Seeing Things

Mobius Monday Minute logo# 15 April 11 , 2011

I see things.

No I’m not saying that I “see” strange things. I don’t for example see a boogie-man hiding under my bed or anything like that.  Nothing so weird or dramatic that it would be such that you might imagine streaming from the likes of Stephen King or Alfred Hitchcock.

Sorry to disappoint.

Please understand it’s just that my job demands that I see things. I was trained as a graphics guy you see. I studied as a visual artist and graduated from art college back when desk-top computers were still in short pants. I had a lot of catching up to do in that department but that’s another story.

What I’ve been working on for the last 30 years or so was trying to come up with a way to visually understand a phenomenon that we all experience at one time or another: The moment when a peculiar drive kicks in causing us to create a successful conclusion. We know it as persistence, determination, perseverance, or doggedness… take your pick.

Of course there is a more generalized word for it.  One that describes the entire landscape that I wish to “see” more clearly in three dimensions. That term is the ever-familiar phrase “human potential”.

Know how I see it?

It’s an ocean. I say that because, like the five physical oceans on this planet, it’s huge (and even liquid-like) in its nature. In fact it’s incomprehensibly huge. It’s so huge a pattern that it won’t even fit into the boundaries of the human brain.

Not only is its sheer size problematic but it’s weirdness is troublesome as well. I mean, if you consider it, how can you describe something in words that does not lend itself very well to fitting into the terms of reference we might otherwise use in our daily lives?

That’s why I’m glad I found out about the mobius strip. It’s a shape that is the perfect metaphor of the impossible becoming possible. I figure that human potentiality must have been born in a shell with a shape like this. Just look at it. It’s got the weirdness thing down pat. A simple two-dimensional object that occupies three-dimensional space? I need to put a cold cloth on my noggin just to think about it for more than a few minutes.

But I’ll make it easier for you.

Just consider the video posted here.

A young violinist, who just happens to be deaf, is forced to make a choice and close her eyes to the notes she’s playing and see the beauty of the music in her soundless world through the realm of shapes and colors.  In the greatest moment of need these are delivered to her quieted ears through the most gut-felt drive of persistence and determination. Working so fully-engaged with her potential she triumphs over all adversity.

Now that’s the best pair of ears I ever heard of wouldn’t you say?

More power to you.

David's signature in look-like handwriting

Don’t Take a bath

rubber duck takes a bath
If you payed for head-based self-motivation you could end up taking a bath

“People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well, neither does bathing – that’s why we recommend it daily.” -Zig Ziglar

Welcome to this edition of “Quotivations” for December 17, 2010.

Usually every Friday I choose quotes that I think are motivating or inspiring. But today I’m doing something a little different.

Rather than being motivating I found this quote, from one of the original key figures of modern day Self-help, to be a less then a subtle complaint about one of the biggest faults of his positive motivational product.

It doesn’t last.

Never has and never will.

Poor old Zig. He’s been at this self-help game since before the earth was done cooling. A defensive quote like this one appears to bring out the curmudgeon in him.

It’s total spin though.

But there is something I’ve  got to give him credit for. He’s always been good at adding a touch poetry to make his message more memorable. Remember the famous line “Your attitude, not your aptitude, will determine your altitude”. Clever stuff like that sells well and it sure did for multi-millionaire Zig Ziglar.

But I still don’t buy it.

Want poetry? How about this: “Disable the fable about motivational spinners making you able”.

Ok, maybe it’s not as good as Zig can do it but, hey, I’m still working on it.

I believe that the real reason why motivation appears not to last very long is because of the type of motivation that’s being delivered.

What doesn’t last is the typical self-motivation injected toward your head-brain by clever artful dodgers like Zig.

Now, don’t get me wrong here, anyone who’s been at for over forty years, like Zig has, deserves some respect. I’m sure he’s helped some people along the path.

But we need some hard truth here.

The problem is that Zig, like all of his compadres today, did not and has not been able to recognize that there is another overriding motivational force that comes from the gut and powers through all the head-brain muddle causing a desired goal to be achieved despite all the great motivational sayings.

That energy, we refer to it sometimes as persistence and determination, cannot and does not originate in the head brain. It’s strictly a property of the gut brain (scientifically known as the enteric nervous system).

The problem with trying to change thoughts from negative to positive is that as humans we have a slight negativity bias to start with and the head-brain, which is always open to messages from the eyes and ears, can’t avoid reverting to and taking on the polarity of whatever has the greater amount.

In other words, there is a lot of negatively charged media fighting for attention with the positive stuff (poetry notwithstanding). It usually swings back to the negative side because that is often the default setting. Negative is also the polarity a lot of our perceptions happen to have about how our existence is treating us.

For example, you could be studying one of Zig’s great books and feeling very positive about your day. That’s until some jerk cuts you off in traffic or you get a flat tire on your way to work and suddenly bamm! just like that you’re back to where you started. You need to bathe your brain again in more positive juice.

The fundamental Problem…

It’s taken me a lot of years but I can now describe the fundamental problem with just three words: lack of immunity.

See the mindset is constantly under attack by our negative perceptions of our situation. But the body’s physical immune system is primarily a buffer against the attacks of pathogens and most of the time it works quite well.

But mindset immunity is another animal all together. It’s not physical it’s ethereal because thoughts are ethereal. The problem with it is that it’s too weak and too slow acting in most people to act like much of a buffer. But, here’s the good news:

I’ve found a way to fix that with this.

Not one of the best head-based motivators working today has ever thought of this approach before. If they did they’d have to change their whole business model to include one where they only deliver the result just once and it sticks.

Like I do.

They wouldn’t want to ever do that though. If they did their business could end up taking a bath… daily.

That’s it for today, consider yourself “quotivated”.

More power to you.

David's signature in look-like handwriting