I have a student whose company moves earth. That is their business. Parking lots, roads, leveling the ground.
Unless you have a clear picture, a clear and accurate mental representation of what a job entails, you can’t bid successfully on it: you may lose your shirt if your mental representation was off. 1
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Same with any building project: unless you see it clearly as a coherent mental representation, with no parts missing, you cannot say how long it will take, how man people, what materials. 2
It’s an acquired skill: the people who can’t do it well won’t stay in business.
These same people cannot do the same thing in another area of life, unless, in each different area, they take years to develop the skill… or less if you have the capacity of “mental representation”.
Even if the area is related, it is just bigger and better paying jobs, like a municipal road, in the case of my student… you need to learn how that is done, you need to do research, witness other companies process how they go about it… and then you may be able to develop a mental representation that matches reality well, so you can bid on a bigger job and not lose your shirt.
This student desperately needs the “mental representation” capacity turned on.
On the other hand, other students want to understand mental representation. Is it like “creative visualization?” one asked this morning.
In creative visualization you are trying to build something from nothing, airy fairy, wishful thinking, pie in the sky. Piecing things together.
How accurate your mental representation is depends on your actual intelligence. On your relationship to reality.
The more distorting, skewing filters you have in place the less accurate the mental representation of reality you’ll have.
We can call these delusions, or distortions.
The intelligence I am talking about is not what the IQ tests measure: the IQ tests measure your aptitude for academic success. Academic success is not a good predictor of your success as a human: the good life: health, wealth, impact, happiness.
Some of my students have high academic IQ… low overall intelligence.
It is almost true in reverse: the better you were in school, the worse you are in life.
Cowardly, linear, memorizing, slothful… etc.
Don’t forget: You only have 20 conative units of energy to do life. And whether you understand the word “conative” or not” hopefully you understand that you have 20 units of energy. Limited.
If you spend it on worrying, or if you spend it on research, or if you spend it all on arguing, reading, or mundane stuff, you have nothing left to grow with.
I write my articles in the morning. I spend my conative units on writing. I start at 6 am. I don’t take a shower, I don’t even brush my teeth. I don’t make breakfast, I don’t read the newspapers. I sit down and write.
When I don’t already know what I am going to write about, I read some of the Reclaim student posts… they surely will give me enough topics that I can write more than one article.
But that, getting ideas, is the only reason I read them when I do… not dutifulness. I hope to get ideas, topics.
I organize my life such, so I can use all my energies for what I consider my work: puzzling out things that only I can puzzle out. Things that if you can get them, integrate them in your life (not knowledge!), you become suddenly a lot more intelligent, and a lot happier.
Like this Mental Representation bit. Very important.
The preconceived notions that stop you
Yesterday I had a call with a student whom I value highly: she does good work. But…
Yesterday I got what comes after the but.
We were talking about turning on capacities, and the but came rushing: “You turn them on and they turn off…” she said.
Interesting to hear that from someone who never had that as an experience: all the capacities I have turned on for her are up and running.
She read it somewhere… she heard me say it… that capacities turn off…
Not her experience. Hasn’t been true for her.
But the mind has made its “final and authoritative” decision: turned on capacities turn off.
They are used if the work you do needs them. No work is done? No aspirations? No hardship? No need for a new capacity.
I have read about Mme Curie, who was doing research for month, and the results she hoped for wasn’t forthcoming. (I can see myself in her, trying to see something that plays hide and seek with me.)
One evening she said: This is it, I give up. And she went to sleep.
At night the solution came to her in her sleep, she got up, wrote it down and went back to sleep.
In the morning she found the piece of paper on her desk. She didn’t even remember waking up and writing it down. But it was her own handwriting.
It was the result she was working for months to find.
It, the Source of that knowledge, won’t give it up to you until you have exhausted your human resources. I mean exhausted.
And the same is the “rule” with capacities.
Unless you play a bigger game than you have the wherewithal to play successfully, the capacities you need won’t stay on.
The person who has grown the most, as far as capacities are concerned is the guy with the earth moving… He was thrown into the pool: went from employee to owner of the company.
Employees to pay, jobs to bid on, and making decisions he never learned to make.
He needed all the capacities I was willing to turn on for him…
But you, with your puny little life… The same life every day, the same life as it was a year, two, three years ago…
The Universe is not crazy enough, yet, to reward all kinds of undeserving people…
You need to deserve the new capacities, or they will be taken away.
“For to the one who has, more will be given, and from the one who has not, even what he has will be taken away.”
This is the “nature of reality”… it is true for opportunities, it is true for everything.
I know a woman who used to have 13 capacities. I did NOT turn them on for her: her work, her work with her children, as a single mother, did. She retired and started to live an different life where she does not need those capacities. Guess what, she is down to seven… They turned off, one by one.
But I am very interested in that “but” of the student I talked to yesterday.
Your mental representation of how things work are skewed and distorted by the knee jerk reactions of the mind.
In simple language: you misunderstand how it works, and never ask the question again: you already have your answer. The wrong answer, but you stopped pondering, you stopped looking, you stopped asking the question.
Knowing THE ANSWER is the most frequent source of distortion of a mental representations, the source of untold number of death, misery, quitting, and mistakes.
Your most important job is to say “It ain’t necessarily so” to open up the question again… so you can keep growing instead of shrinking like a shrinking violet.
Whether the premature answer was about you, about what you can or can’t do, about another, about the world, the funky expression “It ain’t necessarily so” will open it up again, so you can look.
- The doctor’s mental representation of the state of my injured ear was neither clear nor accurate, and therefore his suggestions to me were way off the mark. This was the topic of my article yesterday…
- If it is a home improvement project, you’ll find yourself running to Home Depot to fetch the missing pieces you didn’t see you needed, and the budget will be seriously violated.