DO This: Rid your vocabulary of Weasel Words

Weasel words.svg

Weasel Words:  “words or statements that are intentionally ambiguous or misleading”

Being the political season, the air is full of ambiguous statements that dodge the real question, or slant the facts in favor of the speaker.  Who can forget:

Bill Clinton: “I did not have sex with that woman.”  (he didn’t consider “oral” to be “sex”, or “that woman” could be another woman other than the one we all thought he was speaking about.)

Trump: “The polls say I’m winning.”  Yea, your own polls, or a few outlier polls, but the Real Clear Politics average of all leading polls says something else completely.

Hillary Clinton:  About Benghazi “Some have sought to justify this vicious behavior as a response to inflammatory material posted on the Internet.”  Sure, “some people” say that, but you told your family it was a terrorist attack.

Weasel Words also came up recently when I was going through the 40 Years of Zen program (review post coming).   Dave Asprey has written about them here.  Then this morning while talking to the Purpose Goddesses Tay and Val, weasel words came up again.  The Universe obviously wants to hear my thought on this subject, so here I go.

Becoming more aware of my own use of weasel words has been an important part of my waking up and becoming more conscious.  When I find myself using some of the worst offenders, I endeavor to observe rather than indulge the judgemental thoughts (I just had to rewrite that from “try not to be judgemental”).  The words are neither good nor bad in and of themselves.  The issue is in the context and the intention behind their use as opposed to other words that could be used.  In the political sphere, a person is usually trying to dodge a direct question purposefully with misdirection.  We have all seen that.  On a personal basis and between people, weasel words can be serving some very valid goals including:

  • Avoidance of pain to self or others.  The ego doesn’t like to fail. So it says things like “I will try.”   Success is then the trying not the doing.  Lowering the bar.  This is basically a natural defense mechanism.  So it is when we beat around the bush with bad news to a friend.  We are “trying” to spare them pain.  But many times the pain just gets elongated, delayed, or suppressed.
  • Avoidance of responsibility.  Again, ego doesn’t like to fail or be responsible for anything that it could fail at.  So it shirks responsibility at every chance.  “I” will do something is hard, “we” will do something shares the responsibility around and gets off my shoulders alone.  So do politicians. They want to please as many voters of different stripes as possible so saying platitudes keeps them out of hot water.  We are so used to this behavior from politicians that in many ways an in your face guy like Trump is a refreshing alternative to many people.
  • Motivation from narrowing of alternatives.  The ego also doesn’t like the paradox of choice.  Too many choices means hard work will be required to decide between the alternatives.  Not only could you choose incorrectly leading to pain and failure (see above), but the work to make the decision is difficult in an of itself.  So we say we “can’t” or “Have to” or “Need to” do something. That means it is an imperative with no other alternatives.  The only way.  The narrow path can seem attractive versus the hard brain work of sifting through alternatives.

Recognition that the ego is just doing its job to protect me from pain and increase the chances of success has enabled me to be much less judgemental of my own use of these words.  When encountering my own use of a weasel word I ask myself

  1. Is this word phrasing serving me (or just my ego)?
  2. Is there an underlying issue which my ego is trying to avoid here?
  3. Is there a way to reframe the sentence which is more in line with my authentic purpose?

Often times lately I have reframed weasel words, sometimes they get through even an attentive filter like mine.  My personal reason for becoming aware of these words and working to get them out of my vocabulary is because they typically are impediments to action, destroy motivation, debilitate and discourage me from moving forward in life.  I have decided that brain energy spent on them is generally wasted and I would rather spend that energy on actually accomplishing something rather than the avoidance.

Here are my personal top 5 offenders:

Try

To “try” lowers the bar so that success doesn’t require any actual accomplishment.  Try pre-supposes failure.  “Try” also doesn’t have any time table attached to it so the scale is open ended.  I can be “trying” for a very long time, years even.  Try doesn’t have a logical end point.  The name of the major category of this post used to be “Try This:”.  I thought “try” would be a less judgemental or declarative word that wouldn’t scare people as much as “do”. People would be more willing to “try” something that to be told to “do” something.  And that is probably true on the surface.  But here at DGC we are about waking up and taking the Red Pill.  The Red Pill says “There is no Try, Only Do.”  Ok, Yoda and the Maharishi said it before me, but even with my antennae on high alert, I still create a category with the word “try” in it.

Reframe:  “I will.”  “I will do everything I can.”

