Tuesday, April 28, 2015

FOLIO Tool 6: Introspection (Psychological)

Use of Adjectives 

In this post, I'll be using random adjectives to help guide the thinking directed by the Introspection tool. Here's a post about generating a list of adjectives: How to create a list of adjectives quickly.


Tool 6: Introspection (Psychological)

The idea of the Introspection tool is to dig deep into thoughts, feelings, beliefs etc. There are three elements with the Introspection tool, represented by the letters BAH. B is for  BA DAFT. A is for Arrows, and H is for Hypothetical. 

BA DAFT 

BA DAFT stands for: Belief and assumptions, automatic negative thoughts, downsides and benefits (same as pros and cons), automatic positive thoughts, feelings, thoughts. The aim is to list my BA DAFTs about the topic. I imagine there is a mentor-type person with me prompting me to address seven psychological directives about reading books.

The Seven Directives:

1) On the subject of reading books, name one of your beliefs (or assumptions)
2) On the subject of reading books, name one of your automatic negative thoughts.
3) On the subject of reading books, name a downside
4) On the subject of reading books, name a benefit
5) On the subject of reading books, name one of your automatic positive thoughts.
6) On the subject of reading books, name one of your feelings.
7) On the subject of reading books, name one of your thoughts.

Example of Each of the Seven Directives Applied to reading books:

1) On the subject of reading books, name one of your beliefs (or assumptions).

Answer: Reading books is good.

2) On the subject of reading books, name one of your automatic negative thoughts.

Answer: I don't have much time to read.

3) On the subject of reading books, name a downside.

Answer: You can't learn all day. Fatigue sets in. And it's difficult to judge when you're properly refreshed enough to go back to the study.

4)  On the subject of reading books, name a benefit.

Answer: It's an enjoyable process. You can feel like a different person.

5) On the subject of reading books, name one of your automatic positive thoughts.

Answer: If reading fiction, you can get lost in another world.

6) On the subject of reading books, name one of your feelings.

Answer: It can be hard work if you're memorising information.

7) On the subject of reading books, name one of your thoughts. 

Answer: The knowledge I've gained from reading has improved my life since I started reading seriously in my 20s. 

Arrows (Why is that good to me? Why is that bad to me?)

The Arrows technique (asking "Why is that good to me?" and "Why is that bad to me?" ) is covered in the Big Picture section above.

Hypothetical

For the hypothetical, I create - and think about - a hypothetical action I could do. I am asking, "What would happen if I did (hypothetical action)...?" and then I can apply the BA DAFT and Arrows tools above.

To form my hypothetical, I use random adjectives and the format:

If I do something-X

I pick a random adjective for the "X" and ask myself "What action does that suggest?"

So, for the topic reading books, the random adjective "bleary" for the "X" gives:

If I do something-bleary.

And then I ask, "What action does that suggest?" Maybe:

If I burn the midnight oil and study until the small hours.

More Examples of Hypotheticals:

If I do something...benevolent: Contribute to the local library. Give some books away.
If I do something...cheeky: Leave smart arse comments in library books.
If I do something...unwanted: Read a book that doesn't interest me at all.
If I do something...moany: Write critical reviews of books I hate on Amazon.
If I do something...aesthetic: Try to design a cover for a book.
If I do something...alone: Live in a cave and spend all day reading.
If I do something...red: Read Chairman Mao's Little Red Book.
If I do something...matey: Ask mates what they're reading at the mo.
If I do something...material: Read up on understanding the economy.
If I do something...interrogative: Read about interrogation techniques and brainwashing.

I can apply BA DAFT and the arrows techniques to any of those, or I can use any of the Folio tools.

WITOWT (What If The Opposite Were True).

There's a simple question I use to challenge assumptions and beliefs etc. It's "What if the opposite were true?", which is represented by the acronym WITOWT. It works on beliefs, thoughts, assumptions and opinions. Generally speaking, WITOWT can be applied to anything that could be recognised as an assertion. In addition to asking WITOWT? I like to generate thoughts that are somewhere on the scale between the opposites.

For example,  if I believe, "I'm no good at singing", then that's an assertion, and I can ask WITOWT? and generate the opposite:

I'm great at singing!

then list points between the two opposites - "I'm no good at singing" and,  "I'm great at singing":

I'm okay at singing.
I can sing sometimes.
I can sing some kinds of tunes.
I can sing tunes that don't have a great range of notes.
etc.

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