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Ideas for personal development
by Joseph Jagde
09/24/08
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One of the questions can be, what can you do to get this ship to rise. Invariably, we might seem to be stuck at a level that is seemingly lower that we had hoped for in our aspirations. This could be symbolized as say having a job that plateaus at 20 dollars an hour when some relatives or our friends might be making ten times that. One of the miscues of looking at relationships such as comparative salaries is that we think other people are ten times better if they make 10 times the amount while the gap might not be so large between who the two people involved are. We need to look again and see what the real differences are if we are going to compare based on numbers and situations. The reason why an invalid comparison is unhealthy is that we don't get a proper picture of the high end of what we can do if we find ourselves on the low end of the comparisons we are doing and also that these types of comparisons tend to be wrong in relation to the truer picture. For example, if we refer to numbers, the person who is making 500,000 a year had a 97 average in school. I myself might have had a 90 average, not to great a gap in that venue. But I only make 50,000 a year so now this other person seems ten times better by that measure when it fact you are both walking on similar ground in many ways. But I put myself off this ground by reverting to the numbers in my thinking and I stay away from territory that is indeed potentially appropriate. I fence myself out, because I don't match up on the comparisons. In my mind, I'm a small person in the land of the giants. So I don't subject to developments that I could subject myself to. Further development could relate to changes in interests. People tend to balk at change but even long term interests such as a favorite hobby is something that people could start to have a fading or changing interest in. My interest could wane on anything I have been involved with. Something else grabs their interest as time goes on. Or somebody masters a subject and it might begin to have some thinness to the subject in that they have already mastered it.

But once you I decide you want to develop something, consider what speaks to your propeller. What is going to add to this pursuit and work in well with this endeavor?

Or I might want to venture out. If I venture out, I often can still go back to what we have been doing well for a long time. If I do well in college courses and I am not presently going to college, I am traveling the world for example, I would probably be able to go back to college and still do well in various courses. But for now I will venture out.

Even within what we are doing we can venture out. Wilt Chamberlain let the NBA in scoring a number of times including a year when he averaged 50 points a game. One year he said he would venture out and lead the league in assists. He didn't win the scoring title that year but he did lead the league in assists and was able to change his game for that year.

What happens is that a given individual finds themselves at the ground floor in relation to a given pursuit or issue. They might be getting divorced, fired from a job, or find they are at a dead end. But even if I get to the ground floor for a given situation, the rest of my abilities and talent doesn't leave me. If I get fired from a job, am I only left with 90 percent of the intelligence I had. A talented girl who finds herself at the ground floor with a significant relationship ending is still talented.

Or I fathom myself a genius, if I get within those 4 walls of that company I?ll prove it. If you're really a genius, that will follow with you wherever you go. Look at the politician, she wants to keep loose and quick on her feet in many situations and various forums and locations. Thoreau did his best work by Walden Pond .

Each situation is different. You might have some general baggage but a truly blank page to this particular situation.

There might be a joint development going on and this could be the situation if you are working for a company or involved in any sort of personal or business relationship. Even if there are stable qualities with each of the individuals involved, these qualities are not static but like running wells. It is like two giant waterfalls filling one pool of water. If there is a problem with the flow of water on either fall, it will affect the pool in some fashion in terms of development. If polluted water is coming from just one of the falls, the pool itself will be getting some pollution even if the waters from the other falls were crystal clear.

You sometimes get tickets, which state the holder of this is entitled to such and such. Think of what you are the holder of. Who is entitled here if not you as the holder?

You get to keep what you started with. The good looking girl on the date gets to keep her good looks no matter how the date goes.

The intelligence I have travels with me. If I go to Mexico my intelligence is going with me. All the talents and qualities stay with you and travel with you wherever you go. The articulate person is articulate in China or Russia or wherever they go. They might encounter a language barrier but that trait of being articulate remains.

Take for example the person who can paint a masterpiece but doesn't develop this. They might not know that they can do this, or they might know and choose not to paint. This could be for many reasons, but maybe they think if they paint this picture they might lose their artistic ability after painting the one masterpiece. But actually they get to keep their abilities. You can go forward in some respects with these abilities or go back another way but ability is going to stay. You can develop or not develop it. As you develop you don't need to find your way back because what you have is staying with you no matter which way you go.

