Comments

CJ Smith

Some of us (...tentatively raising hand) have been "confused", knowing that what we're doing doesn't work but not knowing what is any better, for well over ten years. Apparently my subconscious is not getting on the ball. Is there ever a point when it's better to fight it, or do we passively expect to go to our graves still in this state?

Alan Pritt

I wrote about confusion a few days back (improvehumaniq.com/mental-confusion.html). I concluded the following benefits about it:

1. It reveals where there are *gaps* in our knowledge. We can then go fill them.

2. It reveals *errors* in our current knowledge. We can then correct these.

3. It acts as a signal that what we are being told may not be true. We can then go investigate more.

4. It encourages us to explore a topic in more detail. When we seek to rid ourselves of confusion we have to learn a subject in a deeper and more useful sense.

Many people tune out of their confusion and don't notice the subtle messages their minds are telling them. I believe this leaves to arrogance.

David Zinger

Great image on cleaning a dirty pond with a stick.

This reminds me of some of the work in counselling by H. B. Gelatt. He specialized in positive uncertainty. You probably have seen his work on positive uncertainty but just in case someone has not here is the link:
http://www.gelattpartners.com/pages/698261/index.htm.

I appreciate the various topics of your posts. Keep up the excellent contributions.

Lori Richardson

One of the best techniques I "stumbled into" as a young single mom years ago, when faced with decisions too big to figure out at that moment was to make a conscious decision "to table the decision" - which shifted it out of my immediate thoughts, and amazingly the answer seemed to work itself out in upcoming days. By not fixating on it, somehow, for me it freed me up to find a creative solution. This was part of my survival as a single parent and career person.

Curt Rosengren

CJ, I think there's a difference between short-term confusion and long-term confusion (I would say ten years qualifies as long-term). Short-term confusion is fertile soil, while long-term confusion is just stuck.

The question then is, "What do I do to get unstuck? How do I find the clarity I need so I can start getting traction?"

For a good first step, check out my article in Worthwhile magazine that gives a basic overview of the system I developed to help people get clarity, take action, and get traction (hey, I should use that in my marketing! ). The url is:

http://www.passioncatalyst.com/media/6steps.pdf

You can get a deeper perspective on it in my e-book:

http://www.passioncatalyst.com/download

When you're in the middle of a long-term stuck, it can be hard to see what's really going on. A friend of mine says, "Not only can you not see the forest for the trees, but you can't see the tree because your nose is stuck so far into a knothole."

Finding a way to back up and get perspective can be invaluable. Try making an objective inventory of what your current situation looks like. Remove yourself from the picture and pretend you're looking at someone else in your situation. What do you see? It might help to just start making lists from what you see, for example:

* Why is this person stuck?
* What does this person already know about what he wants?
* What are the obstacles?
* How is the person getting in his own way?
* What opportunities is this person ignoring?
* What steps could this person take right now?
* What resources does this person have to put to work towards change?

The list of potential questions goes on and on, but you get the idea. The basic notion is taking a look from an outside perspective and asking yourself, "What do I see? What advice would I give this person?"

It might help to incorporate a friend into that process as well, to help you get that external perspective. Of course, that external perspective is also a big part of what I offer in my Passion Catalyst work, so that's also something to consider.

If you've been stuck for ten years, doing the same thing won't get you unstuck. Start with the question, "What do I need to do differently, right here, right now?" Once you start taking steps, give the process time to unfold. Substantive change isn't a just-add-water kind of thing. It takes time.

Curt Rosengren

I love all the insights people have to share here. Alan, David, and Lori, thanks for your perspectives. I love it when other people start chiming in with their genius!

Hiren Shah

True. Most great scientists found solutions to their problems in moments of relaxation rather than conscious effort.

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