Thursday, April 23, 2015

FOLIO Tool 5: Big Picture

Use of Adjectives 

Throughout this blog post, I'll use random adjectives to help guide the thinking directed by the nine tools. Here's a post about generating a list of adjectives: How to create a list of adjectives quickly.

Tool 5: Big Picture

There are three options within Big Picture, all used to dig deeper into motivation. These are ASH: Arrows, Scenarios, and How to (more and more).

A: The Positive and Negative Arrows

The positive and negative arrows are based on the Vertical Arrow Technique,  a CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy) technique that features in the book Feeling Good, by David Burns. The idea is to dig deeper and deeper into motivations, thoughts and beliefs - both positive and negative ones. There are two types of Arrow approach: Positive arrow, and Negative arrow.

Positive Arrow: Why is that good to me? 

To do the positive arrow, I look at the topic (which can also be a thought, problem, challenge, etc) and I ask, "Why is that good to me?" I answer that question, then apply the question, "Why is that good to me?" again, to the previous answer.. I keep repeating this process, asking "Why is that good to me?" and then answering the question again, digging ever deeper until I'm left with an "final answer" where I think I am unable to dig any deeper.

Example 1:

Reading books...

Q: Why is that good to me?
A: I like new ideas.
Q: Why is that good to me?
A: I like to think in new ways.
Q: Why is that good to me?
A: It floats my boat.
Q: Why is that good to me?
A: It means I enjoy life.

Example 2:

Reading books...

Q: Why is that good to me?
A: I can learn new information.
Q: Why is that good to me?
A: I can think differently.
Q: Why is that good to me?
A: I like to blitz my assumptions.
Q: Why is that good to me?
A: I like making life simpler and easier.
Q: Why is that good to me?
A: I like a creative mental challenge.
Q: Why is that good to me?
A: It's fun.

Negative Arrow: Why is that bad to me? 

To do the negative arrow, I look at the topic (which can also be a thought, problem, challenge etc) and I ask, "Why is that bad to me?" Like with the positive arrow above, I answer that question, then apply the question, "Why is that bad to me?" again to the previous answer, continuing the process, asking and answering the question again, digging ever deeper until I'm left with an "final answer" where I think I am unable to dig any deeper.

Example:

Reading books.

Q: Why is that bad to me?
A: It can be hard sometimes to restructure someone else's thoughts so it fits my own thinking model.
Q: Why is that bad to me?
A: It can be stressful.
Q: Why is that bad to me?
A: It's unpleasant.

Scenarios: The Worst That Can Happen, The Best That Can Happen 

Everyone is familiar with asking, "What's the worst that can happen?" and "What's the best that can happen?" I think asking these questions is an important part of seeing the big picture. I also like to get a bit creative when thinking about these scenarios - here I've included the option of putting more imagination into forming the scenarios (again, by using random adjectives).

The Worst-That-Can-Happen

There are two ways here to form the WCH - intuitively, and generated with an adjective.

Intuitive Worst-That-Can-Happen

Here, I'm asking the following question: On the subject of readings books, what's the worst that can happen? Here's some possibilities:

I might not understand it at all.
I might get so lost in reading that I neglect real life.
I might read all of it but then forget it all by the next day!
I might never be able to retain the information.

Using an Adjective to Generate a Worst-That-Can-Happen

Here I'm using the format:

Create X worst-that-can-happen (about reading books).

I insert a random adjective into the position of the "X". The random adjective "normal" gives:

Create normal worst-that-can-happen (about reading books).

What terrible scenarios could occur? Maybe:

Information overload. Meltdown! 
Stress.
Burnout.

More Examples of Worst-That-Can-Happen Scenarios:

Create excluded WCH: I might be the only one who can't understand it.
Create unhygenic WCH: I might catch an awful disease off a library book.
Create fun WCH: I might have so much fun and get so engrossed in the book I neglect other areas of my life.
Create valuable WCH: I might read the book and learn the information only to find the information is now useless, obsolete, or not applicable.
Create bespectacled WCH: My glasses could break and I won't be able to read.

The Best-That-Can-Happen

Like with the worst-that-can-happen, there are two ways to form the best-that-can-happen - intuitively, or with an adjective.

Intuitive Best-That-Can-Happen

Here I'm asking the following question: On the subject of reading books, what's the best that can happen? Here are some possibilities:

I'll be ecstatic about reading..
The information could change my life.
I could find a new author.
I could be inspired to gain a qualification.
I'll retain 100 percent of the information.
The knowledge might help me to tackle other subjects. 

Using an Adjective to Generate a  Best-That-Can-Happen

Here I'm using the format:

Create X best-that-can-happen (about reading books).

I insert a random adjective into the position of the "X". The random adjective "quick" gives:

Create quick best-that-can-happen (about reading books).

What great scenarios could occur? Maybe:

I might learn a new subject quickly.
I might really get engrossed in the reading straight away.
I might find my outlook changes quickly due to learning new information.
I might finish the book in one sitting.
The reading could change my life very quickly.

More Examples of Best-That-Can-Happen Scenarios:

Create far away BCH: I will drift off to another world and feel refreshed after reading.
Create countryside BCH: I might want to take a book everywhere.
Create natural BCH: I'll enjoy the whole process.

H: How to...More and More

This is the same as the "How to...more and more" explained in the Creative-mentor section above.

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