At the same time we can work backwards. Oral Herschiser the former picture with the Mets, Dodgers and other major league teams says that he would experiment with pitches and grips, see what results he got with the different pitches and try to remember back to the form of that pitch. He went from the results of the pitch back to form of the pitch.

But it could be any measure that we try to use. Just because you got caught in the undertow of an economic downturn for example doesn't put you lower on the totem pole. You still have a sound basis for your spot on the totem pole. Those bad decisions and there resultant fallout doesn't have to be a freefall. If fact much of your base remains if not all of it. A setback doesn't put me at the end of the totem pole. It doesn't have to put you out of the running and you can still navigate the coastline cause you still have what it takes. Your visions of the coast remain intact.

What you have landed in may not be representative of you. You may have a problem and you have to land somewhere with it. Or you might be in a situation where you have landed on the side of boredom. You just landed on the wrong side of the moon. It doesn?t necessarily follow that you are boring yourself.

Don't just look for a successful landing on the moon. As exciting and adventurous as that can be, look for some close-by successes. You could argue the best planetary scenery in the solar system is found on the earth anyway. It's nice to have those distant successes but there might be something right close-by that you could be equally successful at.

To rise we need to get to that better point, we need to look at what we can develop. We don't have the benefit of the retrospective view, which shows in hindsight we were able to do and how we did it. But the point of development could also be from a low point. I can rise from the ashes because I have the ability to do this.

The developmental aspects of things tell us a lot. There are going to be snags in any endeavor but if it's core things relating to the ultimate ride itself that we aren't developing well then we can seek remedies and adjustments in getting some early feedback in that process of development. We could also look for multiple sources of feedback as we go along. For example, if you work in a office, don't just go by the feedback from your boss but also from the customers you deal with. Include your own thoughts and feelings in the feedback.

Then I say, now that I see this. An example could be I am taking some courses and I take an extra course. I see that I enjoy the course and I?m doing well. Now that I see this, I could consider this as a minor in my course of studies. Or, I am taking an extra course and I feel like I am serving a jail sentence while taking this course. Now that I see this, I might not take this line of studies any further. Or I'm painting a picture and now I see a masterpiece forming before my eyes. I consider maybe I should paint more often. I could subject almost anything to the now that I see this test. I can You can consider the role you want to play in terms of size and duration. For example, if you want a part in a movie, you could have a big role that lasts only half the movie, a small role at the beginning middle end or interspersed throughout the movie, or a big role throughout the whole movie. A big role for half the movie is still a big role.

Consider the power of language. Words like failure have a finality to them that may not fit the situation. For example, they right that Thomas Edison failed in thousands of experiments. But was it really failure, being that he was just testing and did the work. It would have been a failure if he didn't perform any experiments at all or didn't do the work on the many experiments he needed to do those finally yielding results. Even the positive correlates such as success may be also to final and may not properly describe the more enduring nature of a situation. I can have a successful at bat in a baseball game but that doesn't mean my game is going to be a success.

The language itself creates a distortion in that it is too general.

For example, I tell the manager I just struck out. But what does that describe. I could have hit 3 foul balls just foul out of the ballpark all of the hits traveled more than 400 hundred feet. Or I could have struck out on 3 pitches swinging or I could have hung in there well and have hit 10 foul balls tiring the pitcher. The word struck out doesn't fully describe what happened. A paragraph or two would more fully describe the situation.

Sportswriters have said the hardest thing to do is hit a baseball. The best hitters might fail 7 out of 10 times. But suppose a hitter hits 10 straight good hits, of which 7 are caught. Did he fail 7 times?

Analyze whether there are intrinsic or just secondary rewards. An example is a book you're reading that you enjoy while you are reading it has intrinsic rewards while if you just enjoy the idea of completing the book it would be a more secondary reward.

