But, unfortunately, we live in an age where being selfless seems like a virtue… but it isn’t a virtue, it is imposed upon us.
It is stupid and a learned ‘value’…
The best people in the world are selfish…
Selfish… meaning: they take care of themselves… instead of hoping that others will be selfless and take care of them. And then they can contribute… from being well and being taken care of.
No matter how many times people understand, on airplanes, that when the oxygen masks are dropped at them, they should put on their own first… and then assist others… Because they see it there, but the ability to see it everywhere would require a wider cone of vision than they have… Take care of yourself first doesn’t live like a distinction, it lives as an example that is true on airplanes.
I have a student whose ITCH, his fundamental desire is ‘take care of me!’ Add the whiny voice to get the full picture. And he shows them how to do it: he takes care of everyone, gives them all he has, while he is reducing himself to being a beggar who really needs help… The kicker is: he is a really talented, smart dude, intellectually. Emotionally he is a 2-year old.
How stupid can you get?
Astuteness is the same as intelligence.
There are several components that no one talks about.
- 1. Are you looking in reality or in your mind? No chance for intelligence in your mind. Your mind is Plato’s Cave!
- 2. How widely you see reality. I measure this in your cone of vision in the Starting Point Measurements
- 3. How many bits of information are you able to hold at the same time? I measure this too. Unless it is more than one, you need some additional tools… like a mindmap
- 4. How accurately see what you see? Can you tell the difference between similar things? Can you see the commonality between seemingly different things? This is the DNA capacity of distinguishing… I can turn it on for you, but you need to keep it on!
- 5. Can you tell if some information/data is missing?
- 6. Can you tell if you have a filter, ego, neediness obscuring or skewing your view? Can you remove the filter?
- 7. Are you willing to do what it takes to get clarity: change of vantage point, communication, etc.?
As far as I can tell, no one is teaching this, and therefore we live in a dumbed down world with people who make anything but astute decisions.
But if your brain is reasonably healthy, meaning the health measure of your brain is at least 10%, then you have the brain power to LEARN these other components, except for the DNA capacity… that needs to be somehow turned on.
Why would you want to LEARN to do all that? So you can become all you can become… of course.
Obviously we are not equal in our capacities, in our brain, in what we have ambition for… So all you can become is highly personal.
I have written about intelligence before. But intelligence, the concept, is hard to grasp, it’s a little slippery.
So let’s say, we’ll call intelligence the ability to solve issues with grace and ease.
Now we are getting somewhere…
Oh, but from your vantage point every high achiever seems to have grace and ease? I see what is the problem. From your vantage point other people seem to be magicians or flat out geniuses…
Well, let me tell you something. I hate to break it to you, but every high achiever spends untold hours in preparation, thinking, strategic, thinking, planning, looking, and diagnosing the opportunity and the key moves: that is the secret to their success. They became aware for a long time. They don’t move into their mind and stop paying attention.
They remain willing to be surprised.
These are the most important parts: Diagnosing accurately AND ongoingly.
Another name for this is astute… diagnose astutely.
What do you need to diagnose astutely?
Most people will make you a list of what you need to do… but instead of that, let’s look for what you don’t need? After all, if we mean following the Anna Karenina Principle, we’d better remove what doesn’t work first… so we are left with what works, and then, only then we’ll be adding something new if needed.
we’d better remove what doesn’t work first… so we are left with what works, and then, only then we’ll be adding something new if needed
That above sentence can save you untold hours wasted, untold amount of money spent frivolously.
I am 70% on the astuteness scale. And I waste a lot of time and a lot of money… neither of which I like to waste.
Here is a list of the common things I do, or see people do that rob me and them of being able to diagnose astutely:
—#1 is hastiness.
It seems that people who are hasty have an issue with their abilities… and in order to not have to confront it, in order to not have to tell the truth about it, they will do things hastily… Jump the gun.
Instead of having to tell themselves the truth about what they know, what they see, what they can do, they just go out and do it… and more often than not, they fail.
This inner issue also prevents them from wanting to learn. They feel they should know without learning.
It’s not that they are lazy, not at all. They just can’t hold that need to be already knowing in check.
—#2 is hastiness after long long sitting on the fence
These people spend a lot of time in their heads, not in reality, looking at what’s there, and then erupt in a decision that is mostly wrong, because it isn’t based on reality.
