What is a Lifehack?

I was recently at a stress management conference and I talked about being highly focused in intention as well as being more effective and efficient as a stress management tool.

I sat waiting to get one of those on-site corporate chair massages from www.eventschairmassage.com I got into a conversation with someone who asked me, “What exactly is a lifehack?

In reality, a lifehack is nothing more than a game. Usually, the earliest children’s games involve building sand castles at the beach, playing with invisible friends, or playing games like tag rock, paper scissors, or hopscotch.  “‘Traditional’ games”,  have, “not only failed to disappear but have evolved into new versions.”

 

As children’s games have become more sophisticated they help children learn by example from other children, and can be played without reference to written rules. These games are usually played by children between the ages of 7 and 12, with some latitude on both ends of the age range. These games have been passed from child to child, generation to generation, and informally by word of mouth.  Most interactive children’s games include at least two of the following six features in different proportion: physical skill, strategy, chance, repetition of patterns, creativity, and vertigo.

Examples of some of the most popular children’s games include apple bobbing, playing “catch” with a ball, Jumping Ropes, Kick the Can, Marbles, Leap frog, and many new video games for young children.

At a particular point in our mental, emotional and physical development we begin to express the need to compete. Competition is, in general, a contest or rivalry between two or more organisms, animals, individuals, economic groups or social groups, etc.  Soon after we learn to play games we learn about puzzles. We may begin with simple games like Candy Land and simple jigsaw picture puzzles. (ExPLain) and eventually move on to games like tic-tac toe, Monopoly and chess.

 

Some of these games involve just two players while others involve multiple players and even teams. It doesn’t take long before we realize that in some games everyone wins and in others, there are also losers.

In just a few years after we make this discovery, one of the cruel realities of life takes place.  Our parents may tell us that “it is time to stop playing games and get serious about life.” This is most unfortunate since it would have been better to simply have us continue playing games and becoming more skilled at strategizing when we played these games. Many of us move on in life getting jobs we do not love, working under incompetent management in layered corporate hierarchies. Often we are prisoners in a “life game” from which there seems no way to win.

We are trapped in the game of life even as we ironically continue to root for sports teams, play poker, watch Poker Championships and join On-line Fantasy Leagues. We go on vacations to Las Vegas and throw our money away on games of chance when if we knew how to apply game thinking we could win millions of dollars in a day.

 

Given that we live in highly complex social environments, many of our most important decisions are made in the context of social interactions. Simple but sophisticated tasks from a branch of experimental economics known as game theory have been used to study social decision-making in the laboratory setting, and a variety of neuroscience methods have been used to probe the underlying neural systems. This approach is informing our knowledge of the neural mechanisms that support decisions about trust, reciprocity, altruism, fairness, revenge, social punishment, social norm conformity, social learning, and competition. Neural systems involved in reward and reinforcement, pain and punishment, mentalizing, delaying gratification, and emotion regulation are commonly recruited for social decisions. This review also highlights the role of the prefrontal cortex in prudent social decision-making, at least when social environments are relatively stable. In addition, recent progress has been made in understanding the neural bases of individual variation in social decision-making.

Lifehack!  In the end you will save, money, save time and create greater happiness.

 

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This was an extract from my notes on lifehacking. For a book on the subject I suggest:

“How to Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking” By Lewis Harrison. The book  contains  over 400 high and low-fi hacks.

 

 

– Available as at:

 

http://www.realuguru.com/products/ebooks/how-to-hack-your-life-through-game-thinking/

 

The Softcover version is available at:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/how-to-hack-your-life-through-game-thinking-softcover-edition/

Learn more about all of lewis harrison’s educational materials at: www.RealUGuru.com

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Lewis Harrison – The RealUGuru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving, troubleshooting and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and systematic thrift.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.

  

Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc….

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books contact him for personal coaching and mentoring. Learn more at:

 

http://www.realuguru.com/mentoring/

You can find books on game theory, and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

This blog is supported by a grant from Events Chair Massage (www.eventschairmassage.com). This is a company offering Anti-Stress hacks.  This NYC Chair massage company offers Corporate chair massage to meeting planners, event planners, association meetings and trade shows. He also offers these stress management and onsite massage services in NYC at trade shows, and  at the Javits Convention Center,  Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, Greensboro, Columbus Ohio and many other cities across the United States through www.NoStressSpeaker.com.

Tips on Travel Insurance and Airport Chair Massage

There are 4 primary reasons to become a Master lifehacker

  1. To save money
  2. To be more effective
  3. To be more efficient
  4. To be more productive.

 

Sometimes one can be what is called “penny wise and pound foolish”,  ultimately spending much more money in the long run while saving money in the short run.

One of the areas this happens most often is with traveler’s that do not buy travel insurance. Travel insurance is important because you never know when illness or something unexpected will cause you to cancel a trip.

 

Travel insurance is insurance that is intended to cover medical expenses, trip cancellation, lost luggage, flight accident and other losses incurred while traveling, either internationally or domestically.

Travel insurance can usually be arranged at the time of the booking of a trip to cover exactly the duration of that trip, or a “multi-trip” policy can cover an unlimited number of trips within a set time frame. Some policies offer lower and higher medical expense options; the higher ones are chiefly for countries that have high medical costs, such as the United States.

 

What can Travel Insurance Cover?

