Can you tell when you are stupid? dull? incoherent? Or do you wait until someone points it out to you?

One of the remarkable things in the book, Flowers for Algernon, is the new awareness Charlie (Charly) has about his mental state.

When he was just a retarded person, he could see the shadow of the mental feebleness, but once he got smarter, when his mental abilities decline, he can see it directly... not only the shadow.

Once you raised your cell hydration, which translates for most people to a brain surgery similar to Charlie's, you have a higher factual IQ. You should move to the same position as Charlie: when your cell hydration drops, you should notice it.

Of course, if you never realized that cell coherence increases your IQ... (mostly because you don't habitually acknowledge the source of any result, you take things for granted, no capacity for appreciation, etc.) you won't check your water... Continue reading "Can you tell when you are stupid? dull? incoherent? Or do you wait until someone points it out to you?"

Why is it a good idea to do the 67 steps over and over, instead of starting a new course

I bought the 67 steps program at the beginning of February last year. I have averaged 5-6 steps a week.

This week I answered two questions that I have probably been asked nine times before... and a whole new reality opened up for me.

I'll tell you specifically what the questions and my answers were in a little bit, but first I'd like to look at this whole phenomenon of not hearing what we don't hear.

You may never have experienced this, because you either didn't repeat something frequently enough, or you are sleepwalking.

There is such a thing as top of the mind awareness.

What you hear. What you notice. About 10% of what is there. What is said. What you read. What you see.

The rest... as if it didn't exist. Continue reading "Why is it a good idea to do the 67 steps over and over, instead of starting a new course"

Discover what is special about you, what makes you you?

In the exercise, "what do you want to be acknowledged for?" you have a chance to discover what is special about you.

To be able to love life, to do fulfilling work, you need to know and organize your life around what is special about you.

I just acknowledged a woman for what she wanted to be acknowledged for.

I have known her for some time, but it turns out: I didn't know her at all. The organizing principle was missing, so I added my opinion to organize her around in my mind: scared.

But it turns out that she moved from one country to another to start a new life, away from a husband she no longer wanted. Start a new life without a support network, from scratch. Continue reading "Discover what is special about you, what makes you you?"

What are you building with that?

What are you building with that?

This question was my absolute favorite in Landmark Education's Communication Course...

I have tried to ask it of people outside of Landmark, and the answers I always got was puzzled silence.

So, what am I asking here?

Well, you are always building something. A more popular but less precise way of saying the same thing: you are always creating something... creating yourself, creating your life, every moment. Continue reading "What are you building with that?"

Remembering Yourself… Staying Awake

Colin Wilson The OutsiderI have been reading Colin Wilson: The Outsider.

Colin Wilson is one of my favorite writers. I started my course of study with him with The Mind Parasites, a science fiction novel, back in 1987.

In the books I have read, Colin Wilson is only interested (really) in a few questions: What does it mean to be a Human Being, and how to accomplish that? What is the purpose of life, and how to fulfill on that purpose?

These are exactly the questions I have been pondering for about 23 years.

If we consider the question a jigsaw puzzle, he provides the final picture, and some methodology, I provide mostly methodology.

I need Colin Wilson. My faculties to think "What is the purpose of life" are somewhat impaired. It is not my strength. My strength is to provide Kaizen type (transformative) exercises to

  1. prepare yourself
  2. accomplish the task.

Like any worthy goal, the preparation, the becoming the kind of person who can reach the goal, is 99% of the job. 1% is crossing the finish line.

Continue reading "Remembering Yourself… Staying Awake"

Doing The Dishes, Kaizen, Boundaries

dirty dishes, kaizen, kabbalahAs difficult as dirty dishes can be, they're even worse when you let them sit for a while. And the longer they sit, the harder they are to clean.

This is life. Something that is potentially easy to clean up right after it happens - an unkind word to your father, a lie to your best friend, an insensitivity to your girlfriend - can become a difficult mess if you don't deal with it now.

Do the dishes today.

I have been thinking about Kaizen a lot. Kaizen can be the saving grace for a lot of people, because Kaizen is a way of life, a non-threatening way, but it is an awake way, and most of us are not awake, get jolted out of our sleepwalking by big things only. I am awake, and Kaizen is for me.

So I decided to use Kaizen to ease back into exercising. Since I stopped exercising, my face aged 10-20 years. That is a lot. I used to have no wrinkles, now I have folds, and wrinkles inside the folds... not pretty.

I have no special occasion to be pretty at, I just think that looking into the mirror should be a joyous occasion, not an occasion to berate myself.

So I am now doing 15 seconds of the exercise I used to do. I am happy. It is starting to show on my face. Hm.

Another Kaizen thing: in airplane bathrooms there is a sign that says something like this: would you be so kind as to use your paper towel to clean the sink before you throw it away?

Very Kaizen. Imagine going to the bathroom and someone's soapy dirty washwater is still in the sink. (The airplane sink stopper needs to be manually lifted, otherwise it stops the water from emptying...) I would never wash my hand again on an airplane. But with that little Kaizen note, most 99% of the passengers follow the instructions, and everyone washes their hand. (I think that sign also reminds people to wash their hands, which many people don't see a reason for... ).

And the third Kaizen example I read about in a Kaizen book, and it is about Toyota. The factory. They learned Kaizen from Americans... who would have thought... from Americans.

At Toyota, manufacturing cars happens on the assembly line. Nothing new there. In a normal assembly line everyone is concerned only about their part of the assembly, and the occasional errors are noticed and corrected, or not noticed and not corrected at the quality control station.

Toyota's then CEO installed a rope switch above every workstation along the assembly line, where workers were asked to pull the rope every time they noticed an error in the work on the half-assembled car in front of them. The pull stopped the assembly line, they corrected the error, and pulled again to re-start...

It was a heretic idea, going counter with mass production. American auto manufacturers, that relied on quality control, had thousands of cars recalled, paid billions in restitution for tiny errors that weren't corrected right after they happened.

Toyota went on to become the most reliable car. 250K cars are still sold and they run the highways: it is commonplace, while even an "error-free" American car would be proud to run till 200K.

Which leads me to the "boundaries" part.

It is still my cat that is on my mind. Or my previous failed relationship. Or my previous failed New Year resolution. Where, in all circumstances, I ignored, put up with, tolerated, shut a blind eye to a small aberration, a small violation of my boundaries, a little mistake, a little skipping... and they all became the core of a snow ball and destroyed an otherwise hopeful relationship, or my health, or my results.

Do the dishes soon after they get dirty. And stay awake. I have learned my lesson.