This past week, an 18 yr. old young man inquired, “how do you figure this stuff out?” Also, a former colleague asked, where are these rabbit holes? Ala this week’s post.
It matters less what happens. What matters most is how you handle what happens! One of the few things we can control is how we respond. Much of this blog is about a strategy of how to respond. But more than that, it’s about having a strategy and response that puts you in a position to choose to be ultimately you.
The Blind Men and the Elephant
It’s like the blind men and the elephant in the room. The usual story is that you have blind men feeling around on the elephant and each one has a unique experience. One thinks it’s a rope, another a tree trunk, the third a snake, the fourth a fan etc. It’s a good practice to ask around. Find a bunch of seasoned experts in their field of knowledge (and are perhaps blind to other fields of knowledge) and ask what they think it is? Then ask the next expert and so on. This is simply a matter of having more data points and developing a bigger picture. What you are looking for are patterns, connections, and similarities. While also noting and being open to opposite positions and outliers. The hope is you might develop a better understanding of the actual elephant. All this varying information can be at first confusing. The last piece of the puzzle is to ask yourself how does this relate or apply to myself and situation? This answer will guide you toward the best response relative to yourself and the situation. By the way, don’t forget to ask others who are further down the path in life. When I was a young man, working in a nursing home. I asked for life advice from these folks that were further down life’s path. In short, it is the idea to stand on the shoulders of giants.
Situational Awareness of the Immediate
The “first responder” approach as in responding to a situation such as CPR, auto accident, etc. The first thing is to do a quick scan of the situation. Looking if there are dangers to you, such as electrical, fire, chemical hazards, etc. If the general environment appears safe. Then access the victim (you) and determine what can be done, what can’t be done and what is the immediate thing that must be done to survive? This is the process of triage. That is determining 3 things. First is the immediate life-threatening situation or condition and applying the direct intervention that will help ensure survival until help arrives. The second is the urgent response. Which is about getting into a strategic position. A short-medium-term plan of getting resources, skills/techniques to stabilize and prevent further deterioration. The non-urgent things/issues are not important because the person is not in a life-threatening condition or is already dead. It is the no matter what you do or don’t do, it will not affect the outcome. The non-urgent is more of a resource management issue. Which is applying the resources that are immediately available that will most likely change the outcome of a reasonable chance of survival. And other available resources, skills and interventions can be applied elsewhere. Triage is about figuring out the immediate interventions that will lead stabilization in the short-term. And ignore to the other stuff, until later, and only if need be. The problem is that we can think of all kinds of stuff we could do. Which results in getting too far ahead of ourselves; and we end up chasing our tails. The remedy is to refocus on what is happening now and what can be done now to stabilize the situation. That is pay attention to the crisis in your face. AND maintain some situational awareness of the bigger picture of what is happening and quickly discern what needs to happen now and in subsequent longer time frames.
From my professional experience, a quick way to assess a situation is to first ask questions of the client. Listen to the client’s story. Meanwhile, having a checklist of things to investigate and follow up on. Then asking the client what would they like resolved? This is articulating the goal. Then proceeding with what’s often called a risk assessment (both supportive/positive and detrimental factors). Which is simply an investigation of what are potential factors leading up to the problem, contributing to that problem and the supportive, preventive or positive risk factors.
Agitating the Problem
In the sales and marketing, it is agitating the problem to create motivation for the client to change. But not providing the solution until a demonstration of commitment is made, i.e., the sale. In psychology, it’s called motivational interviewing. It’s leading the client’s motivation and investment to change. By acknowledging their pain, offering a remedy and having them envision an improved experience. At some point, is the big ask, i.e., the decision to commit to buying something or doing something? It is the simple setup of problem/solution. Yet the real trick is investing, doing and effort, i.e., the ongoing effort and behaviors.
