Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The Little Things

Get woken up by alarm. Hit snooze. Get re-woken up by alarm. Hit snooze again. Alarm goes off a third time. Reluctantly get out of bed. Make coffee. Get dressed. Drink coffee. Put on makeup. Refill on coffee. Do your hair. Get more coffee. Rush out the door. School. Work. Meetings. Squeeze in lunch. More school. More work. More meetings. Busy busy busy.

Stop. Just stop.

We as human beings complain about being busy so often, yet we seem to take some sick pride in it nonetheless. One of our most natural responses to a question is that we're busy.

"Can you hang out this weekend?"
"I don't know; I'm really busy."

"Do you have a minute to talk?"
"Not right now; I'm super busy."

"Are you remembering to breathe?"
"Not really, I'm just so busy."

Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

Why do we do this to ourselves? What is it about always being occupied that's so addictive? We get so caught up in what we need to do that we don't take the time to appreciate the minor gifts in life. When is the last time you had a real family dinner; you know, the kind where everyone sits down at the table together and catches up? Or how about the last time you and a friend just got coffee together, as in just the two of you; where you actually converse with each other instead of having your eyes glued to your mini-computers (aka life-ruiners disguised as SmartPhones) in your hand. We get so distracted by keeping up with the world that we end up missing out on the greatest moments in life. It's okay to set aside fifteen minutes--just fifteen--to do absolutely nothing.

Go outside. Read a fun book underneath a tree. Play fetch with your dog in the backyard. Take a nature walk. Pray while you hike. Enjoy the sound of the wind rustling the leaves. Watch birds fly around in the sky. Lay down in the grass, close your eyes, and just breathe. Enjoy the little things.

When you've grown old, you're not going to look back on your life and say "man, I wish I worked more." Allow yourself time to take a break; a real break. Don't check up on your twitter or facebook feeds. Don't watch stupid cat videos on youtube. Remove yourself from all of that. Take the toxins out of your life.

Just breathe. Just be.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Divergent Thinking

     Who says that you can’t have fun while learning? Typically when I think of fun and the classroom, I do not associate the two at all. In fact, they seem like two completely different concepts. However, a few weeks ago in ethics class we had a fun activity in which we had to trade out cards with other classmates. Each of the four cards in our hands represented our personality traits and--as we later found out--our dominant mode of thinking. Each person has a dominant mode of thinking, and some modes are in harmony with each other while others tend to clash and object. As there are four main modes of thinking as represented in the F.I.R.E. model (factual, insightful, rational, and evaluative), no person truly fits into just one category. 

     Each group of people which makes up the F.I.R.E. model have their own particular ways of thinking. Factual thinkers gather all information necessary to solve whatever problem is at hand, and are typically extremely honest, blunt, and sometimes impatient. They usually like to work alone, striving to get from one task to the next as efficiently as possible. Factual thinkers often have a one-track mind. In contrary, insightful thinkers are the least likely to be understood as their minds are constantly looping around in different areas, essentially coming up with different ideas. These thinkers typically work best by bouncing their ideas off of each other in groups and assist each other in problem-solving and expanding in knowledge. 

     Much like the insightful thinkers, evaluative thinkers usually excel when working in groups. Evaluative thinkers are very people-oriented and engage in constant evaluation to insure a solution which most improves life. In comparison to evaluative thinkers often making decisions based off of their emotional drive, rational thinkers think absolutely everything through and utilize their 3D perspective to come to a conclusion. They believe that it is not about who is right, but rather what is right. 

     Some people may find it very easy to determine which mode of thinking is their dominant, while others go back and forth between two, three, or even all four ways of thinking, trying to see which best suits them. For example, when I was faced with the task of determining which group I fit in best, I kept changing my mind. I ended up going with evaluative, seeing as I often make up my mind based off of how I am feeling about a person, place, thing, etc. However, during discussion which our groups, I realized that maybe I was more of an insightful thinker. I then requested to transfer over to the “insightful group,” and began my journey on finding what mode of thinker I am. 

     I eventually came to the conclusion that I am not an insightful thinker; nor am I an evaluative thinker. In contrast, I am neither a rational nor factual thinker. I am none yet I am all. In a way, I am a divergent thinker. I work well with each mode of thinking, yet cannot accomplish a task with only that one. I must utilize what I can from each category in order to come to a proper and hearty conclusion. I firmly believe that everyone works this way, some more intensely than others. One may come to the conclusion that they are a factual, insightful, rational, or evaluative thinker. However, he or she is most certainly not confined to that one particular mode.