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A New Focus Pt. 1: My Top Two Mental Strengths…

10/02/09

thats_a_strong_dog_photosculpture-p153829802824915673qdjh_400I’ve been playing with the format of the blog for the last few months. My goal is for it to be a productive forum for my education while still being convenient enough to fit into my crazy schedule. To do that, I’ve played with writing essays as entries and with posting related news. The blog now is pretty convenient for me; I post relevant news on a regular basis and I write commentary when I have time.

But I’m not comfortable with the directionlessness. I don’t feel the blog (and hence my education) is going anywhere. So here comes another iteration. I’m going to try to keep the majority of my entries related to one central topic at a time. Likely, these topics will be things I am having trouble with, especially in terms of core mental habits.

I have a problem in mind, but in order to explain the problem, I’m actually going to start with some key strengths. I am describing them not for the sake of congratulating myself (I do that enough in private) but to try to clarify what I mean by a “mental habit” and to paint the full picture, since I think my strengths and weaknesses might be related.

I tend to be good at things that are related to maybe two core mental habits. First, I pay close attention to my emotions and always try to understand them and use them for course-correction. To borrow an idea from my favorite filmmaker Joss Whedon, the key to success is love. If you know what you love, then your emotions can guide you in your pursuit. They will tell you when something’s wrong and you need to pay more attention, and also when you can just trust things as they are now.

When I am designing a class for JetBlue, I’m useless at it until I understand how the class could possibly help someone be better at their work. That’s a subject that I care about passionately. Once that connection happens, I am very naturally always on the hunt for ways to make the class better. When someone makes a good suggestion, I leap at it. When the design isn’t gelling, I am deeply frustrated in a way that can be bizarre to others. I plug away until I fix the problem. This can even be crippling for me at times when I don’t see how to solve a problem, but there’s a strong incentive then to figure out why I don’t see how to solve the problem.

The second thing I do is to seek to understand the deeper or broader meaning behind particulars, and I am concerned with my level of certainty in forming those conclusions. If a coworker is having trouble with their manager, I want to understand why that trouble exists, and I question the answers that I come to or that others provide. It’s the only way to do what I’m trying to do with this blog and have it relate to reality at all.

These things are just an absolute part of me. They do not happen automatically and I can’t guarantee that I always do them successfully, but the idea and the emotion to do them do come to me automatically. So why couldn’t I make something else an absolute part of me, something that I’m maybe not so good at?

(To Be Continued)
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One comment

  1. […] [Part one: A New Focus Pt. 1: My Top Two Mental Strengths…] […]



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