Should

Saying I “should” do something is the same as saying nothing. It is stating the obvious.  These statements are usually complete wastes of time, often procrastination of the actual work.  There is also an easy way out.  Stuff you “should” do is not very important, you “should” do it, but there are not obvious harsh consequences for not doing it.  I have often found myself saying I “should” do something 10-20 times before actually doing it.  “I should take out the trash.”  Taking no responsibility for actually doing the thing I “should” do.  It is a statement of desire not action.  Replace with action words.  What would your brain do with all that wasted energy?  You could have taken out the trash in a fraction of all the time your brain was saying you “should” take out the trash.

Reframe:  Want.  Choose to.  Going to.  Get to.

Need/Have to

The near cousin of “should” but with an absolutist set of blinders on.  Much more declarative.  “Need” ratchets up “should” with the implication of dire consequences if you don’t do it.  “Have to” leaves all alternatives off the table, there are no alternatives, I “have to.”  Ratcheting up the pressure like that the ego wants to force you to get that thing done. “I need to get the new Apple Iphone.”  “I Have to get tickets to the play offs.”  The existential stress goes up accordingly. So ask yourself the question, is this story I am telling myself about “need” or “have to” really an existential question?  Are there truly dire consequences of not doing this?  Does your rational mind agree with the upleveling of this desire to the “need” category that your ego has done?  Stop and ask the question.

Reframe:  Ratchet down the consequences.  Change to “want” or “get to”

Can’t

For me, the worst kind of weasel words are those that cut off all options.  That put up walls to progress of any sort.  “Can’t” does that but shutting down discussion.  There is no way, I “can’t”.  No explanation, to alternatives, no deliberation.  Just a clean line in the sand.  I heard Seth Godin talking one time about writers block and deconstructing the claim “I can’t write.”.  “Really?  you forgot how to use a pen?  Your fingers are broken?”  The point is that the story “I can’t write” is not true. You can, technically.  The real underlying issue is that your ego is afraid that what you write might suck.  Or that the writing will cause the brain to heat up and hurt.  Or that there will be editing and re-writing.  “Can’t” just killed your motivation.  Cut off any forward motion.  Until you break that story, no progress will be made.  Specifically around writing that is why I love the Morning pages exercise.  Write for fifteen minutes a day without judgement, without critique.  Just fucking write.  You can do it.  Break the block.  Rewrite the story in your head. You CAN write.  Now go on and write something good.

Reframe: Can.  or if you are honest about not doing something, say “I won’t”.

Pride

In an era of participation trophies this one is a killer on our kids.  This word is WAY over used.  This one should be very parsimoniously given out.  Save it for the big things.  “I am so proud of you for getting that trophy!”  Dude, it a participation trophy.  This is the Near cousin of Try.  You are “proud” that your kid “tried”.  Talk about a low bar.  Be proud of actual achievements.  Or complement effort.  My daughter was recently in the regional championship meet for her high school swim team.  She is a middle of the pack swimmer so didn’t have any expectations of winning or medaling and I didn’t want her to be focused on those things anyway.  In the meet she achieved a personal PR in her 50 meter and 100 meter swim!  I didn’t say I was “proud” of her.  I complimented her on finishing the season with a bang.  Finishing with the best effort she had had all year, a Personal Record.  Congratulations.  A PR is an actual achievement.  A measurable accomplishment.  Take note of that.

Reframe:  Your effort was very impressive.  Save “pride” for your country.

 

My personal goal is to reduce the use of these five words by 50% next year over this year.  As with “Do This” posts, your personal mileage may vary.  Your goals may vary.  Everyone though can benefit from a little more consciousness in relation to our vocabulary and how it reflects the stories in our heads.  Be aware.  Be precise.  Be awake.

DO THIS: Stop Multitasking (Pro Tip: there is no such thing)

multitask-image

My instant gratification monkey is great at telling me stories that make me feel good about doing shit that he wants to do, while my rational mind knows that shit stinks.  The best tool I have found to overcoming these feel good stories that support unwanted habits or behavior is the bright shiny sunlight of AWARENESS, DATA AND FACTS.  One such exercise is 15 Minutes of Honesty.  Today I have the mythbuster which destroys the “I am good at Multitasking” story, one of my monkey’s favorites:

1 Minute Proof that I suck at Multitasking.

For most of us, the rational mind has convinced the monkey that texting and driving sucks, but we continue to believe the monkey at work, with friends and around the house.  The monkey mind LOVES multitasking.  Jumping around between things feels like engagement.  Feels like a lot is getting done.  Many people and things need my attention. So many that I have to spread myself thin.  It makes me feel important, needed, worthwhile.  Multitasking implies that we are working on multiple tasks simultaneously and in total getting more done (says the monkey).  But the human brain isn’t able to focus on more than one thing at a time, so what are actually doing is RAPID TASK SWITCHING and the research shows a significant switching cost overhead associated with this process.  In some cases it can be 100% overhead meaning it takes TWICE as long to complete two tasks done with rapid switching instead of in serial (one at a time).

