Controlling the Myth
I remember lecturing at the Smithsonian a few years back about the institutional need to control the "story" that people tell about your goods, services, or industry. Stories, you see, don't follow a linear script, they are webs of emotional association that bypass temporality or ordinary ordering of significance. The child's sled "Rosebud" looms larger in a dying man's dreams than all of his other successes or failures over a stupendous life in "Citizen Kane."
Watching Tananarive get a little depressed last night was frustrating. I'd warned her not to expect a knockout. In fact, while the media pushed the "knockout" scenario over and over, I never heard that from Obama, figuring that he was too smart to do anything other than keep playing his safe rack-up-the-delegates strategy.
Remember back a few weeks? Texas and Ohio were supposed to be firewalls to crush his momentum. Hillary needed wide victories in both, just to break even. Then, just before the election, it was "If he doesn't take all four states it indicates buyers' remorse." Wow. Lowering expectations, controlling the story. Smart.
I do resent this "the press hasn't vetted him" routine. Repeat a lie often enough, and people consider it truth. Excuse me? Do YOU know what elementary school Hillary attended? McCain? It seems to me that every inch of Obama's life has been dragged through the public eye to a microscopic degree, but by repeating over and over again "he hasn't been vetted" it's obviously made a certain number of people believe this nonsense. Politics as usual. I am SO proud of him that he hasn't lashed back in ad hominem attacks. Can you even imagine that if Michelle Obama had been disbarred for perjury that this wouldn't have come up in Clinton attack ads? He has to keep to the high road, if nothing else as a demonstration that it is possible to deal with the political scene without wallowing in the mud. I don't blame Hillary for playing the game the way the Boy's play. Not at all. But I don't respect her for it, either.
So now Obama has to shake it off and keep going. Michigan and Florida? If you want to seat them, then give both candidates a chance to campaign there, otherwise you're going on pure name recognition, and pre-existing party structure. If she tried that, I'd very seriously consider McCain. Or maybe moving to Canada. But if she campaigns and beats Obama fair and square in Michigan and Florida? Cool. No problemo.
Slowly depressurizing after turning in Shadow Valley. Trying to get a good work schedule going, and upping my yoga. I was short-changing that, certainly.
So...I'm going to go over the seven subjects I want for "Seven Secrets." And I'd love to have readers comment on them, what they'd like to know, what they do or don't understand about them. I'll be posting the same entries over on the Lifewriting/Five Minute Miracle forum, so that the answers can be explored in greater depth.
1) I.D.E.A.--Instinctive Designation of Energy and Attention. The idea is that mastery includes the ability to perform, instantly, what you would do had you all the time in the world to think about it. Honed instinct. This depends upon clear perceptions, an aligned value-goal core, an accurate map of reality, and great behavioral and conceptual flexibility. Also, many, many experiments, testing your theories of human behavior and reality again and again until your predictions and results come out the same. Even better still: publish your data and allow others to test with their own experiments.
The best way to "Calibrate" your instincts is to select high goals in all three major areas of your life: body, career, relationship. Find role models of similar accomplishment, and determine what those role models did, felt, believed and overcame in order to reach their goal. When possible, find at least three in each major area, overlap their behaviors and attitudes (NLP's "Belief Systems, Mental Syntax, Physiology) until you find the critical behaviors. Analyze your own behaviors and attitudes, and "subtract" yours from the Role Model's. What remains are the behaviors and attitudes you must integrate to shift your life in the direction of health, balance, and accomplishment.
The "Three Goals" pattern works most neatly if you accept the following goals:
1) A committed, passionate relationship
2) A healthy, energetic, sexy body that matches your own values. You'd be perfectly happy with a partner with your body, or the flipped-gender equivalent.
3) Enough money that it is a convenience, not an obstacle. You work where you love, or love where you work.
All of these can be modified, of course. No one but you can tell you what you want and need to complete yourself in this life. But a warning: be very careful of the voices that tell you you don't want money, or to lose weight, or to have a permanent significant other. They often lie. Unless you are perfectly happy and never complain about being broke, or rejected due to appearance, or lonely...you may be bullshitting yourself. That's not to say you can't wander the world as a mendicant, or weigh 400 pounds and happy, or live alone and unlaid...but you won't COMPLAIN about it, will you?
As you move in that direction, you will encounter stress and failure that hit you from all directions. Every time, you will have the chance to keep moving forward, searching, and modeling behaviors and attitudes, applying flexible behavior and concepts until you are no longer "spun" by life. Life just is. You pick yourself up, and move on. And if you have searched intelligently, if you are modeling the thoughts and actions of the most successful men and women in each category, you will eventually find your own way of being. You will have a kind of grace as you move through life, and the decisions that cripple other people barely even tweak you. You have the capacity to keep your word to yourself under massive stress.
And you start making instinctive, automatic decisions that bear out over time. And start having an experience of riding the wave rather than having it wipe out your sand castles. There is the same amount of storm, but you are in the center of the cyclone, relatively unruffled. It's an interesting experience.
And the question of the day is: What questions do you have about the process I've described? What would you need to apply it, or want to apply it in your life? What examples do you have of similar processes (if you have them) and how they have or haven't worked in your own life?
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Controlling the Myth
Posted by Steven Barnes at 9:22 AM