Saturday, June 28, 2014

What's so hard about goal based thinking?

Working very hard.

What do you consider a good yardstick for hard work?
Someone who jackhammers a road for eight hours in 90 degree heat works very hard.  The man in the bucket who guided the take down of a gigantic tree in my backyard had to be super precise and also worked very, very hard.

Can thinking be considered hard work? 
Yes it can.  It is very hard work especially if you are not used to thinking and you have to call back all your sequential thinking molecules and tell them to show up in one place and stay there.

What's so hard about goal based thinking?
You know how you have to coral wayward cattle and coax and baby them into a group - and go after the strays and bring them back and then the others are veering in all directions?   That's how it is to sustain goal based thinking.  The thoughts just want to stray and you need them to stay put.

What is goal based thinking?
It is thinking that is laser focused on one outcome.  It can't flit around from "Should Rosie really go back on The View" to  "Can Facexercises really lift my neck?" and stay fixed until your mind and the goal are one and locked in an embrace.  Yep.  Locked in an embrace.

Does that happen?  I mean about your mind melding with the goal?
Yes.  At some point, that's what happens.  You get lost in what you are doing. Your mind delivers the goods you've ordered.

And why are we talking about this?
For two weeks, Amazon has attached me to the process that will result in a re-publishing of one of my books.  I received the copyeditor's marked manuscript and learned of all of the many missteps that had been embedded in my original six-hundred plus page manuscript even though it had been seriously published (and copyedited) by one of the big six.  I learned (among many things) that the timeline had some glitches, that Laurence Olivier did not play King Lear on film until 1983,  that the word camouflage was not in the language  until 1917 and that the word beatnik was first used in 1958.   Also, there were too many Georges and too many Leilas in the book.
I learned how to use Word's "Track Changes" apparatus (it made me nervous and nervouser). I also learned that my knowledge of grammar is lacking and that I should re-think changing tenses capriciously.  The that/which use debacle and the comma debacle is needlessly complicated.  No.  Really. 
I went through the entire manuscript twice, re-working, re-writing, re-checking Arabic language idioms.   There are many ways to spell tabouleh, kibbeh, sheik, megnuneh (crazy person).  Right now Spellcheck is flashing alerts.

Is there any take away good news?
If you keep it up, hard work can be addictive.  You crave it.  Little else feels as good.
As for me, I'm going to leave the computer screen today and go sit by the Atlantic Ocean. 


  1. My work is reviewed and edited by different people at differing levels of English competence. It is sometimes helpful and sometimes baffling. This language is damnably difficult.

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