Okay, okay says my monkey, sure I hear you, but I don’t really believe you.   Those university studies are done on drugged up grad students (not smart monkeys like me), I am WAY more productive than them!  I am great at multitasking!

Okay Monkey, let’s put that to the test.

Grab a piece of blank paper, a pen and a stopwatch.  Your task is to draw two lines and write a sentence on one line and a series of numbers on the second line.  On the first line write “I am great at multitasking.”  On the second line write the numbers 1-20 in series.  The goal is to end up with one line with the sentence and one line with the number series.  But we are going to perform the tasks two different ways and time ourselves doing each method.

Method 1: Separate Task in Series:  First, do the tasks in Series, one after each other, focusing only on the immediate task at hand each time.  Draw the first line, write the sentence “I am great at multitasking”.  Draw the second line, write the numbers 1-20 in order.  Start the stopwatch when you begin and stop when finished.  Write down the time.

Method 2: Multitasking/Rapid task switching:  Switch between tasks as you are doing them.  Draw the first line.  Write “I”.  Draw the Second line.  Write “1”.  Go up to the first line, make a space, then write the letter “a”.  Down to the second line, write the number “2”.  Now back up to the first line, write the “m” of “am”.  Down to the second line for “3”… And so on until you have the two lines done.  Write down that time.

Here is my piece of paper from this morning.

Multi tasking exercise
Multi tasking exercise

Serial :24 seconds, Multi :50 seconds.  Oh, the monkey doesn’t like that.  The tasks are the same.  The time to compete 2X!  “I can do better” my monkey says.  So I do it 10 more times.  Trying every trick I can think of to improve the multitask scenario.  After 10 iterations, average time to complete:  Serial :22 seconds, Multi :50 seconds.  So I actually got better at doing the tasks in serial (practice), but the switching costs of multitasking kept my performance stuck.

Being a nerd, I dug a bit deeper.  What exactly is going on that causes 100% overhead during multitasking?  A few things I observed in this particular exercise include:

  1.  Physical movement between task space.  In serial, I write the sentence from left to right all at once, one letter next to the other.  In multi, I have to move the pen between the lines, find the correct place to put the letter or number, and start.  This movement time, while small, is probably about 80% of the time to even write one letter or number.  While the impact of physical movement in this particular exercise may be outsized versus other multitasking scenarios, the effect can still be significant.  Even moving the mouse to switch between applications, or navigate around your phone. In this exercise I estimate that Physical movement explains about 80% of the variance.
  2. Mental reset (reconfiguring your control settings).  Writing numbers and letters are different. Each time you switch you have to try to remember your place in the task, figure out what to do next, then do it.  That mental framing, “getting into the task” takes time.  For a simple task like this it was small, maybe 10% of the variance in this exercise, but in some tasks like writing a novel, it can be very large.
  3. Cognitive stress.  While the mind can’t focus on more than one thing at a time, having more than one thing pressing on you can cause the stress of the impending task to weigh on the current task.  I found this often in the exercise, writing a number and already thinking ahead to what letter I had to write next.  Thinking of task 1 during task 2 made task 2 take longer to complete.  In this exercise I estimate cognitive stress explains about 5% of the variance.
  4. Task volume explosion.  When doing the tasks in Series, you have basically four sub-tasks.  1. Draw a line.  2. Write a sentence.  3. Draw a line.  4. Write a series of numbers.  When done Multitasking, there are 44 sub-tasks (10x!).  Draw line (x2), Write Letter (x22), Write number (x20).  It takes more mental energy to check off 44 things than it does to check off 4 things.  In this exercise I estimate that Task Volume Explosion explains about 5% of the variance.

Ok, so exercise done, variance explained, Monkey convinced right?  Well I hope so, but this is one that keeps coming back like a bad penny.  Today I am aware, but then I get busy and the Monkey comes back with extra Trumpesk confidence “I am great at multitasking”.   So bookmark this post.  Whenever you hear the monkey’s story, redo the exercise.  Spend time on the analysis.  Let it sink in.  Eventually you may change the Monkey’s story.

