I am still undecided about making my posts public. I will not stop writing, because writing is how I do my processing, and I will never want to stop processing. But whether I will make it available, my most secret, most precious thoughts to everyone off the street, that is a question I am pondering.
I attempted to turn the blog into a members only site, and it failed. Once burned twice shy, I am not sure what I want to do… So while I am processing this, I will still write articles, or republish others’ if it’s appropriate, like this one:
Nine Voices, Nine Movies
Each of us speaks and writes without thinking. This is why so much of what we say is predictable. Do you want to be more interesting? Choose an unusual perspective and verb tense. A movie begins in the mind of the listener every time you speak or write. At whom is your camera aimed?
- First Person perspective: “I, me, my, we, us, our.”
The person speaking is the star of the movie.
- Second Person perspective: “you, your”
The person listening is the star of the movie.
- Third Person perspective: “He, she, him, her, it, they, them”
A person other than the speaker or the listener is the star of the movie.
The way you want to read this little lesson is to try it out on some of your “favorite” recounting of past failures, injustices, mistakes, etc.
Look if you are stuck in one perspective… I, or them… whatever.
After you’ve chosen your star, you must decide upon the action. The verbs you use will be past tense, present tense or future tense. You should choose these verbs consciously, rather than unconsciously.
- Past tense verbs speak of history.
- Present tense verbs speak of action as it’s happening, play-by-play.
- Future tense verbs are predictive.
What you want to pay attention here is the “hidden”, the “unsaid”, the prediction about the present and the future. Most things that happen don’t have any bearing to the present or the future, unless you say so, and then so it is.
Find your hidden ways you predetermine the present and the future. It is the best thing you can do to change your present and your future.
Any story can be told with past tense, present tense or future tense verbs.
It was the night before Christmas, and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
It is the night before Christmas, and all through the house not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.
It will be the night before Christmas, and all through the house not a creature will stir, not even a mouse.
One of the easiest way to catch what behavior or attitude you are perpetuating is listening the “tense” of your speaking. “I am this way… lazy, scattered, stuck…” makes it an attitude that you think you have no control over. “I am that way” it says, and it’s a lie. You are not that way, you have been that way. Present perfect tense… Bit difference. The future, and even the present is open to choose a new way of being. Always!
Now let’s look at 9 different movies produced from a single script by using 3 different actors in each of 3 separate timelines.
1. I placed my paws in warm water and shivered.
(First person, past tense. Personal historical narrative.)
2. You placed my paws in warm water and I shivered.
(Second Person, past tense. An historical story about the listener.)
3. She placed my paws in warm water and I shivered.
(Third person, past tense. An historical story that describes the actions of a person that is neither the speaker nor the listener)
4. I place my paws in warm water and shiver.
(First person, present tense. I’m doing it right now.)
5. You place my paws in warm water and I shiver.
(Second person, present tense. The speaker describes what the listener is doing as it is happening.)
6. She places my paws in warm water and I shiver.
(Third person, present tense. The speaker is describing what someone else is doing as it is happening.)
7. I will place my paws in warm water and shiver.
(First person, future tense. Predictive of the speaker’s future action.)
8. You will place my paws in warm water and I will shiver.
(Second person, future tense. A story about what the listener will do in the future. This voice is predictive or prophetic.)
9. She will place my paws in warm water and I will shiver.
(Third person, future tense. A story about the actions of others that have not yet occurred. Again, predictive or prophetic.)
The voice of any story is transformed when you change the actor and timeline.
One of my favorite stories was told by Werner Erhard, founder the the est training. He said, about a famous Hungarian-born Nobel prize winning physicist, who was teaching graduate level courses at MIT.
The Physicist said: It is hard to find a student who will do well in physics. It takes an open mind to do well in research.
So, when they come to the interview, I always ask them why they were wearing the jacket they were wearing, or some other seemingly, irrelevant to the interview, question.
Then I watch their eyes. Some will look up and left… trying to remember why they wore that particular jacket. Some will look up and right, and lie to me.
Unless you can make up a thousand stories to justify your actions, you will be a poor physicist… and I won’t take you to my graduate course.
Why is this my favorite story? Because you are all stuck in one perspective, “the truth as you see it” and it is just one possible truth, and you have NEVER even considered that there is no ONE TRUTH, that there are a thousand truths, and some hurt and some don’t… and you can choose how you look at things.
Instead, you are stuck in one painful, limiting interpretation… snap out of it. Do some work… or get out of here! Please.
You have seen the 9 movies and heard the 9 voices.
You have been forever changed. You are different now. You carry magic.
You will speak with authority and people will listen.
That is my benediction, crafted in the second person, traveling through your past (2 sentences) and your present (2 sentences) and seeing your future (1 sentence) in 5 easy lines.
Quoted from the Monday Morning Memo
You may also want to look at your comments… and analyze it from the above points of view… See which ones I answered, which ones I just nodded…
Don’t be stuck in a single point of view! Become graduate student material!