The point of this post is to provide some ideas of how you can figure out what is happening. Other post have talked about what to do or how to be. This post is reminding you, that often one of the best things you can do, is to stand on the shoulder of giants look around and determine what applies to you. You don’t need to create the wheel each time. Or to be sold the new whizz bang technique or gadget. You can simply apply yourself and use the wheel or tools that others have developed and apply them to your needs, wants, and situation.
A thing to be aware of is that of history. The best predictor of future behaviors is past behaviors. Understanding your past will give you insight into what you will probably do. The issue becomes what if you want to do something else? The simple answer is to do something different; but what? The point is to look for and survey the folks that are doing and being what you wish to become. Yet first, you must discover (introspect) what you wish to be.
Macro Situational Awareness
Ray Dalio of Bridgewater Associates has turned his attention to legacy endeavors. He has delved into history, specifically the study of empires and their cycles. He lays out a way to understand the framework, process, factors and cycle of the rise and fall of empires. It’s fascinating there are now a host of folks presenting a spectrum of macro views on what is currently happening on the planet. Everything from astrology to yugas, mythology, ancient archeology, physics, alternative evolutionary theory, etc. Despite the premises and assumptions held by a diversity of views, they point to the notion that this is a unique opportunity, a challenge. However, is it unique?
The Micro Expansiveness of Your Consciousness
At the other end of the spectrum of the external macro situational awareness of the external environment, is your unique and individual situation. Know your internal or introspective orientation. Your awareness of yourself (consciousness) helps orient and determine to what and how you respond. You create your reality. Elsewhere, I present the place to start is with you. Specifically, introspectively ask yourself the basic questions of “who am I, what’s my passion (meaning and purpose) and what do I want to do about it?” Obviously, who you are, the “I am” is the first question to figure out. The second is “what is my passion” is a question of alignment concerning meaning and purpose. If you know who you are and what is your passion, and then it becomes much easier to figure out “what you want to do about it?” Or how do I align myself, my resources, wits, and opportunities?
A brilliant shortcut is to recognize and find a mentor that has gone in a similar direction but it’s further down the path. Just pick their brain. The best questions are to ask them things like, if you could do it over again what would you do differently? Or knowing what you know now, what would you tell a young person like me to do? And what is the most important things to pay attention to? This is the simple idea of standing on the shoulder of giants. It can be a great fortune to find someone willing to help you or give a few minutes of their time or mentor. Their advice can make the path much quicker and guide you through the parts that are seemingly impossible.
For example, once I figured out what to study, I did a quick survey of what educational institutions offered studies in flotation tanks. Phoned the professor doing research, chatted a few minutes and later arranged a visit to the university and several professors; applied and accepted to the program. During my first semester, I met a PhD candidate who was just finishing up their doctoral dissertation and defense. He was gracious enough to spend 20-30 minutes answering questions about what to do and how to get through the program as efficiently as possible. He gave me a few tips that absolutely saved me hundreds of hours of time and thousands of dollars in tuition. Subsequently, the professor that I had initially spoken with on the phone became my major professor and allowed me into his lab to do research. Retrospectively, he did not tell me what to do, but presented situations and opportunities that resulted in valuable lessons even 27 years later. Again, standing on the shoulders of giants.
I have fond memories of looking through a section of books in the dimly lit and musty stacks of Love library at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A quick way to get a sense of a book and its author. First, understand how a book is structured or laid out. Second select a book of interest and figure out who the author is and their general school of thought. Take a quick glance at the inside and the back cover, about the author, look at the table of contents, briefly read the acknowledgements, foreword, and scan the glossary. Looking at the table of contents, a person can get the idea of the structure, flow, its presentation of their argument/persuasion. It helps to have a general idea of where the author is going; then you can see where the bits fall into place. If the book is of further interest. Examine the first and last chapters of the book. In 5-15 minutes, you will know the theme and argument of the book; and whether to invest further time and effort to read the book. Or just the chapters that interest you. Still interested, then read the first and last sections of each chapter of the book. I used this method to survive during graduate school. TIP: when you discover an authority or expert, you can get an indication of their influence by doing a citation and reverse citation search. That is a search who the author used as authorities/references and who has used the author as an authority/reference. And if a person wants to do a deep dive; pay attention to footnotes. This approach is a quick way to drop deep into a rabbit hole.
