Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the tag “Conscious vs Unconscious”

The Referred Pain of Procrastination

Medicine 2 by Sergio Roberto

Medicine 2 by Sergio Roberto

My watching of a favourite American TV show about a cantankerous Dr House, and a 121 chat with a colleague at Madgex started me thinking about why we sometimes find it hard to change something that it appears we could consciously address.

It often appears to me that one of the frustrations with change is that we think we know so clearly what we have to do to make the change happen. Our conscious intellect has applied weighting (prioritisation) and a set of justifications to the most likely drivers for change. We think that we can start to get up early in the morning and get loads of work done/ start that book/ do that reading if only we could respond to the alarm clock. We obviously think/ justify that we need more sleep to do this, so we go to bed earlier. But this doesn’t seem to work, so we re-tag ourselves as ‘being one of those people that…..’ and continue not to get up early. Read more…

Does Everything Come Back to Simplicity (and are Our Minds Hardwired to Fight This?)

A midnight thought from Chicago where I’ve been at the Global Online Recruitment Conference talking for Madgex over the last few days.

My talk was about user experience. I found in my practice and then delivery of the presentation that the main focus of the points I was making was all around simplicity. I had to make lots of references to us not fooling ourselves into thinking we know what’s right for others without a lot of deep thought. To the need to stand back and really consider whether steps are necessary vs. an alternative with fewer steps or stages.

The crux of the thought for this post, wider that online recruitment is as follows: do we trick ourselves into thinking that complex is good. Do we effectively have an in-built bias to believe that sophisticated is good?

Even if we remove the loaded word of ‘good’, can we assert that the conscious intellect defaults to an assumption that because we can handle complexity and multiple steps, that this is something that may be factored without cost.

There are obviously many references in our language to the beauty of simplicity, and we are often told to strive for simplicity. However I think that really living the dictum of continually reviewing and evaluating (in effect engaging in deliberate practice in all that you undertake), rather than reaching a lowest common denominator, you in effect achieve the maximum of simplicity with the minimum of dumbing down.

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Learning Strategies: Can the Conscious Teach the Unconscious?

Black Label by Zsuzsanna Kilián

Black Label by Zsuzsanna Kilián

Accepting the principles that we have:

1. a conscious intellect which we feel that we control

2. an intelligent unconsciousness: as well as the running of things we know how to do (get dressed/ clean teeth/ drive car), increasingly it is seen as the place where our creativity/ intuition and problem-solving resides. This is believed to operate independently of conscious control (even though we may think we’re consciously controlling…)

I wonder whether with practice we can improve our ability to call on or apply our intelligent unconscious in whatever direction will be of use to us?

I think that simple approaches of consciously thinking about an issue or question without coming to a conclusion or answer, and then allowing thoughts to percolate or marinade over night is recognised as an effective strategy.

But what about training the conscious mind to use unconscious resources by habitually and routinely consciously and mentally debating unconscious issues?

Is it possible to grey the border between the black of conscious awareness and the white of unconscious resources (creativity/ problem-solving) by having unconscious characteristics and behaviour as your subject matter of focus?

So far I can’t find any writing on this matter, so is a good experiment to question those practioners/ passionate about the relationship between the conscious and other-than-conscious about their views on their own learning?

Emails away….

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