Monthly Archives: January 2012

Cultivating Your Fuzzy Logic

20 January 2012, by A. Cedilla

Fuzzy thinking is a rather involved subject (luckily it has its own page on Wikipedia) and the simplest way to describe it describes is as “a many-valued logic.”

The kind of fuzzy thinking I’m talking about is a few steps away from the yes-no logic you may have seen plotted out in many business procedural flowcharts.

Fuzzy logic isn’t yes-no. It’s ” yes,” “No,” and “I’m not sure/ I don’t know/ Hey, wait. What’s that?/ What about this?/ Let’s do this and see what happens while we do other stuff too.”

Why cultivate it?
It’s easier. Fuzzy logic is closer to the way human reasoning processes work. You get to see multi-dimensionally, not just ‘the obvious choice’ or what’s right in front of you.

You get branch out into little known eddies and creeks of new knowledge– and while knowledge is power, knowledge plus new insight? That can open up a whole new ballgame for you to play in.

How do you practice fuzzy logic?

  • Play with the way you look at things. Look at the obvious. Now look at what’s next to it. Then look at what’s under that.
  • Info-dump. Keep current. Don’t assume all you know is all there is. Ask for other people’s points of view, and remain open to where they’re coming from.
  • Read the hell out of stuff that interests you, and ask other people what they’d recommend.
  • Go out and experience things — without a plan, and without judgment. In other words, be willing to get lost.

See, linear thinking tries to find the shortest distance between two points — thus the straight line. Apply it to life and that flies out the window. Continue reading Cultivating Your Fuzzy Logic

Dealing With Anxiety in Decision-making

13 January 2012, by A. Cedilla

First off, let’s make a distinction between being nervous and being anxious, at least for the purpose of this discussion.

Nerves, the jitters, the ‘butterflies’ — these terms describe the mixed ball of fear-excitement that’s usually rooted in the belly and sends tendrils of electricity out under the skin.

Usually it’s in response to a new environment, or at facing an unknown element. You may be told what to expect, but you don’t know for sure, and so you still get ‘first-day nerves’ or “What the hell is this now?” playing in your mental background noise.

Anxiety is a pervasive, niggling vague ball of tangled fears, key words being ‘pervasive’ and ‘vague’. Picture anxiety as a disgusting little mess plugging your mental shower drain. Sometimes it lets your thoughts drain a bit, but never all the way.

Eventually, with everything going on in your noggin backing up, you can’t relieve the pressure, and it builds up to affect what you do and how you do it. You can’t settle on any one thing, and this frenetic mental activity drains your attention, your energy and your vitality.

 

In what ways does anxiety affect your decision-making capacity?

  • Anxiety scatters your focus – You aren’t able to settle down and be in the right frame of mind to make a clear-headed, informed, conscious decision. You’re not there, you’re all over the place, like trying to listen in on half-a-dozen on-going conversations at once.
  • Anxiety leaves you indecisive – There’s not enough of you to make a united, singular choice, being you’ve split up trying to cover all the bases. You’re a house divided, you want to make the best choice but you’re just not sure, and you’re caught with one foot half-way out the door.
  • Anxiety can leave you looping (and feeling loopy) – You get stuck in a repeating tangled track and you can’t get off.
  • Anxiety can leave you paralyzed – You can’t move and this weighs you down even more.

How do you deal with it in real-time action?
Set a time for you to focus solely on what’s making you anxious. Prepare writing materials and make sure you have the quiet and privacy you need.

Once you’ve settled down, look for and identify what is bugging you — or more aptly, what’s eating at you. Write it all out. List it down, and do a brain-dump on paper. When you’ve squeezed your brain dry, step back and assess the ‘damage’ . Sort out the mish-mash by timeliness and importance. Continue reading Dealing With Anxiety in Decision-making

Making Your Goals Real Using Vision and Attraction

06 January 2012,  by A. Cedilla

Welcome to the tail-end of the first week of a new year! How have you been? How have things gone for you this week? Made any, ah, changes, lately? *Wink-wink, nudge-nudge, say no more.*

It’s traditional to consider the new year as a blank canvas, one open to all the dreams, goals and plans you want to draw on it. And while envisioning a beautiful life for yourself is the first step, making it real takes a lot of things into consideration: a supportive environment, a clear vision that begs to be given life, and the magnetic quality of a dream you’re so passionate about that it attracts help from the universe. Making it possible, however, begs a few questions.

Are you in a good position to make your goals attainable?
If the environment in which you plan to realize your goal is unfriendly, that takes a toll on your emotional, mental and physical health. You’ve probably heard or read about jobs where the only thing that kept people there aside from the money was their co-workers. And we all have our own ‘best conditions’ for growth and real involvement.

Some people prefer working in small, tight teams, or mostly unsupervised, while others need the social stimulation of a big group and a team leader to give clear directions. What you need is a place that will challenge you to grow and stable enough to help keep you steady at the same time, not one where you’ll get lost, flounder and be left without support or options.

If the things you need to make your goals achievable are in in short supply or unavailable, you have to take it on yourself to introduce these things into your environment.

Sometimes that means a consistent, demanding investment of time and labor: to carve out a space for serious study, or strengthen the habit of getting up early to exercise first thing in the morning, or to write two pages every day, no matter what.

Sometimes that means a continuous resistance to the impulse to buy something to cheer you up when you’re feeling down. Sometimes that means saying “No.” And meaning it. Continue reading Making Your Goals Real Using Vision and Attraction

Lessons From Trying For Perfection

28 January 2012, by A. Cedilla

How has the first month of this year been for you?

In a previous article we presented action as the antidote to brain-lock –which is what happens when the quest for getting it ‘just right’ results in too many details that tangles your thinker into knots. Purposeful action unkinks the mess and jump-starts you into moving again.

On the other hand, today is about sharing the methods we use to to keep steady while still aiming for the best possible results…with a little side order of Zen thrown in.

Ahem. Here goes:

Perfection isn’t the aim, the aim is to perfect yourself.
The aim isn’t to perfect yourself,
It is to forget yourself.
You and the goal become one.

When you work on something that is vital to you, you and the work change each other. Do you recall the Chinese symbol for yin and yang?

Imagine that going on in your life: you influence your work, your work influences you, both carry pieces of the other inside them.

Finding the balance — the particular rhythm, is key– but sometimes that’s hard to do because so many things get in the way.

What are the little things that have tripped you up as you were turning over a new leaf, and attempting to make things better for this year? Have you noticed any commonalities in the way they went off-kilter? What were the things that contributed to the mistakes, now that you think about it? Here are some of mine that I noticed after feeling the crash.
Continue reading Lessons From Trying For Perfection