Rabbit Holes Links
Below are some entryways into rabbit holes I find interesting and what if? This is like taking a survey of giants. Getting their perspectives, insights and opinions into what is happening on the planet. Of course, use your discernment and sovereignty to figure out if it makes sense for your situation and interest. So here they are. Again, only you, your sovereignty, and your discernment can decide if they apply to you.
The thing these days is that information and knowledge is a lot more accessible via auditing on-line courses, digital books and taking part in forums on the internet. However, just note some of the information hides in libraries, in physical form of a book and in mentors. I’m a bit of an old schooler and like physical books because I can scan for information much quicker than scrolling through screens on a computer.
This week’s post is in gratitude to the young man who last week asked of “how do you find all this stuff?” It got me thinking about where, how to access, grasp a field of interest, and determining relevance to you and your situation. A brief concerted effort of 10 to 40 hours of time will get you well into a rabbit hole expanding your awareness… or at least entering an alternative dimension.
These are merely a small random smattering of links that are personally interesting. It quickly becomes a myriad of mycelial connections to websites, blogs, podcasts, interviews, videos, books, courses, and services. Also, if you have a VPN service and/or different search engines, it further opens to a wider access beyond the familiar giggles. As usual, use your discernment and sovereignty.
https://bibliotecapleyades.net/esp_novedades.htm Gateway to a wide range of provocative thoughts.
Upanishad an introduction.
Raisa, https://www.crystallineguidance.com Remote energy healer, I had an “expansive” remote session with her.
Alex Ferrari, https://nextlevelsoul.com Podcast interviews with many interesting guest.
Lynn Mctaggart, https://lynnemctaggart.com Has been in the personal energy space for decades.
https://substack.com This may be the meta emerging rabbit hole.
Lee Carol, https://www.menus.kryon.com Kryon the magnetic master.
Lex Fridman, https://lexfridman.com MIT research scientist of data, information, AI, etc.
Andrew Huberman, https://www.hubermanlab.com/podcast Stanford neuroscientist.
Clif High, https://substack.com/profile/293159-clif-high Wild, wacky, and woo.
Penny Kelly, https://pennykelly.com Multi-talented.
Pam Gregory, https://www.thenextstep.uk.com Astrologer.
Heather Ensworth, https://risingmoonhealingcenter.com Clinical psychologist and astrologer.
Kaia Ra, https://kaiara.com/about/the-sophia-code/ “Sophia Code” a re-emergence of women’s spirituality.
Brian C. Muraresku, https://www.brianmuraresku.com The “Immortality Key: religion and psychedelics.”
Catherine Austin Fitts, https://home.solari.com Economic thoughts and local community.
Alasdair Macleod, https://www.goldmoney.com/research Economic thought.
Charles Hugh Smith, https://www.oftwominds.com/blog.html Blog of economic thought.
Allison Coe, https://www.allisoncoe.com QHHT (hypnosis) practitioner; had a great session with her.
Ken Wilber, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ken_Wilber Transpersonal psychology theorist; Spectrums of Consciousness, The Atman Project, presents a typology (map) of consciousness.
People’s Health Alliance, https://the-pha.org A grass roots effort to re-align health care.
Ray Dalio https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ray_Dalio History, cycles of empires, “Principles.”
John Rubino. https://rubino.substack.com/about Macro economics.
Rick Rule https://www.youtube.com/user/SprottGlobal Commodities, mining, and credit.
Anne Tucker https://annetucker.com
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCa2TtIEHppzbAWa3kdcv7Yg A different flavor of channeled thoughts.
Rory Duff, https://roryduff.com Geo-biologist, earth energy and its influences.
Who dat down dere rabbit ho? Perhaps the “rabbit hole” is our projective Rorschach reflection? (ala Lewis Carrol’s “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland,” 1865)