The most common risks that are covered by travel insurance plans are:

  • Medical treatment, including transportation to the medical facility.
  • Cancellation, curtailment and trip interruption

This section covers any unused travel and or accommodation costs, pre-paid charges (including any additional travel expenses incurred, provided they are deemed reasonable and necessary) if a trip is canceled or cut short under a variety of circumstances, which may include any of the following, depending on the policy:

  • death, bodily injury, illness, disease, or pregnancy complications.
  • an official advisory against going to or remaining at the intended destination
  • jury service
  • being called as a witness
  • termination of employment (provided you did not know about it before you booked the holiday).
  • officially recommended evacuation from the intended destination
  • being called up if you are a member of the armed forces or other public defense or safety organization
  • prohibition of travel by the government to the intended destination
  • Lost, stolen or damaged baggage, personal effects or travel documents
  • compulsory quarantine
  • death or serious illness of a family member (subject to age restrictions).
  • Repatriation of remains
  • Overseas funeral expenses
  • Return of a minor
  • Hijacking
  • Trip cancellation
  • Trip interruption
  • Visitor health insurance
  • Accidental deathinjury or disablement benefit
  • Delayed baggage (and emergency replacement of essential items)
  • Flight connection was missed due to airline rescheduling or delay.
  • Travel delays due to weather

Keep in mind that medical expense coverage can be per-occurrence or maximum limit.

Optional Coverage: Some travel policies will also provide cover for additional costs, although these vary widely between providers.

In addition, often separate insurance can be purchased for specific costs such as:

 

Common exclusions Found in Most Travel Insurance

  • Pre-existing medical conditions, or traveling for the purpose of receiving medical treatment.
  • Terrorism – Most trip cancellation policies include terrorism but only when there is an act of terrorism that meets the policy’s criteria including definition, place of occurrence and date of occurrence.
  • Elective surgery or treatment
  • Injury or illness caused by alcohol, drug use, or reckless behavior.
  • War

Travel insurance can also provide helpful services, often 24 hours a day, 7 days a week that can include concierge services and emergency travel assistance. Pre-existing medical conditions must be declared prior to the trip start date. In case you ignore this requirement and fall ill during your trip abroad, you may find that you are not covered. The European Health Insurance Card (EHIC) entitles to treatment in state-run hospitals in EU countries and Iceland, Norway, Liechtenstein and Switzerland but it is not a substitute for travel insurance.

One unique form of metaphorical insurance against airport and flight stress is chair massage. Every airport is likely to have a kiosk offering seated massage and on-site massage.

You can learn more about from The National Chair Massage Network – www.eventschairmassage.com

 

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If you enjoyed this blog you will love this book.

Order it by clicking below.

Get 100s of Lifehack tips, shortcuts and strategies in my new Ebook.

http://www.realuguru.com/products/ebooks/how-to-hack-your-life-through-game-thinking/

 

The Softcover version is available at:

How To Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking Softcover Edition

 

 

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Lewis Harrison – RealUGuru, is a master lifehacker, writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem-solving and strategizing based on game thinking, applied game theory, and Game Thinking.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.

  

Don’t forget to tune to the RealUGuru Radio show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including a presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books.

You can find books on game theory and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

Today’s stress management blog is supported by a grant from Events  Chair Massage –www.EventschairMasssage.com –  a company that offers Corporate Chair Massage and Stress Management Services to meeting planners, event planners, party planners and HR for Trade show booths throughout the United States.

 

What is Murphy’s Law and How Can You Lifehack It?

 

What is Murphy’s Law and How Can You Lifehack It?

In my corporate stress management business  – www.EventsChairMassage.com – We are always dealing with small challenges that can grown into big problems. This is what Murphy’s law means to us.

 

People often use the term “Murphy’s Law” someone flippantly. More often than not it is an excuse for someone who is a lazy thinker or who is in the clutches of some form of cognitive bias.

To be specific, Murphy’s law is an adage or epigram that is typically stated as: Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong.

It is a way of describing the perceived perversity of the universe.

The concept is as old as humanity and can be used specifically to increase or decrease effectiveness, efficiency, and productivity depending on the view and perspective of the individual applying the concept.

 

Before the term “Murphy’s Law even came into usage there was a version of the law, not yet generalized or bearing that name, in a report by Alfred Holt at an 1877 meeting of an engineering society.

Relating the concept to engineering the report promoted the concept that anything that can go wrong at sea generally does go wrong sooner or later, so it is not to be wondered that owners prefer the safe to the scientific …. Sufficient stress can hardly be laid on the advantages of simplicity. The human factor cannot be safely neglected in planning machinery. If attention is to be obtained, the engine must be such that the engineer will be disposed to attend to it.

Mathematician Augustus De Morgan wrote on June 23, 1866:  “The first experiment already illustrates a truth of the theory, well confirmed by practice, what-ever can happen will happen if we make trials enough.

 

This concept appears in many different areas of life. For example, the British stage magician Nevil Maskelyne wrote in 1908:

“It is an experience common to all men to find that, on any special occasion, such as the production of a magical effect for the first time in public, everything that can go wrong will go wrong. Whether we must attribute this to the malignity of matter or to the total depravity of inanimate things, whether the exciting cause is hurry, worry, or what not, the fact remains.

In 1948, humorist Paul Jennings coined the term resistentialism, a jocular play on resistance and existentialism, to describe “seemingly spiteful behavior manifested by inanimate objects”, where objects that cause problems (like lost keys or a runaway bouncy ball) are said to exhibit a high degree of malice toward humans.

The contemporary form of Murphy’s law goes back as far as 1952, as an epigraph to a mountaineering book by John Sack, who described it as an “ancient mountaineering adage”:

Anything that can possibly go wrong, does.

Fred R. Shapiro, the editor of the Yale Book of Quotations, has shown that in 1952 the adage was called “Murphy’s law” in a book by Anne Roe, quoting an unnamed physicist: he described [it] as “Murphy’s law or the fourth law of thermodynamics” (actually there were only three last I heard) which states: “If anything can go wrong, it will.”

Ultimately, the person with an interest in becoming more effective, efficient and productive and who know how to use game Theory and game based models can both reduce the likelihood Murphy’s Law taking place sooner rather than later and may even predict when it is likely to take place.

 

This fine article explores how to use Murphy’s Law to prosper in all areas of your life.

