Just Seven Things

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

Archive for the tag “Problem solving”

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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Play: the Most Serious Aspect of all our Activities?

Laughing Clowns by Craig Jewell

Laughing Clowns by Craig Jewell

Game playing and playfulness to deliver personal change and also enable creativity and problem solving has been on my mind the last couple of days.

Some conclusions? More a general shift in my feelings, and a shift to even greater certainty about something I believed at the start of the week.

Mainly, that we are both a hell of a lot more and less sophisticated than we make ourselves our to be. I think we consciously weight and interpret the less impactful but more seemingly sophisticated: our ‘intellect’ and equation-solving/ focused style of creativity. At the same time, I think we allow some of the most powerful (and sophisticated) tools to run along in the back ground – in most cases unnoticed. Here I think about the game play I have been examining over the last couple of days.

This game play or playfulness appears to have many facets. One of the things that has most impressed me is the view of play as enabling the modelling of multiple perspectives and scenarios. I think I have merely scraped away the icing sugar on the tip of the iceberg: particularly when you consider some of the diverse resources and investment of time and thought taking place. Whether our dreaming and relaxed mental playfulness allows this unconsciously will be an interesting route to investigate in the future.

Read more…

Psychology of Game Playing: thoughts from the blogosphere

Building on my initial post on this weeks topic of the Psychology of Game Playing. My challenge is how and why playfulness and games both help deliver personal change and also enable creativity and problem solving.

Joel Gruber writes a great post on how playing games enables you to try out a new ‘skin’; to learn a new way of feeling and thinking by dropping your old rules and trying out some new rules for the game you’re about to play. I immediately started thinking about the use of modelling in NLP and how game playing allows us to creatively explore new potential models. So game playing as a great way of accessing ‘what-if’.

The great takeaway for me is: ‘You build worlds that allow you to tap into your unconscious mind and expose creative and problem-solving abilities’. So this gives one answer to my challenge about games enabling creativity and problem solving.

But I wonder also whether it can help towards ‘games delivering personal change’? Does the building of new worlds or trialling new skins; the ‘what if’ modelling enable us to make a leap from our old bad habits to experience a new set of possibilities? Does it enable us to feel how a new good routine or habit would make us feel?

It’s a nice thought, but for me the game playing that succeeds is far more simple. It feels more like we trick ourselves rather than aid ourselves.

Marelisa’s post on A Guide for Creating new Habits is an excellent analysis, and one that I want to look at in more detail later in the week in terms of how her ‘profile’ of a new habit appears to have a lot of parallels with game playing

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