taking a pause.thinking at a pause.

I’ve hit a wall.
I’m doing a project where I have identified the goal but am lost in terms of where to begin its execution. I’ve made the draft and written concepts and has partially completed the project design. Or something…whatever you may call it.
But I’m lost.
And am trying to retrace my steps slowly by identifying factors and returning to the reasons “WHY” I’ve decided to accept this challenge.
And it helped…but not enough to push me forward. And so here I am fiddling with the keyboard hoping for a strike of genius to smack me straight in my face.

Sometimes, when I am too buried in the things I do, I get lost in the swarm of information I receive that I sometimes lose my ability to interpret them. When one is overwhelmed, one can only be at awe…and sometimes…being at awe for a long time makes me just do that, be in awe. Wide eyed…open-mouthed…and probably salivating.

When this happens, I remind myself of Boyd’s OODA loop.

Introduced by a friend years ago, I’ve managed to clasp on it until it consumed me. But this does not mean I’ve reached the depth of Boyd’s “drestroy and create” philosophy where I can chew on his words without blinking. Nope — I’m still struggling. Still trying to learn the meaning of his words and still trying to engage such practice in my reality.

Me struggling, and struggling some more to understand Boyd’s strat ironically gives me a breather. It reminds me to step back and to re-orient myself correctly. It screams at me that I might be worrying over the wrong thing. It scolds me that my decisions may not be valid because my observation is at fault.

The project material that seem impossible to understand is now being read with fresh eyes. Things suddenly make sense.
Concepts emerge from the once invisible underlying pattern.
I’ve ceased to become a paralyzed idiot because of the material’s impressive qualities…but it doesn’t mean that surprises stop there.

What do I mean?
It all goes back to the frame of mind.
That solutions are not the best answers available but rather, solutions are the RIGHT answers to the problem at hand. And you can only get to the right answers when you begin with the correct questions.

In questioning wrongly, even the best answers will render useless. But correct questions can only be asked if you are not afraid to destroy pre-conceived notions and structures. And this does not only apply to the material at hand. It applies to our orientation. And our orientation shape our observations. That’s why conventional thinking often leads to conventional reasoning.

For example, there are many ways to get a five.
Instantly our orientation would suggest the conventional thinking 4+1 and 2+3.

But isn’t 1+1+1+1+1 a 5 ? or 2+1+1+1 = 5 ?
The addition need not consist of 2 whole numbers only, right?

isn’t 2.5 + 2.5 = 5 or 2 1/5 + 2 1/5 = 5 ?
an example that it need not be only whole numbers too.

and the equation is not necessarily addition alone as 15-10 = 5

The mind has to broaden its perspective for it to adapt. Yes, it will be difficult. Yes, it will make you cry sometimes in frustration. Yes, you will have to understand your way of thinking first before you can scrutinize other brains and the treasure it beholds. To readily reject things you cannot understand may be the worst thing you can do to impede your growth. Not only in the aspect of work and projects but as a person.

A person who cannot adapt in the constant changes of the world is a person whose mind is not willing to understand. He will be most likely to get stuck… and his knowledge, once proven effective, may become obsolete in the process unless he learns to integrate it in the new system of the “present”.

He will be most likely to be scared of changes because it meant destruction of his conventional frame. In the end, he gets disengaged in the present reality, his decisions ineffective, and his actions useless.

And this is because his mind, in its unwillingness to understand, has underestimated (or may not be aware of) the complexities involved. And many people have been killed because of this arrogance.
To underestimate immediately is to be misled.
To be misled puts one in a disadvantage.
To be in such position would most likely bring you failure.

So when you’ve come to a conclusion that seems to be different from the usual, remind yourself that a unique concept will always be radical. It will not always be accepted because it will most likely go against the norm. No, you are not rejecting the “norm”…actually, it is a good place to start. It can be a point of reference.
But the norm is not always what it seems.
The norm can be very deceiving.
Like the OODA loop not really being a loop to begin with.

6 Responses

  1. teddyfuckingballgame January 21, 2010 / 7:03 pm

    I am quite impressed,amazed, how many other things have we talked about that you seemed to not pay attention too which you actually grasped and used?

    That said, remember, the ooda loop allows for a individual or org to be more adaptive due to their use of the very feedback, the very roadblocks which had you stuck. You are right on in what you are attempting.

    I would also suggest the yellow book, (I forget the name) or whack in the side of the head, the exercises in either can also help you look at things backwards and upsides down and pull unexpected answers out of the air. (The yellow book is my favorite!)

    As always, you make me realize I make good choices!

    You are my choice. If I was lost in the jungle, I would pick you to be with me, not becuase I know you are adept at jungle lore (I do find you irresistable..does that count?) but because you and I could figure it out together, we always do.

    One day soon, I will write you and tell you exactly what teddyfuckingballgame means to me..what it meant to Teddyfuckingballgame himself..you will relate!

    Have at it! I stand in awe..I await your solutions

  2. 13th witch January 21, 2010 / 10:52 pm

    @teddyfuckingballgame – the yellow book, "who moved my cheese" ? — let's do the mind game? if you win, ill give you a copy of boyd's 13-page article…and you'll pick me anyways even if its not the jungle…its either me or the stick to help you walk…and sticks neither has opinions nor boobies =P (pervert) —

    i always imagine roberto clemente instead of ted williams with the teddyfuckngballgame name, i dont know maybe because you gave me his biography — and i've been staring at it for months now =P

    solutions? back off…pressure not allowed =P

  3. 13th witch January 21, 2010 / 10:53 pm

    oh…it's not who moved my cheese…its thinkertoys ^.^

  4. teddyfuckingballgame January 22, 2010 / 7:48 pm

    Gosh, see? My point exactly…u figured it out. Of course, yellow book..was a HUGE clue! Yes, Thinkertoys.

    As for Clemente, the biography is a very good one, he is truly a worthy subject. And, yes, I think he had much in common with Ted (dyfuckingballgame) WIlliams Who, btw, apparently has his head frozen chrogenically. Not his idea, I think he might be rather pissed in fact

  5. 13th witch January 22, 2010 / 11:27 pm

    @teddyfuckingballgame – what's that word again…"condescending" sheesh. everything i do is always good for you =P except when I try to tinker with your toenails…oh well…

    head frozen? wow…where?

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