 

https://qz.com/984181/murphys-law-is-totally-misunderstood-and-is-in-fact-a-call-to-excellence/

Always Lifehack!  In the end you will save, money, save time and create greater happiness.

 

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This was an extract from my notes on lifehacking. For a book on the subject I suggest:

“How to Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking” By Lewis Harrison. The book  contains  over 400 high and low-fi hacks.

 

 

 

 

– Available as an ebook at:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/ebooks/how-to-hack-your-life-through-game-thinking/

The Softcover version is available at:

How To Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking Softcover Edition

Learn more about all of lewis harrison’s educational materials at: www.RealUGuru.com

oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Lewis Harrison – The RealUGuru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving, troubleshooting and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and systematic thrift.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.

  

Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc….

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books contact him for personal coaching and mentoring. Learn more at:

http://www.realuguru.com/mentoring/

You can find books on game theory, and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

This blog is supported by a grant from Events Chair Massage (www.eventschairmassage.com). This is a company offering Anti-Stress hacks through his company which offers Corporate chair massage to meeting planners, event planners, association meetings and trade shows. He also offers these stress management and onsite massage services in NYC, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, Greensboro, Columbus Ohio and many other cities across the United States through www.NoStressSpeaker.com.

 

Corporate Chair Massage and Worse Case-Scenarios

Much of my work in Stress management work in NYC involves corporate chair massage, also known as onsite massage of seated massage.

Many companies create holistic and wellness fairs to educate their employees and give them more skills for effective decision making. Any type of mobile massage can provide that positive edge that increases productivity and reduces absenteeism because physical health influences mental clarity and corporate chair massage is an effective approach to ending the spiral of stress  though merging the mind and body.

 

 

This work is especially useful for those dealing with worse-case scenarios.

A worst-case scenario is a concept in risk management wherein the planner, in planning for potential disasters, considers the most severe possible outcome that can reasonably be projected to occur in a given situation. Conceiving of worst-case scenarios is a common form of strategic planning, specifically scenario planning, to prepare for and minimize contingencies that could result in accidentsquality problems, or other issues.

The worst-case scenario is “one of the most commonly used alternative scenarios”. A risk manager may request “a conservative risk estimate representing a worst-case scenario” in order to determine the latitude they may exercise in planning steps to reduce risks. Generally, a worst-case scenario “is settled upon by agreeing that a given worst case is bad enough. However, it is important to recognize that no worst-case scenario is truly without potential nasty surprises”.  In other words, “[a] “worst-case scenario” is never the worst case”, both because situations may arise that no planner could reasonably foresee  and because a given worst-case scenario is likely to consider only contingencies expected to arise in connection with a particular disaster. The worst-case scenario devised by a seismologist might be a particularly bad earthquake, and the worst-case scenario devised by a meteorologist might be a particularly bad hurricane, but it is unlikely that either of them will devise a scenario where a particularly bad storm occurs at the same time as a particularly bad earthquake.

The definition of a worst-case scenario varies by the field to which it is being applied. For example, in environmental engineering“, “[a] worst-case scenario is defined as the release of the largest quantity of a regulated substance from a single vessel or process line failure that results in the greatest distance to an endpoint”. In this field, “[a]s in other fields, the worst-case scenario is a useful device when low probability events may result in a catastrophe that must be avoided even at great cost, but in most health risk assessments, a worst-case scenario is essentially a type of bounding estimate”. In computer science, the best, worst, and average case of a given algorithm express what the resource usage is at least, at most and on average, respectively. For many individuals, a worst case scenario is one that would result in their own death.

The story below is an example of a worst case scenario where clear thinking saved a life in a worst case scenario.

 

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-39646386

 

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This blog is an extract from one of my Lifehack and game thinking books.

 

Get 100s of Lifehack tips, shortcuts and strategies in my new Ebook.

http://www.realuguru.com/products/ebooks/how-to-hack-your-life-through-game-thinking/

 

The Softcover version is available at:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/how-to-hack-your-life-through-game-thinking-softcover-edition/

 

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Lewis Harrison – The Lifehack Guru (also known as the RealUGuru), is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving, troubleshooting and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and Game Thinking.

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages including

How to Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking

 

  

Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books.

You can find books on game theory, and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

Find new hacks daily the Lifehack Guru’s Blog at www.TheLifeHackGuru

 

If you own a company consider our stress management lifehacks.  Lewis Harrison’s company www.eventschairmassage.com offers Corporate chair massage to meeting planners, event planners, association meetings and trade shows. He also offers these stress management and onsite massage services in NYC, Los Angeles, Las Vegas, Chicago, Dallas, Greensboro, Columbus Ohio and many other cities across the United States through www.NoStressSpeaker.com.

 

Big Data, Game Theory and Lifehacking

In order to become a successful lifehacker you have to merge hack thinking with Applied Game Thinking.

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A lifehack is an old concept refitted with a new name – a strategy or technique adopted in order to manage one’s time and daily activities in a more efficient way. Essentially it is a merging of systematic thrift and frugality merged with time management and priority planning. Each hack is like a chess moves towards solving a problem.

 

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Applied Game Thinking, is a system of strategizing to maximize one’s potential at the lowest possible cost. These game strategies are often created as a response to a competitive situation where a “player” in the game of life is faced with complex challenges, problems, obstacles and constraints (CPOC) Applied Game Thinking is a strongly influenced and loosely applied take on Game Theory which has garnered researchers over a dozen Noble Prizes. When you are able to merge lifehacks with applied game thinking as a foundation you will be able to troubleshoot virtually any challenge.

   In the end you will save, money, save time and create greater happiness.

 

Here is a ”Big Data” Hack:

 

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The more effective you are at gathering information and trading it for non-cash resources like influence, or time,  the less cash you need to spend in order to get the things you need. The hack here is to create and apply a simple but effective system for gathering, organizing, and using information – essentially asking the right questions, of the right people at the right time!