Footnote:

Like how I used the Monkey’s own story to prove the absurdity of the story? Change the story, change yourself.  Remember the Monkey believes stories it believes/feels to be true.  The stories are in his(your) head due to some kind of confirmation or learning in the past.  At one time, the story may have even been correct or have served a valuable purpose.   Or it may have been implanted there falsely (say by a large conglomerate (Apple, Microsoft, Google, et al) trying to sell you productivity tools/technology) by advertising or media.

Here at DGC we like to practice contemplation and give you practical tools to analyze where you are in life and if it is all going the best it can for you.  A key tactic in this journey is to Know your Stories (the monkey’s and everyone else’s) and then ASK IF THOSE STORIES ARE STILL SERVING YOU on a regular basis.  Compare the Stories against the facts.  In the case of the “I am great at multitasking” story, a fairly simple one minute exercise lays bare the truth.  Many times it only takes changing one word in the story.  Repeat that story enough and it will become the Monkey’s story.  My truth about multitasking?  Say it with me:  “I suck at multitasking!”  Convince your monkey of this and productivity will skyrocket!

REVIEW: Jonathan Livingston Seagull: The Complete Edition

Jonathan Livingston SeagullJonathan Livingston Seagull by Richard Bach
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Third time reading this book. First time in 20 years. First time reading the Complete Edition (including rediscovered Part Four).  The photography included in this edition really adds to the beauty and contemplation of the story: it is worth buying the printed book for the pictures alone.

This book never gets old. It just gets more useful and I understand it better. When I first read in college, it seemed like a weird fantasy story about a bird. My young self was a bit of an outcast. I very much wanted to have the tenacity to dig deep into a passion everyone else thought was useless and prove them all wrong. So I did that (computers). This is probably why Seagull is on every college reading list and rightfully so.

Then re-reading it in my 30s after leaving the Catholic church and recently returning, the religious undertones popped out. Especially in (new) part four where the true meaning of the initial quest has been lost in the bureaucracy of the belief system built around it (sound familiar Catholics?) This is a classic Hero’s Journey as described by Joseph Campbell. Hero is passionate, gets cast out of society, becomes enlightened around his passion, comes back to teach the TRUTH, is initially scorned, then accepted, then revered, then co-opted for other purposes and the TRUTH is lost. That is also the story of the Catholic Church in many ways.

Reading it again in my 50s after settling down a bit, the later parts of the story resonated. The desire to share your life wisdom with love and kindness. The frustration with success leading to misinterpretation and co-opting of original intent. But still the desire to give back to the next generation. The hope that an open mind willing to learn still existed.

Some favorite quotes:

“Who is more responsible than a gull who finds and follows a meaning, a higher purpose in life?  For a thousand years we have scrabbled after fish heads, but now we have a reason to life – to learn, to discover, to be free!  Give me one chance, let me show you what I have found.”  Jonathan  “The Brotherhood is Broken”  said the other birds and they turned their backs on him.

“His one sorrow was not solitude, it was that other gulls refused to believe the glory of flight that awaited them; they refused to open their eyes and see.”

He spoke of very simple things – that it is right for a gull to fly, that freedom is the very nature of his being, that whatever stands against that freedom must be set aside, be it ritual or superstition or limitation in any form.  The only true law is that which leads to freedom, there is no other.  The only difference, the very only one, is that they have begun to understand what they really are and have begun to practice it.

A long silence.  “Well, this kind of flying has always been here to be learned by anybody who wanted to discover it; that’s got nothing to do with time.”

“Why is it,” Jonathan puzzled, “that the hardest thing in the world is to convince a bird that he is free, and that he can prove it for himself i he’d just spend a little time practicing?  Why should that be so hard?”

“To begin with,” he said heavily, “You’ve got to understand that the seagull is an unlimited idea of freedom, an image of the Great Gull, and your whole body, from wingtip to wingtip, is nothing more than your thought itself.”

They were honored, and worse – revered, but they were no longer heard, and the birds who practiced flying were fewer and fewer.

Anthony Seagull didn’t have answers, but he knew that he would gratefully, gladly lay down his life to follow any bird who could demonstrate what he was talking about, show him just a few answers in life that worked, that brought excellence and joy into everyday living.  Until he found that bird, life would remain gray and bleak, illogical, without purpose; every seagull would remain a coincidental collection of blood and feathers pointed toward oblivion.

