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Goal in life: Create order, think lateral.
Sunday, October 21, 2007
Create order, think lateral
You may wonder why I have this posted as my goal in life. Let me break it down.
Order as I intend it here is "a condition in which each thing is properly disposed with reference to other things and to its purpose; methodical or harmonious arrangement: You must try to give order to your life." (www.dictionary.com)
Why is this my goal in life?
I just like order! When information or things are in order or structured I do not have to think about it any more. The items are there for the taking; shelved, filed, blindly retrievable whenever I need it. I, and others as well, can move on to more interesting and challenging areas of brain activity. I am lazy, it saves me trouble... I even suspect it is a driver of evolution...
By lateral thinking I mean methods of thinking concerned with changing concepts and perception. Lateral thinking is about reasoning that is not immediately obvious and about ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic (The Edward Bono definition on Wikipedia.).
Why do I use lateral thinking?
It comes naturally to me, like whistling while mowing the lawn. I am naturally obstreperous (Yes, I did look that word up in a dictionary :-). My brain is a noisy jumble of constraint resisting impulses, ideas and angles. Don't worry I have no crime record and a Master's degree, so I still manage to do life ok.
Now there is a paradox, I like order and my mind goes off in unpredictable directions to find it. Not quite orderly! But that is why I need order, so my mind can come up with unconventional angles. When I think lateral about a subject I need a solid starting point, because I do not want to get lost. I need to be able to back out of dead end streets of thinking. And dead ends you will discover frequently when you launch at random into the unknown.
To add to that, when I think lateral I can create much more interesting and often better sorts of order than using boring straightforward rationale. Simply because the angles I take are less obvious, but right.
Labels: lateral thinking, order