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This was an extract from the book

“How to Hack Your Life Through Game Thinking” By Lewis Harrison. The book  contains  over 400 high and low-fi hacks.

– Available as an Ebook on February 7, 2017

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Ask Lewis

Lewis Harrison – The Lifehack Guru, is a writer, mentor, success and wealth coach, content-rich, motivational speaker, and an entrepreneur specializing in problem solving, troubleshooting and strategizing  based on game thinking, applied game theory and systematic thrift. He is the owner of the Stress mamangement and Chair massage company in NYC – www.eventschairmassage.com

He is the author of over twenty-two books published in five languages.

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Don’t forget to tune to the “Life Hack Guru Radio Show every Thursday 4-6 PM EST  at WIOX 91.3 FM or on your smart device at WIOXRadio.org.

WIOX is a diverse station that broadcasts original programming including presentation from NPR, the BBC, Democracy Now etc.

If you are interested in business success in the 21st Century in the arts or in any other endeavor you need to read Lewis’ recently published business books contact him for personal coaching and mentoring. Learn more at:

Coaching and Studying with Lewis

You can find books on game theory, and business success here:

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/building-your-business-in-the-new-digital-reality/

http://www.realuguru.com/products/printed-books/gamification-for-business/

This course and all the offerings on www.RealUGuru.com  focus on the application of applied game thinking, gamification, decision science, positive psychology, happiness,  and visionary thinking to solve basic, complex and extreme problems. He is the creator of a free course on business success and human potential.

Here is a short interview with Lewis;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

Zen, Business Success and Stress Management

 Zen is a practice that deals with the concept of deep awareness and wisdom  through intuition during meditation, and the application of all this in daily life including in business success

Zen defies definition. It is a philosophy of non-philosophy, an intellectually guided practice of anti-intellectualism, and the un-measurable science of non-being. The practice of Zen is the pursuit of various techniques, chiefly Zazen meditation and the study of kōan, which are designed to confound the logical, rational mind in order to trigger or shock the mind into experiencing states of enlightened awareness.

 

It is rooted in the most profound elements of intuition and life itself, and the facts of unfettered experience. It transcends the dogmas of traditional religious rites and rituals and focuses on cutting through the veil of the unfocused mind to the core, inherent nature of man.

 

Many Westerners are confused by Zen for they assume it is a religion but this is not so. According to the greatly respected Zen Master D.T. Suzuki “It is not a religion in the sense that the term is popularly understood; for Zen has no God to worship, no ceremonial rites to observe, no future abode to which the dead are destined, and, last of all, Zen has no soul whose welfare is to be looked after by somebody else…

 

The attraction of Zen to the spiritual seeker is because it is chiefly concerned with the concept of ‘being’. In the West “Being” has usually been the concern of science, mathematics, and  defining and measuring the tangible world around us in order to create a universal model of reality.  Zen is born out the eastern idea of ‘non- being’, which is best understood as the negation of absolute definitions, and eschews attachment to the world of measurement and form in favor of a practice of non-attachment. It is a pure experience of the world than is expressed often through different systems of philosophy, ethics and esthetics in the eastern world.

 

We were recently offering a seminar on stress management at the Catskills Bed and Breakfast  – www.TheCatskillsbedandBreakfast.com – in Stamford NY. During the breakout sessions we offered stress management seminars that including creative visualization, spirituality in business and onsite chair massage

The question came up. What is Zen?

There is no simple answer to what Zen is? What is known is that its practice leads to a state of knowing that is authentic, unfettered, and expresses one’s actualization. In this state of awareness one has less stress, less anxiety, less greed, and less concern for the mistakes of the past or expectations for the future.

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Click below to observe a nine minute video interview Lewis  did with the Award winning journalist Phyllis Haynes on why  people suffer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zp4DtXpPBeM

 

 

Lewis Harrison is the author of sixteen books including

 

Ask Lewis

“Spiritual, Not Religious: Sacred Tools for Modern Times” a book of  concerned with personal development, human potential, stress reduction and business excellence.

 

 

 

 

Order his book by clicking below:

http://www.amazon.com/Spiritual-Not-Religious-Sacred-AskLewis-com/dp/1499150547

 

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Or type these words on you search engine subject line “spiritual not religious Harrison amazon”

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You can reach him at LewisCoaches@gmail.com

Lewis offers stress management programs throughout the United  States. Part of this company is  his corporate chair massage company, eventschairmassage.com provides seated and chair massage for stress management seminars and trainings as well to special events for  meeting planners and meeting professionals in New York City, New Jersey Las Vegas, Los Angeles, Cleveland, Greensboro NC, Florida and other major meeting and conventions venues.

 

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If you are a social networker please “Friend” me, Lewis Harrison on face book “Like”  my page at “https://www.facebook.com/AskLewis/” and invite others who might benefit.

 

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Lewis Harrison speaks to organizations and businesses of all types and offers seminars throughout the world on his work on the art and science of decision making through spiritually motivated  “Game Based Thinking”

 

He also offers private fee based coaching programs. 

Call him at 212-724-8782 for more information.

 

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How To Solve Complex Problems?

Thanks for visiting The Harrison Center for Personal Development. The site is focused on how to improve people’s live through the creation of problems solving skills and decision science. Please explore our website and our many blog posts. Each page has something different to offer  the creative thinker who has a passion for ideas.  There are some ideas presented here that might be new to you and which may inspire your creativity.

Today’s blog l addresses the problem of intellectual elitism and arrogance In my work in applied game theory and problem solving I am often accused by academics of presenting complex ideas in excessively superficial and simplistic ways and  by my blog readers as presenting idea that are too hard to understand.

I am often asked when I teach seminars on Problem Solving how the type of coaching I offer is any different from what any life coach might offer.