We can attempt a play at the lottery, subject to pure luck of which ours might be good. Developing something might have elements of luck involved for sure, but it wouldn't be pure luck. I applied some brainpower even to buy the lottery ticket and pick some numbers. There is a developmental process that requires some appropriate input and focus, not just random luck. We can monitor our progression and see what is involved in any good progressions Depending how the reading of this development seems to be going, you would say this is developing well or not. At the same time, you may have developed something as far as you want to develop it. Further development may not seem to bring added value to the equation. I don't want to travel further down the coast on this, maybe because I like the spot I have on the coastline now. Or maybe you haven't hit the right corner of what you're trying to do or you haven't anticipated that there is such a corner so you give up.

What is the core within this purview? What is at the periphery of what you are trying to do? For example, you are trying to learn Microsoft Windows, or the stock market, or any subject. What approach can give you a core look at this towards a good grasp and understanding to this?

Why do you put one thing in front of another, or one idea or pursuit in front of another idea or pursuit? Could your pursuits be put on a side-by-side basis? Or could you reverse order and put the last thing first in the order of your pursuit.

An idea as a stand-alone idea may not get us anywhere. I have this idea, but unless I sprinkle this lawn with some water, it will not grow. What are the angles that I can come up with, where I can actually begin to get some implementation? Can I approach this runway for a take off?

First we want to check if we have the wheels and the tires are inflated. I'm not moving otherwise. If I'm 6'6 and I can't hit a jumper, I don't have the wheels to make it into the NBA. My jump shot doesn't get me there. Why try and develop in that direction where I just don't have the endowment

Ideally, the development will involve some actual immersion into the area I wish to develop. If I want to develop my computer skills, I can do this by actually beginning to immerse myself into it. I get on the horse at a walking pace to start with. I cross that bridge into a small pocket of what I want to do, and if there are signs that it's developing well, I can expand further as I receive those positive signs.

A little actual practice in what we are trying to develop can be helpful. We don't want to stay just in the theory mode. We can then cross-reference back and forth between the theory's, which might be for example the how to books and how we are actually doing. This way we can better solidify the actual changes we are trying to implement or achieve.

Practice can be one way we can bring what we are trying to develop into another context, which can help us get another view on the situation.

When we look at development, we can take small segments and maybe expand on it. Ben Crenshaw the golfer says that its is better to develop changes the golf swing within its minutia and by making very small changes and that getting away from themselves with a radical adjustment in the golf swing is the biggest mistake golfers make in trying to develop their games. I had previously found a comfort level I had enjoyed this lecture, this book, and this movie. Maybe I like this genre and have a good capacity to appreciate its nuances. I have found a genus where I can operate toward further development. Sometimes we vote with our feet as the saying goes. I was at a recent movie where a group of friends walked out, they voted with their feet. What and where are they walking towards as well as walking away from and when is the showdown?

At the same time, the things we choose to do is like voting. In a sense we are in our own run for office. We go to the polls on whatever we do.

And of course there is a partial blindness of sight to all we do, with those views that are there being in some measure hidden. With that comes the constant element of surprise.

If we knew the ending of the movie, how could it be a surprise that we can enjoy. You don't tell people the end of the movie if you're trying to encourage them to see the movie.

Development involves the element of surprise as well. As I delve further, surprisingly, I am interested in this. I do like this I do find I can grasp this to my own surprise.

Or course this can work both ways. I might find surprisingly that I don?t want this it isn't developing in a way that I would prefer.

How often do we wish we could send ourselves off as an envoy in several directions? I could stay home and accomplish this while I also send myself out to golf, or send another version of myself off to see the play, go to the beach, or go out to meet with people. But we in reality can be only in one place at one time. All the more reason to consider why I am doing something I don?t want to do and isn't going to be right up my alley.

There are so many things that we might not have even begun to look at.

One reason is that we involve ourselves in an informal hierarchy of what we think is important. As we test the waters, what are we testing for? What is important to us? The basic premise we have been following may be off kilter. We may be chasing the tail of someone else's vision. What do you see as being important both at the surface and the depths? It's your world, do what you want, but make sure it is what you want. An imaginary exercise it to close your eyes and make believe when you wake up or open your eyes you will have everything you want. What would that include? Tempted? Visualize or picture someone else getting what they want, how do you relate to this those detached images.

As we try to grapple with the apple and grab some ideas we tend to rubberstamp what we already know, already believe to be true. I just reselect from the same basket of ideas I already have. I lop on the same beliefs to differing situations getting a lopsided view. Check out a movie, and see how easily you believe the characters that are being acted. We can be duped in the same way by our own beliefs. In the case of the movie we want to be entertained and we want to believe the character is not just acting the role. What else do we want to believe as opposed to what we can believe?