My suggestion: Read this every 10 years. You will learn something new each time.

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The Positive and Negative Affect Schedule (PANAS; Watson et al., 1988)

Subjective Happiness Scale (SHS)

Why Upgraded Self Assessment Questionnaires are important

On any journey, it helps to know where you are starting from, what strengths and weaknesses you have, and what tools, stories, assumptions, modes of being and values you are consciously or unconsciously bringing along.  It also can help to understand how what you bring compares to the other travelers.  Where are you strong, where are you weak, what skills do you want to build and how do you build them?  Self Assessment Questionnaires can be a good Red Pill to help you figure these things out in a structured way.

I have taken over 1000 of these things and provide the most useful here in upgraded form.  Most of these questionnaires come from theoretical academics for research purposes and often lack any applied analysis or “What next” guidance.  My “Upgraded Self Assessment Questionnaires” attempt to provide four improvements over their purely research based cousins:

  1. Peer reviewed, well-studied assessment frameworks.  Stay away from pop psychology “quizzes”.  Choose questionnaires that have been thoughtfully designed, tested for correlations, run over large and varied data sets, and subject to critique and comparison to other available measurement methods (and survived).  I am not trying to find the “best” and “only” frameworks, just ones that have been proven to work well so far.
  2. Cohort analysis and objective results placement.  Provide some analysis of your individual results as compared to other people who took the assessment either through my tools and/or in the overall research samples.  This is the “where am I in relation to the other traveler” piece.  Understand this relationship may be an “ah Ha” moment or it may confirm what you already know/feel.  The pay off here is understanding, waking up a bit, become aware just a little more of yourself and your surroundings.  Pause a moment and let it sink in.
  3. Factor analysis where available.  Most assessment tests, while testing a high level item like “happiness” will have groups of questions that are testing the sub-factors that the questionnaire designer has found to make up “happiness”. For example, Jung would say happiness has five factors, health, relationships, ability to perceive beauty, wealth, and spiritual practice.  If you want to improve happiness, the biggest bang for your buck may be to focus on improving the weakest sub-factor.  My upgraded analysis will provide factor analysis where possible.
  4. How to improve recommendations and further reading.    I didn’t take hundreds of these things in a selfless devotion to furthering academic research.  I took them to gain self-awareness and take action to change things I don’t like.  So every analysis section includes extensive links to further reading on the subject as well as pointers to “interventions” which have been proven through research to result in higher assessment scores over time.  Many of my favorite “interventions” are on my blog section called “Try This”.

 

I have started using the words “assessment” and “questionnaire” purposefully instead of “test” or “evaluation”.  I have found “test” and “evaluation” to have a somewhat pejorative connotation toward a yes/no, pass/fail, you have it or you don’t have it mindset.  “Tests” can tend to put you in a box and keep you there.  Early mental health practices were big on this approach, picking out the “bad apples” and putting them in institutions.  Even today, a “diagnosis” (read “test result”) of depression tends put the patient into a treatment “box”, usually pharmacological, the vast majority palliative in nature.

It is important to remember with all assessments and measurements that you are not the sum of your parts. You are not your test results. You are not your grit scale, or Meyers Briggs type, or any other measurement.  You are not your job title.  You are not your relationship status.  Many of these assessments, the results change over time, or when applied to different circumstances.  Just like your emotions change, and the weather.  You are not your temperature reading.  These are characteristics, parts, points in time.  Your authentic self is something else. Something larger.  Something deeper.  In my experience, in the search for these larger, bigger more meaningful things, the assessments can help uncover pathways, stepping stones, issues which are enabling or preventing discover of your authentic self.  Keep in mind these are all just tools.  Your analysis, synthesis and implementation of  growth/change is the most important thing to move the journey forward.

Based on my own self awareness work and supported by more modern existential psychotherapy and positive psychology science, I find that most things measured can be changed.  The purpose of an “assessment” is to calculate a set point, a starting point.  If you want to change the measurement, do some interventions, therapy, growth work, whatever is suggested by the science to improve what you are measuring.  Then take the assessment again.  And Again.  Over time if the interventions are working you should see improvements.  If you don’t, change what you are doing, try something else.  An assessment can lead to awareness which can lead to growth OUT of the box.

I provide these Upgraded Self Assessment Questionnaires to help you wake up and get out of your Boxes.