There is a difference and it has to do with patterns. Most of us see problems or obstacles as “something” that is in our way or challenging. There is more to it than just this. I have learned that each problem has a pattern, a recurring theme of events or objects inherent in it. My experience over the years has taught me that exploring and learning to recognize these often subtle patterns can help one to solve complex problems.  The elements of a pattern will repeat in a predictable manner. Much of my work is based on the theories of architect Christopher Alexander. He calls his theory Pattern language.

Here is a segment of the Q & A session in one of my recent seminars on Applied Game Theory. You can read the rest of the session on today’s blog at www.HowToSolveAnyProblem.com.

Q & A. on Pattern Language:

Q. Does the application of pattern language require great skill or training?

A. Advocates of this design approach claim that ordinary people of ordinary intelligence can use it to successfully solve very large, complex design problems.

Q. Why is it called a “pattern language”?

A. Like all languages, a pattern language has vocabularysyntax, and grammar. Unlike most languages pattern language can be  applied to the solving complex problems that are not related with communication.

Q. How do can an understanding of patterns and pattern language help us to solve problems?

A. When a skilled individual is designing something (whether it is a house or a computer program or a lamp), he/she must make many decisions about how to solve problems that will arise organically in the designing process.   By understanding patterns they can document a single problem with its typical place (the syntax), and use (the grammar) with the most common and recognized good solution. One can create a type of dictionary of these patterns. Each such entry is a single design pattern. Each pattern has a name, a descriptive entry, and some cross-references, much like a regular dictionary of words would. entry. A documented pattern should explain why that solution is good in the pattern’s contexts.

Q. Is there one best type of pattern language?

A. No However any pattern language has something in common with any spoken language, it has grammatical and semantic relationships. In order to make a an effectively communicated spoken language the patterns in the language must be related to each other. Patterns in problem structures are the same.

Q. Can you explain Christopher Alexander’s work in this area?

LEWIS:  He focuses on design problems but his approach can be applied to many problems especially related to “synergy”.

Q. What is synergy?

LEWIS: The interaction or cooperation of two or more organizations, substances, or other agents to produce a combined effect greater than the sum of their separate effects. An example of a positive synergy would be when a large organization buys or absorbs a smaller company or organization and offers the smaller entity compensation in the form of future profits for benefits from the larger entity. This helps both groups achieve what they desire. Another example of synergy is seen when one two individuals have different strengths and weakness and each enables the other to achieve benefits they could not achieve alone.

It is the ability to understand how synergy works that gives one the key to solving complex problems.

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Lewis Harrison is the founder and director of the Harrison Center for Personal Development. He is a radio talk show host, speaker, consultant, practical philosopher and Contemporary Spiritual Teacher. Lewis is a pioneer in the personal development movement The author of nine self help books on human potential he offers a monthly retreat/seminar “How to Solve Any Problem”.  He also and phone based coaching.   This blog is explored more fully through Lewis’ E-book “Everything You Need To Know About Solving Any Problem”. It is available for $7.00 and can be ordered directly from Lewis by calling him at 212-724-8782.

Listen to Lewis on the radio on his show “That Was Zen, This is Tao” Wednesday and Thursday 4-6 PM

Lewis speaks to companies and other organizations on stress management

Lewis also offers phone-based and on-line life coaching services and a monthly workshop/Retreat – a simple program for decision making based on Game Theory, the idea expanded on by John Nash, the Nobel Prize winning subject of the biopick “A Beautiful Mind”.

A Woody Allen Joke About Marriage

 

Game Theory based strategies deal not with mathematics  alone but with the idea that human often act irrationally

Thanksgiving is a time of family etc. My wife and I were watching  a movie about marriage and ruminating on why some couples stay together and others  get divorced?

Here is funny story, maybe a Zen Koan for you about marriage:

 

“A man goes to a psychiatrist and explains that his wife is insane.

“Maybe she is a bit eccentric” replies the psychiatrist. “You can learn to adjust to her behavior, after all marriage is compromise”.

“No” replies the man. “She is really crazy”

“What makes you so sure that she is crazy?” asks the psychiatrist

“She thinks she’s a chicken” Replies the man

“What?”

“She thinks she’s a chicken”

“What makes you think, that she thinks she is a chicken?” Asks the Psychiatrist

“Well she acts like a chicken”!

“I don’t understand” Replies the psychiatrist

The man explains. “Every morning she wakes up and starts to make clucking noises. Then she bends over and starts to peck at the floor like she is eating seeds. Then she waves her arms up and down like a chicken does.”

“Wow” say the psychiatrist, “Your wife really does think she is a chicken”.

“That’s what I told you” replies the man.

“Why do you stay married to her”? Asked the psychiatrist

The man responded instantly, without any thought or sense of irony. “Because I need the eggs!”

 

 

Specialized Language in Applied Game Theory

To apply Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory is essential that you change your way of thinking, and acting. This can easily be done by changing the words you think, and speak. In other words you must choose and use words carefully. I call this “Specialized Language.”  One might describe Specialized Language as a specifically defined and rigidly applied organization of words and non-verbal cues communicating detailed specific ideas in a highly defined specialized way.

In doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner at strategizing or a PhD who understands Chomsky and Wittgenstein by heart. In order to effectively and efficiently solve problems you must have an understanding of how the use of words creates problems and also solves them.

Here you can explore my glossary of Specialized Words and Terms.

It will be very helpful for you to understand the problem solving process if you read the following Q & A session I conducted with my students on Specialized Language.

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A Conversation on Specialized Language

STUDENT: Specialized language seems such a limiting and oppressive way to use language?

LEWIS: It can be if you do not have a purpose in using specialized language.

STUDENT: What specialized groups require this type of specificity in language?