What I can do has value to me. What I want to do has value to me. What is the relationship between what I can do and what I want to do and how is it changing as I develop? What you want to do and what you can do can support each other. What you can do could support what you want to do and what you want to do could support what you can do.

Instead of saying I can do this. Make believe you're the coach. Say, you can do this. You always wanted this. Don't always just look to impress others, impress yourself.

What is running in opposition to what you are trying to do or develop? Say I want to go on a leisurely hike through the mountain ranges today. There is a torrential blizzard. That is running in opposition to what I am trying to develop for the day but I have limited control over this. Then I might be training for a marathon in the evenings and when I get back from the training run I am eating mounds of cake. This is something that is running in opposition to the marathon goal that is more in my control. Then I am trying to socialize more but I feel isolated. The isolation I feel is not running in opposition to my idea that I want to socialize more in fact it supports my opinion that I could be more social.

Then I say, now that I see this. An example could be I am taking some courses and I take an extra course. I see that I enjoy the course and I'm doing well. Now that I see this, I could consider this as a minor in my course of studies. Or, I am taking an extra course and I feel like I am serving a jail sentence while taking this course. Now that I see this, I might not take this line of studies any further. I could subject almost anything to the now that I see this test. I can make turns and adjust plans based on now that I see this.

I can get to it later I say. What is it we are going to get to? We can't see the whole picture before it forms, so that is why we sometimes can't tell that this might have been important to us to the extent that we would stop and change course. How does the masterpiece have value to you when you can't see it? With our preset agenda we might miss some great stops. I can't stop I say, I'm on my way. You can get back on the trend line after your stop.

We can't envision where this will lead us in total. I don't have a seeing eye into the future.

Which is one reason we shouldn?t discount all those potentialities and probabilities.

There can be some sort of execution involved in the development phase.

Do I need to read a hundred books on swimming before I put that first toe in the water? Development at times can have the first hand experience in its aspects and the more hands on approach. Or should you expect to develop something from a distance. I'll work on my swimming skills in the Sahara .

It helps to put your hands on the wheel at some point if you want to develop your driving skills.

Then we speak of the inclusive circle. The circling around includes this success and the circle extends into failure as well. But do we borrow from the failure, borrowing from the future by taking undue risks now by say engaging in something that has a real chance of compromising our future and limiting good options and outcomes down the road.

We might be borrowing from the days ahead when we might be free. An example would be taking steroid to be stronger now, only to catch us with side effects later.

Some of the Olympic contestants were given a theoretical questionnaire that if they would give up 5 years of their lives for the gold medal would they do it. Some responded in the affirmative. This in theory would be an artificial development with real costs. It is not an authentic development. Obviously this is not a real scenario but it could happen in an indirect fashion if someone took performance-enhancing drugs, which had an adverse affect on one's lifespan.

If you could sell say 10 percent of your intelligence for 50 million dollars would you do it? I had a dollars worth of intelligence in my and I dealt away ten cents of it All I have left is pocket change. At least before I had bills. Obviously this can't be done but I'm sure if it could some people would make that deal. But then what if they wanted to get that 10 percent intelligence back? Even if they weren't using it, they still retained the capacity. Sometimes we don't value something as much until it is gone and then we want it back. It's like the Yankees who traded away top prospects and now they want them back.

If you don't get the chance to do things because you are rushed don't try and borrow time from the future. Don't drive 150 miles an hour to get there faster. Look at JKF Jr. whose tragic mistake in the air may have been made by rushing and not waiting for better conditions from the next day.

You don't want to develop yourself against the giants. Don't try to develop my public speaking skills against speeches of JFK when he was President. I don't try to develop my golf game against Tiger Woods. I don't try and develop my running ability against Carl Lewis.

I can be inspired by the giants and perhaps look at and try to emulate some of their characteristics. But let's not rate our own developments against them. I can try to emulate characteristics of the Tiger Woods swing, but don't expect a Tiger Woods performance on the golf course.

