I am reading it for you and for me.
This book has given me a big insight... and ultimately a breakthrough, though we shall see...
OK, let me start at the beginning.
Most books are either easy or difficult to read. Why? I just found out.
This book, the Metaskills was alternating between easy to read and difficult to read.
At some point it felt like thick mud I needed to wade through.
Why? I had no idea how what he was talking about was connecting to what the book was supposedly about.
I am nearly certain that this happens to you often. The thought is "What does this have to do with the price of tea in China?" or some other dismissive thought.
I was turning the pages back to find the context. Context is what makes something make sense. Context is like the box telling you what's in it... Sometimes the part doesn't tell you how it belongs.
My "not self" is frustration. Yours may be anger, fear, discouragement, or boasting...
I am also a blamer. When I am frustrated I instantly blame something or someone. I don't have to think about it. It's automatic.
So when the reading was getting hard, and I had no idea why he wrote what he wrote, I blamed the author, I blamed the editor, I blamed my stupidity...
But when I tried to find the context, and found it, a whole new world opened up.
I realized that this guy is working on a very very very big canvas. I thought I had a big canvas, and I did. I just recently was able to upgrade it... I have been able to see things connecting over a big canvas. This jump in the size gave a 15 point jump to my IQ too.
But this guy's canvas, the "box" is way bigger than what I am used to.
It took me work to catch up to it, but I did. Hanging on with all my might... barely.
So how does this work? I call the size of the canvas your cone of vision. In camera language, how wide angle is the picture you can take. How wide you can see everything.
Because the world is so busy, and because it feels distracting. humans narrow their cone of vision as a defense of their space, themselves.
It feels totally logical, but it actually causes a big mischief. A bunch of symptoms, including symptoms similar to agoraphobia...
But beyond that, it causes a marked lowering of your IQ. Why? Because you start to make decisions that feel true inside the two-bit picture you see, but are completely and totally inaccurate in a wider context.
But in the big picture you can ask many questions that don't get you stuck with the binary mindset: how, what, where...
Depending on the questions you ask, your life is miserable, or your life is an adventure.
If your life doesn't feel like an adventure, you can be sure that your cone of vision, the canvas you live your life on is very narrow.
This narrowing of your cone of vision is a behavioral disability. It is not a brain disorder, or an eye disorder. It is a lot like diabetes: it is the result of behavior.
Fear based. Desire for the self alone.
When I went to the behavioral eye doctor in 1996, I was in pitiful emotional state.
My eye training was six months long and it was expensive. Very expensive.
I had to do exercises I had to do with 3-d glasses. Then exercises walking in the street, or driving. And exercises crawling on the floor.
I still practice the second exercise when I start feeling that my world is closing down on me. When fear starts to take over.
What's the connection between fear and your cone of vision?
When your cone of vision narrows, everything outside of that narrow cone shows up as a threat. Movements there are in the shadows. You narrowed your cone of vision to answer your fears, and it caused you to have more fear. Bummer.
Why crawling on the floor was part of the method?
One of the most useful methods to combat fear is to look at what is scary, from another angle.
When you crawl, you train your brain to do that: look at your world from a different angle. Even the scariest things look less scary or not scary from a different angle, or when you look at them straight.
For example feelings. When you can take out the feeling and examine it on the palm of your hand, you can see, always, that it's just a feeling. Not that big scary hairy monster it looked from your usual vantage point... inside.
The Metaskills book forced me to widen my cone of vision... and it suggested that I can also control the length of the vision, or depth in camera language... that is the time factor.
The book says that this is one of the skills that will allow the person with this skill to survive and maybe even thrive in the upcoming Robotic Age.
- A server in a restaurant can get away with solving small problems.
- A marriage counselor is forced to solve bigger problems that are harder to solve.
- A CPA/financial advisor, when they solve an even bigger problem, the result can be a lot more money for the client.
The solution is only possible when you can see, accurately, the cause of the problem, and the environment around them.
- One of my students is a heavy machinery mechanic: the number of causes to any problem can be many.More often than not, the cause of the problem is smack on the opposite side of his "canvas", his cone of vision, and he needs to get to it, without losing sight of the problem.Which means: his job cannot be done well with a narrow cone of vision.
- Another one of my students owns a paving company. He started out with a very narrow cone of vision. And he was suffering, and the company was barely surviving.With the work he did with the 67 steps, and listening to my Sunday Rants, his cone of vision is almost as wide as it needs to become to take the company to the next level from where it can not just survive, but grow.
Now, truth be told, depending on your occupation, if your job is easy and routine, you may have to be forced to widen your cone of vision, and to lengthen the depth (time).
If your job is not suitable, you'll have to do exercises, instead of just doing your job with an ever widening cone of vision. Or add harder problems to solve as a hobby.
- One of my students is stuck, and has been stuck for a year writing his thesis to get a degree. He has an issue both in the width and the depth of his vision... He cannot see the causality. Everything that is outside of his cone of vision shows up as threatening or a disruption. And he cannot see the depth, the consequences of his actions and inaction over time.Unless and until he does, he's remain stuck.What a pity.He does have the perfect environment to train himself, but he would have to start... And thus far he has not.
When I did the eye training back in 1996, I didn't really know how to grow from this ability. And I didn't, or not really.
I felt better, I had a little bit more freedom, but still no growth.
When you consider your physical "disability" physical only, or mindset only, you may fix yourself, but you won't grow.
Only when you can see the two opposite edges of the canvas, one side the cause, the other side the effect or the issue... that you suddenly feel inspired, and motivated to conquer the new world the solution can give you. How you can dance to the result, how you can dance to the future.
I learned how to take control of my eyes, I experienced less fear, but I didn't know that I could use that bigger cone of vision to evaluate causes to my misery, and the longer cone... to see the effects of my actions before I took them.
That came much later.
The Sunday Rants faithfully document my growth, my insights, and my cone of vision changing over the years.
I have been having this calls since 2007, but have been posting the recordings only since March of last year.
I charge $20 per call. They are worth a lot of money in the right hands. They may be worthless to you.
If someone subscribes: it's $15/per week.
Because they are not lectures, but a conversation with someone who is a lot like you, the calls are a lot more effective than a lecture can ever be.
Yesterday I bought two lectures for 90 bucks. One of them has completely lost me: I have no foundation to even understand what the guy is talking about.
But for someone who regularly reads my articles, who participate with me, these are a treasure trove, because of the type of call, and because the personal details I go into, the stories, etc. That I don't have time, don't think to, or can't share on my blog.
One of the big advantages of listening to the calls is hearing that I struggle too, and how I get out of the stuck states. Emotional, financial, relationship, learning, mindset issues all come up. I don't do these calls for you. I do them for me.
This is my "spiritual practice" to get unstuck, and to keep myself in growth mode. To widen my cone of vision.
It is the closest thing you can get to model after me, if you are so inclined.
Of course if you say to yourself "You are the last person I want to model after..." then don't waste your time.
Even though Lincoln and other smart people have said: I learn from everyone I talk to. Mostly how not to think, how not to behave, but I learn, nevertheless.
Because you can learn from everyone. I do.
I like to sell stuff as much as the next guy, but I am very choosy who I want inside my inner circle of intimates.
PS: As usual, today's Monday Morning Memo is dealing with the same exact thing... just from a different vantage point, but it is the same thing... Go read it. It's long, but it's worth reading. Or listen to it here...