LEWIS: A short list would include cowboys, boxers, neuroscientists, chefs, advertising executives, investment advisors, soldiers, prostitutes, philanthropists, prison wardens and artists.

STUDENT: So virtually any group that has boundaries, rules, codes, systems etc. will have a specialized language?

LEWIS: Yes.   The more specialized the group, the greater the specialization in the meaning of the words.  Also, the culture is more sophisticated. This is especially so in technology, specialized professions and the arts.

STUDENT: Are language and culture directly dependent on one?

LEWIS: Probably not.  There are groups with widely different cultures that share a common language. Think of the English speakers of Australia, South Africa, Singapore, India, Guyana, England and Ireland.

STUDENT: Of course, there are speakers of completely unrelated languages that share similar cultural traits?

LEWIS: Yes. I remember a recent Christmas in New York City where I saw two families one Hindu and another Muslim family buying Santa Claus outfits, Christmas trees etc. Different religions, different cultural backgrounds sharing the “secular” Christmas spirit.

STUDENT:  Would it be accurate to say that the form of a language determines specific cultural traits including in the arts?

LEWIS: Yes but who can definitively state which traits are determined by language?

STUDENT: Speak more about specialized language and the arts?

LEWIS:  The arts are unique in that here you will often find a specialized language that transcends the limitations of words.   Art is an act of expressing our feelings, thoughts, and observations. (See A Conversation on Art). We may achieve a deep understanding of something or the message conveyed in something by seeing, hearing, touching it, or interacting with it in some unique way. This non-verbal communication can facilitate thought processes within us opening the door to new realms of experience including altered states of consciousness beyond what words can express.  (See A Conversation on Altered States of Consciousness).

STUDENT: So art is a language?

LEWIS: Yes.  It is also a mystical language. Art can connote a trained ability or mastery of a media or art’s medium. Art is the language allowing us to express our feelings, thoughts, and observations. There is an understanding with the material as a result of handling it which can facilitates one’s thought processes. In a sense, the experiencing and creation of art, often a non-verbal medium can empower us to listen better and communicate effectively with or without words.

STUDENT: Can the specific use of language and words become a transformational process unto itself?

LEWIS: Absolutely. Think of the power of great literature to evoke thought and feelings. Think of the impact that the sacred texts of the major religions have on the world such as the Bible, the Koran, the Bhagavad-Gita, The Dhamapada, and The Guru Granth Sahib.

The intention of applying language in this way opens us to unique ideas and processes that might never have occurred to us.

STUDENT:  Please give examples of ideas and processes.

LEWIS: We often use one word in place of another. We call such words synonyms, There are even specialized dictionaries of synonyms. Consider this; there is no such thing as a true synonym, a word with an identical or exact meaning to another word. You see, though many words might seem to mean the same thing, the fact is that every word has three specific characteristics:

1. Frequency of use in common usage

2. Who uses it and how (distribution)

3. Connotation (what is being insinuated or implied by the word usage).

STUDENT:  So though technically the word manure, pooh, feces and shit all mean the same, they are actually quite different?

LEWIS: That is correct.  In common usage this might not mean all that much but when you are exploring the nature of reality and illusion (See a Conversation on Reality Games), the subtle distinction between what one word means and what another means can be great. This is in part how Zen Koans function.

STUDENT: The study of words, language and communication has so many layers. It could easily become overwhelming.

LEWIS: I can discuss these ideas about words and language for days. I am not going to do this.  The key is that some forms of language and communication naturally create a psychological environment of possibility while other forms, including the ones, I have just described tend to limit possibility and even reinforce existing obstacles.

STUDENT: Why is specialized language important?

LEWIS: Specialized language is a natural solution to a basic problem – that the meanings of words are, for the most part arbitrary. The meaning of any word is a matter of convention.

STUDENT: So any object may be referred to using a variety of words and any word can have many meanings?

LEWIS: Yes. The meaning of a word describes a particular object depends on the intention of the speaker, the ability of the listener to evaluate effectively and the context in which the word is used.

STUDENT: How does a person develop specialized language skills?

LEWIS: There are three key elements:

1. The ability to recognize and understand the meaning of a particular symbol.

2. Effective communication skills (conveying information as well as listening and hearing effectively).

3. The ability to learn through imitation (modeling and matching)

STUDENT:  So the extraordinary person will almost always used specialized language?

LEWIS: In a specialized group? Yes! It is specialized language that enables a person to use more advanced and specialized tools to do what needs to be done.

STUDENT: So almost any system which describes a language process can also be used to describe tool-making.

LEWIS: Yes. This is because language really is a type of tool.  Virtually all tools have rigid rules about the serialization of unit activities (in language this would mean the grammar and syntax).  Both are hierarchical systems (in language this means motor activity).  Each produces arbitrary structure which eventually becomes a short term or permanent element of an environment.

STUDENT:  Is there a way I can use specialized language to heal emotional trauma or damage?

LEWIS: There are a number of approaches. One of the most interesting is known as “Clean Language”. This is a questioning technique developed by David Grove in the 1980s.  It  involves the optimization of language so the client discovers and develops specialized personal symbols and metaphors for the emotional healing process. This technique has become popular with some psychotherapists and Life Coaches.  Grove found that his clients used metaphorical language to describe trauma.  When he enquired about the ways that his clients used language to express these metaphors, their perception of the trauma changed.  Clean Language integrates four general elements of communication in a specialized way:

1.      syntax

2.      wording

3.      vocal qualities

4.      nonverbal communications

Clean Language has since been expanded upon by others including James Lawley and Penny Tompkins who created a system called “symbolic modeling”.

STUDENT: What is the connection between culture and language?