You never know where your will register but don't be unrealistic and try to do something that is going to be too hard right away. You will register on the Richter scale but you can't be sure where. Don't always go for those seismic changes in development.

You want to keep your engines burning while you wait for change. If the change doesn't go according to plan, at least your still have your own ways. Don't be totally reliant on the hoped for change.

What is going to effect change for you? You may have to get to the outside of the field or issue. .

In football there are two major plays, down and in and down and out. The receiver goes downfield and cuts to the inside of the field for the pass. Or he goes downfield and cuts to the outside of the field for the pass. First we want to be going downfield but the inside of the field might not be open. So sometimes we need to get to a place that is less crowded so we can have room to maneuver. The touchdown is what we want as the final result. The touchdown can be representative of the ultimate. But there needs to be movement before getting the touchdown, or are we just going to kickoff or punt and try again another time.

Take advantage of the advantages. Take in the sunshine. Take in the good. The expression can I take this usually applies to rough sailing. Apply that expression against the good and see what you're saying to yourself.

If a girl comes up to you and says she wants to talk to you because she likes your hair, take it. You would prefer a more substantial reason but take it as is, maybe it will lead to a full-bloomed relationship.

When Ted Williams played baseball, the opposing team would put on a shift where they would put everybody to the right side of the field. Williams could get a hit almost every time by just hitting it to the opposite field. But he choose to hit into the shift, he didn't take what they were giving him. For him there were no cheap singles allowed. But he was one of the Giants and still hit over .400 one season, the last player in the majors to do this.

But what happens is we don't take what is being offered to us because we think we are Giants ourselves, and we instead of taking what the situation is giving us we want more because we are up there with the greats. We don't take the good stuff because we think we are hitting with the Giants. After all, Giants don't need to take what you give them. Ted Williams was so good he was able to get away with it. But how many of us are that good, even if we think we are.

At the same time, we don't want to limit ourselves. But there is the paradox of limitation. If I expect Tiger Woods golf scores, JFK speeches from myself, I might not get to the golf course and I might not get to the podium to give a speech. I am limiting myself on the high end. The limitations are still imposed but from another direction.

Diana Ross had a recent concert scheduled at Jones beach in the summer of 2001. My sister brought a ticket for 90 dollars, and arrived at the concert that night only to find out it was cancelled because there weren't enough tickets sold. There was an article in the paper the next day that people felt that she was charging too much for the ticket being that she was no longer with the Supremes. Most of the tickets for the summer concert series were priced in the 50 dollars or less range. If Diana Ross had priced her tickets just in the high range with averaging about 50 dollars a ticket, rather than the stratosphere of ticket prices, she probably would have filled the stadium, and everybody would have been happy. But she saw herself as a giant, who she had been as a mega star over the years, but the market had changed and she should have taken what she could get for the tickets to fill the arenas on her summer tour. She should have checked to see if she was still a giant or just in the range of a popular performer who was once a giant. The latter was true and she should have taken what the market was giving her. She was still in a good market for her performances, but she fathomed a great market.

You could get stuck trying to emulate the windup of the great pitchers such Tom Seaver, and never actually throwing the pitch yourself. Even if your delivery is faulty at least you gave it a shot.

Of course the giants can be inspirational. But don't try to evolve your golf game against Tiger Woods unless you are much further along in the developmental process and for example your now able to shoot a round of 70 for 18 holes. But then maybe you could putt with the Tiger.

I'm playing a basketball game and I want to dunk. The defense backs up and gives me a 10-footer, I know I'm not the Shaq so I take it and make it. And after all, it still takes some talent to hit the ten footer even though it isn't the same as the resounding dunk.

And do consider what is in front of you now in terms of possible development. What is in front of you now certainly has more certainty that what you think will be in front of you ten years from now.

Despite a lack of experience, you might want to go right over the top in terms of what you are trying to do. You might be that good that you can do it.

See the advantages. Like with those children's tracing books, follow the traces of excitement, and enjoyment to see if you can go further.

Have you checked every corner of your interests, abilities, talents, ideas, and what you want to explore further? You can always build in a few more ideas.

It is rare that we are taking a final look. It is sad if we are. You can always develop qualities you have such as excitement, intellectual curiosity, and athletic ability in new and interesting ways.




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