This issue, hanging out in their heads, looking only at what’s there, prevents them from looking at reality where the seeing needs to happen.
—#3 is talking.
When you are talking you are not listening. You are not really looking. So the issue is: nothing is going in… Your data is impoverished, you are trying to make decisions with insufficient data. Arrogance, fierce independence, my way or the highway attitudes rob you of actually seeing anything so you make your decisions half-blind.
You are totally unwilling to give anything… you are the black hole… And that makes you not even looking… You are only looking to see what you can get, but not what you can do, give, see…
—#5 Too concerned with self…
…whether you are getting something. Whether you are comparing favorably to others. Whether you are getting what you think is your due. And no time, no interest even to look at issues, solutions, anything. You are blind, and blinded… kept busy with the injustice, the unfairness of the world towards you. Astute? Not even a concern.
You get more mileage from making mistakes than doing things well. Why? because all your mistakes justify your unfulfilled need, your ITCH, that your parents, your spouse, the world isn’t, hasn’t given you what you needed. So simple said: you don’t want to make astute decisions…
If you look, what is in common in all the issues is self-importance. Instead of looking at the thing to solve, the looking is stuck in the self.
Looking at oneself…
Like a student said the other day: I have a hard time looking at myself in the mirror…
She is not alone. Unless you are narcissistic, you don’t like to look at yourself. But the instructions were: connect to the person in the mirror.
What are the steps in the mirror exercise?
Step 1. consider that who you see in the mirror is a person.
I remember when I first realized the distinction: look at a person as a person… and I managed to see someone not as their role but as a person. It was with my mother who came to visit from Hungary. she was frail… she was then as old as I am now.
She did something really stupid and my first reaction was shame. But quite unexpectedly as I saw her weeping, I realized that this little old woman was a person, with grieving over her own mistake… and compassion welled up in me. Compassion ix about as close to love as anything you can feel.
When I look in the mirror, I first see my mother: I look, in many ways, a lot like my mother, more so every day.
And I need to overcome the disgust, the fear, the contempt, the apprehension I felt over my mother who abused me relentlessly.
Once I overcome that, I can begin, in earnest, to see a person there, their eyes, and attempt to connect.
And I do… and it is heavenly. I don’t have to say anything. Just being connected is like a lifeline…
No matter what is your task, project, intention, job, you have to get through these stages to connect to it. And stay in the present.
When you do, when none of it is about you, none of it is judgment, none of it is a desire or revulsion, then you get into the space where you can make astute decisions.
But don’t be delusional: it is still important to know much, to do research, to see widely, to connect the dots, to either hold a lot of dots in your head, or put them on a mindmap so you can see them in space, in the items’ relation to each other and to the whole (outcome or the context)… If you can only hold one thing in your mind at the same time, you’ll always make bad decisions…
Mindmaps to the rescue
Mindmaps are a spatial representational medium, and is very good to see all the aspects, the before and the after and the in-between, all the factors you can see. See what you are trying to leapfrog (jump over), what you are trying to ignore, what you are failing to ask.
If your case is #5, I probably can’t help you, because you don’t want to be helped. You want the good life, but without giving up that you are a victim. You may say: no matter what I do… but when we look: you do nothing. Not a thing.
But if you are case #1-#4, there is hope for you.
You can eliminate the method you now use to make stupid decisions, and you can increase your abilities, your knowledge base, your willingness to not jump the gun.
Of course knowing and managing your ITCH is crucial in this…
And for that, you need to know your ITCH. Unless you know it, accurately, astutely, with my help, of course, then you can’t manage it.
This is true with everything… If you don’t know what is running your child… you cannot manage them. You can force them, discipline them, beat them to pulp… it won’t be management.
Same with your ex husband or ex wife, or your customer, or your boss. Unless you know what is running them, you cannot manage them, you cannot win with them. You cannot influence them. You are like a Don Quixote, fighting windmills with a lance… ridiculous.
Want to know how well you rate on these measures? Brain health, astuteness, cone of vision, and what it takes to make accurate decisions?
And I am just adding the astuteness measure to the Starting point measurements. Not how you compare to others, but how you compare to all you can become…
Get your Starting Point Measurements