LEWIS: As far back as the Ancient Greeks, there was a distinction between civilized peoples and barbarous peoples based on differences in language. Different schools of thought give language a greater or lesser role in the creation of culture. Many of the German romanticists of the 19th century considered language more than just one cultural trait among many.  Language was considered the direct expression of a civilization’s national identity. Franz Boas, considered by many to be the father of American Anthropology, believed vehemently that that the shared language of a community is the most essential carrier of its common culture. (See the Conversation on Culture).

STUDENT:  The very structure of Linguistic and Cultural systems seems to be quite similar?

LEWIS: They are.  Both language and culture are essential to health communities and to relationships based upon reciprocal altruism (See the Conversation on Reciprocal Altruism).  This is because they consist of ways to do things that are constructed and perpetuated through social interactions. A child for example acquires language and basic cultural norms of society by interacting with knowledgeable peers and members of his or her cultural group.

STUDENT: Where can I explore specialized language as a means to analyze a culture?

LEWIS: A good place to begin is by familiarizing yourself with the “structural theories” of Ferdinand de Saussure.

STUDENT: What is unique about de Saussure’s idea?

LEWIS: He describes symbolic systems such as a language as consisting of signs.  This is the pairing of a particular form such as letters, words or symbols with a particular meaning..  This idea has become very influential in the academic study of culture.

STUDENT: How can I learn more about the different ways that languages can be used and how speech can vary in different communities, cultures and groups?

LEWIS: Sociolinguists, Ethno Linguists and Linguistic Anthropologists  specialize in studying ways of speaking vary between communities.

STUDENT: It seems that the field of specialized language can get very complex?

LEWIS: Specialized language is a term specific to the Harrison Mentoring Process. Certainly you may hear the term used in specific fields like tennis, neurology or oil well-drilling. Each specific area has its own language where common words take on new meanings. In the study of language or linguistics, there are many categories and unique subfields.

STUDENT: What would be an example of a subfield of linguistics?

LEWIS: Pragmatics. This is a subfield of linguistics which studies the ways in which context contributes to meaning.

STUDENT: What is included in the study of Pragmatics?

LEWIS: Pragmatics encompasses conversational implicature, speech act theory,  talk in interaction and other approaches to language behavior in linguistics, sociology, and philosophy.

STUDENT:  These areas of study cover a lot of territory. Can you be more specific?

LEWIS: Pragmatics studies how the transmission of meaning depends on knowledge about the status of those involved and the linguistic knowledge (e.g. grammar, lexicon etc.) of the speaker and listener as well as the inferred intent of the speaker, the context of the utterance, and many other factors.

STUDENT: If I choose to explore specialized ideas about language where do you suggest I begin?

LEWIS: Speech act theory is very interesting. This is a good place to start a deeper exploration.

STUDENT: Do you have any final thoughts on specialized language?

LEWIS: The extraordinary person, the genius, the polymath and the visionary require specialized language.

The ability to use specialized language in the appropriate place and time is essential for creating effective and efficient game based strategies that will assist you in  living your best possible life.

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The Glossary of Specialized Words and Terms for Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory

A:

Activism: The use of direct, and at times confrontational, action in opposition to or support of a cause

Actualized Intention: At the moment I am ready, willing and able to act on a vision, it takes place spontaneously without discipline or willpower.

Algorhythm: A highly effective, sequential approach to problem solving. In an algorhythm there is usually a list of well-defined instructions for completing a specific task or solving a specific problem. The process will usually begin with an initial statement (state) or variable, and proceed through a well: defined series of successive states (steps), eventually ending with a solution to the problem (terminating in an end: state). Algorhythms are often used for calculation and data processing.

Altered State of Consciousness (ASC): A temporary state of mind where an individual has a heightened sense of awareness of both internal and external information not ordinarily available.

Altruism: A behavior in which one organism provides a benefit to another without expecting any payment or compensation

Ant colony optimization: A mathematical technique (algorithm) for solving various general or specific, complex or extreme problems based on the behavior that ants display when searching for food.

Art: Various expressions of human creative skill and activity or a work expressing this.  The most common expression of art are concerned with the production of imaginative designs, sounds, movements, rhythmic language as might be found in painting, sculpture, dance, singing, photography, filmmaking, theater etc.

Artificial Intelligence: The theory and development of computer systems able to perform tasks that normally require human intelligence, such as visual perception, speech recognition, decision-making, and translation between languages.

Assessment: A data gathering tool, often but not always in the form of a questionnaire, which helps us or helps a trained professional to isolate key information about how we think, feel, behave or function.

B:

Barter: The voluntary trading of one thing for another.

Barter able goods and services: Anything, other than cash, that is widely used for making payments and accounting for debts and credits.

Belief Based Obstacle (BBOs): An idea or concept which is accepted as truth, fact or reality by an individual or group which may not be supportable by any logical evidence.

Best Practice: A method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved with other means, and that is used as a benchmark.

Biological system (or Organ system): Is a group of organs that work together to perform a certain task.  Common systems, such as those present in mammals and other animals, seen in human anatomyare those such as the circulatory system, the respiratory system, the nervous system, etc.

Biophilia Hypothesis: “Biophilia” literally means “love of life or living systems.”  The term is commonly used to mean that there is an instinctive bond between human beings and other living systems

Black Swan: What happens when something seemingly irrational, improbable, and unexpected and takes place that has substantial consequences.

Black swan events: A metaphor developed by Nassim Nicholas Taleb that describes an event that comes as a surprise, has a major effect, and is often inappropriately rationalized after the fact with the benefit of hindsight

Butterfly Affect: A theory that describes how changes in a cause will result in a larger affect than might have been expected?

Boredom: A mental state of operation in which a person is uncomfortable with his or her lack of interest in what he or she is doing. There is usually a lack of focus concerning the subject presently at hand alternating with an intense yet unpleasant focus on the same subject. There is also an extreme desire to disengage, focus elsewhere, even anywhere else other than with the subject or experience at hand. The only involvement is that which is minimally required to remain involved in the process or activity.

