Thursday, September 16, 2010

Is thinking positively such a bad thing?

For the last few months I have been participating in a blog sponsored by NPR - 13.7
It tends to focus on the intersection of science and religion, and as you would expect, at times you get a lot of very heavily debated and strongly worded attacks on one side by the other.
The critical issue seems to be that one side has curiosity and wants to discover things, while the other only wants to defend and proclaim that what is immutable is their side of the discussion.
And when you reread a post a day or two later, you can't help but get an overwhelming feeling of negativity in the debate.
It may be because one argument is a few thousand years old, and basically indefensible from a scientific point of view.
Or it could be because the other is a few billion years old, and a continuing revelation about us and our universe, and what makes it tick, and often flies in the face of faith.
Several times the suggestion has been made for both sides to think about their reaction to a superior intelligence landing in their little green flying saucers, and challenging all our beliefs and science.
And I suspect that this suggestion is the most worrisome of all to both sides.
Who likes their belief tree shaken? Confronted by things not immediately understandable by us?
My answer is simple - just like Oliver, ask for "more".
True growth only comes from stretching your mind into a different shape now and then, chasing those little intangible thoughts "what if?" and "why is that?".
Human curiosity - our capacity for abstract thought - our unique ability to project beyond our comfort circle - are what has given us the incredible technology we take for granted today.
So be positive and curious, and not afraid to have the holes in your certainty opened for all to see.
The next great thought might just be your own!!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

About Time

There is never enough!
But I have found a way to get about 29 hours out of every day, without loosing sleep, of becoming a slave to my electronic devices.
It's called "discretion".
It's where I actually choose what I am going to do and pay attention to based on my real need to get stuff done.
Instead of letting everything get to me, I am applying the concept of a filter to what I choose to do.
The ubiquitous web has sucked us all into a vortex of "instantness".
You email me, I reply within minutes.
I surf and find what I am looking for, I become absorbed right now to the exclusion of everything else.
Unless you email me, and I react like a Pavlovian dog and answer you straight back.
And right there is the secret to getting another five hours in the day.
Create a method of prioritising what comes in, and what you respond to instantly, and then create a TIME ladder - 1 hour, 4 hours, 8 hours, 1 day.
Use the colour coding in your email package to create folders for each time segment, and save the mails into the appropriate folder.
Set aside time to work the folders, usually as a break in real work, or before you retire for the day.
What I found, after a lot of experiment, was that suddenly by removing the "must answer now" itch the quality of both my work and answers improved dramatically.
I also found that the 80 / 20 rule was alive and well, and that most emails could be answered within the day without any loss of connectivity with the subject or the recipient.
Give it a try, and let me know if it works for you, I have about another 1,000,000 ideas on how to manage TIME and get your LIFE back!