Disclosure: No warranty

Unfortunately many sleepwalkers, when they get woken up, get pissed off.  Some even try to blame the red pill, or the messenger.  As protect against litigious zombies, the lawyers prepared the following disclaimer and notice.  Thank you for your patience.

We offer spiritual and life insights, testing, writing, and strategic processes to support you and/or your business. The information contained in or made available through our sites or media (including but not limited to information contained on videos, phone calls, message boards, comments, on coaching calls, in emails, in text files, or in chats) cannot replace or substitute for the services of trained professionals in any field, including, but not limited to, financial, medical, psychological, or legal matters. These are not a substitute for professional business advice, nor for qualified health care. Testing tools and example exercises can assist you to expand your field of possibilities and make clearer choices for yourself and your business.  We are not medical practitioners, and we do not diagnose, prescribe or treat medical or mental health conditions. In particular, you should regularly consult a doctor in all matters relating to physical or mental health, particularly concerning any symptoms that may require diagnosis or medical attention. We and our licencors or suppliers make no representations or warranties concerning any treatment, action, or application of medication or preparation by any person following the information offered or provided within or through our services. Neither we nor our partners, or any of their affiliates, will be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary or other damages that may result, including but not limited to economic loss, injury, illness or death. You alone are responsible and accountable for your decisions, actions and results in life, and by your use of the services, you agree not to attempt to hold us liable for any such decisions, actions or results, at any time, under any circumstance.

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Enough said.

Why I am developing/testing self assessment and analysis tools

Martin Office (10)

As I walked out of the theater at the premier of The Matrix, while everyone else was talking about the game changing special effects and innovative fight scenes, I was obsessed with something else.  The Red Pill and the Blue Pill.   The nagging brain worm that something wasn’t right with the world, there was more underneath if you could just find it. The idea that we are asleep to reality most of our lives and it is possible to wake up and maybe even tap into some superpowers.

For the last three years I have been indulging this brain worm on a deep dive into waking up and becoming aware. Waking up is hard.  Sleep walking through life is so much easier.  I enjoy wandering and bumping into trees and having random experiences along the path, but sometimes I end up stuck in a traffic circle, or endlessly distracted by shiny things.  At that point I need tools, catalysts, doors finders. Lately I have been digging into the science behind finding your path and am uncovering some helpful self assessment (wake up) and intervention (stay awake) tools.  I hope to get a bunch of these into easily digestible forms for broad distribution.  Why?  To improve my own understanding and awareness.  To maybe connect a couple of dots.  Should you take the tests and investigate your own life also?.  Not because I say so, but because you are searching too.

The two central elements of Eudiamonist philosophy are: (1) “know thyself” (inscription on the temple of Apollo at Delphi) and (2) “choose thyself”, or in the words of Pindar, “become who you are.”  Eudiamonism calls on each person to live in accordance with his/her inner daimon, that is, to strive toward self-realization.  However, before it is possible to make any notable progress toward self-realization, it is necessary to have recognized and decided what type of person one is now.  The ancient Greeks could spend a whole life in this search.  Who has time for that now?  We need updated tools. We need to use technology and the accumulated wisdom of the ages to hack self-discovery.  New tools should speed this process up and then we can get on to the doing and being part of life.  It took me too long, I hope your journey helped with these tools.

I am not a therapist and don’t play one on TV.  I am not an expert in any scientific or academic field.  But I have connected a couple of dots along the way.  These are examination tools and you are the patient and doctor.  They are designed to be short and relatively dense allowing for Hopefully their use raises relevant questions, opens new paths on the journey, increases understanding and awareness.  You are the one that has to take the steps, open the doors, decide on the direction and keep going.  The Red Pill or the Blue Pill.  Your decision.

For me this journey has little to do with today’s self help industry or positive psychology movement. I have had my fill of “you can do it” sloganeering, that is part of the dream world.  I am wholly uninterested in platitudes and empty motivation.  I want to know myself and understand what works and what is real and true. Sometimes the truth is you can’t get what you want. But everyone can examine their wants for authenticity.  I have found that some prior wants were based on screwed up value systems and were inauthentic to my true self so they were put aside.  This journey for me is about finding the red pill and putting aside the dream world.

Over 2,200 years before the Matrix, Marcus Aurelius wrote, “It’s the truth I’m after, and the truth never harmed anyone. What harms us is to persist in self-deceit and ignorance.”  His “Meditations” were primarily for himself as my musings here are.
Not making a decision is making one.

Ignorance is not an excuse nor is it bliss.

Only you can figure out yourself.

I took the Red Pill.