Bottleneck: A phenomenon where the performance or capacity of an entire system including a Game Based strategy is limited by a single or limited number of components or resources.

Brain: The part of the central nervous system enclosed in the cranium of vertebrates serving to control physical and mental actions.

Butterfly Affect: A theory that describes how changes in a cause will result in a larger affect than might have been expected?

C:

Cash: Coin or paper currency of a recognized measurable value used to conduct business.

Capacity to Love: The ability to share (give and receive) an intense feeling of affection, caring, emotion, and intimate connection with oneself or another.

Cause and Effect: That which induces something to happen and the response to that cause.

Cellular Memory: Patterns reflective of emotional and physical events (instead of the emotions themselves) that subconsciously influence our lives and which are stored in muscle, tissue, various connective tissue and other tissue systems in the body.

Chess: A game of strategy for two with 16 pieces each played on a specialized designed checkered board.

Chop Wood Carry Water: One of the most commonly stated and most important of Zen Koans about being in the “moment”.

Chi: A universal force, generally invisible to the five senses that lies at the foundation of all existence. In different cultures it has been mapped into pathways known as meridians. Certain skilled individuals can experience in its various gradations and guide it and influence its flow.  Chi  is also known as Qi, Ki, Prana, Silver Thread, Logos, Nam, the Wireless Anatomy, spirit, divine force, God.

Choices: Things that may be carefully selected.

Chopping wood and carrying water: A Zen Buddhist concept of what it means to understand, and do what needs to be done as a guiding philosophy for struggle free living.

Chronemics: The study of the use of time in nonverbal communication.

Clarity of Thought: Understanding what “IS.”

Common incentive structure: The description used by system experts to describe when a system has a specific motivation for existing and offers similar benefits to all of the elements in that system.

Compassion: Pity inclining one to be merciful.

Competition: An act that is motivated by the desire to win. In its least productive forms, it sees all competition in adversarial terms.

Complex Hierarchies: Multiple, multiple layered hierarchies combined with other multiple, multilayered hierarchies which are directly linked at least at one  point.

Complex Hierarchy: A hierarchal system with a combination of multiple hierarchies which may or may not be directly linked.

Complex Problem: A decisions in which the decision maker will require additional information on which to base an evaluation of alternatives. Most often occurs where the expended resources is great or the risk of failure is high

Conservation and Balance: The storage and effective use of the Seventeen “Wealth and Freedom” Resources (See Level: Nineteen).

Counterfactual thinking is a term of psychology that describes the tendency people have to imagine alternatives to reality. Humans are predisposed to think about how things could have turned out differently if only…, and also to imagine what if?.

Cranial Sacral Therapy: A variety of techniques, originally developed by Osteopathic Doctors, where light touch, physical manipulation, and energetic balancing techniques are applied on the bones in the head and the bones at the base of the spine.

Critical Mass: A mathematically specific definition of a sociodynamic event which describes the existence of sufficient momentum in a social system such that the momentum becomes self-sustaining and fuels further growth.

Culture: A particular society at a particular time and place and the symbols, heroes, rituals and other tangible or visual aspects and practices of that society

D:

Decision Science: A discipline that deals with the application of advanced analytical methods to help make better decisions. It is often considered to be a sub-field of Mathematics which Makes it of great importance both in classical game theory and in Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory. The terms management science and Operations research are sometimes used as more modern-sounding synonyms.

Dependability: Trustworthy and consistent behavior

Diligence: the necessity of giving sufficient attention to detail to avoid error and prevail against obstacles.

Doctrine of the fortunate fall: Where sin is understood as beneficial because it makes redemption possible.

Domino effect: A chain reaction that occurs when a small change causes a similar change nearby, which then causes another similar change, and so on in linear sequence. The term is best known as a mechanical effect, and is used as an analogy to a falling row of dominoes. It typically refers to a linked sequence of events where the time between successive events is relatively small. It can be used literally (an observed series of actual collisions) or metaphorically (causal linkages within systems such as global finance or politics).

Dowsing: A “chi” based assessment system that allows an individual to search for underground water using a Y shaped rod that that dips when over the right spot.

E:

Eighteen Game Based Resources: Eighteen qualities or skills common to all human beings. The full potentiating of each in balance with the other sixteen is the foundation from which love, wealth and freedom emerge. They are a core element to the application of Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory.

Ego: The part of the mind that has self awareness.

Emotion: A mental and physiological state associated with a wide variety of feelings, thoughts, and behaviors.

Emotional Balance: Equilibrium in feelings, thoughts, behaviors and other factors related to the emotions in the face of problems and obstacles.

Emotional Healing: The intentional activities designed to creating emotional balance in a person’s life.

Emotional Response Evaluations: Various systems for reading facial and body movement as an  indicator of emotional feeling.

Enlightenment:  A deep insight into the purpose and meaning of all things, including communication with or understanding of the mind of God.

Ethics: Conscious and intentional action that is both right and good.

Extreme Problem: Known by mathematicians as a combinatorial optimization problem an extreme problem is a problem that has so many variables within its structure that a variety of experts are required to solve it. Usually, though not always, if an extreme problem is not solved it may lead loss of life and limb or chaos of one form or another for all who are affected by the problem.

F:

Ethics: The conscious and intentional action that is both right and good.

Externally Driven Obstacles (EDOs): An external force and/or event that presents an obstacle to the fulfillment of an individual or group vision.

Extraordinary person: A person that consciously behaves in a simple and basic manner. Such a person acts out general social norms when appropriate in their daily life, but seldom or never does so habitually. The extraordinary person will change their behavior to match changes in these social norms if it serves their own actualization process and society as a whole. They are generally concerned with moral or ethical dilemmas and often examine the meaning of their lives, questioning much, and often and with great concern.

F:

Faith: A conviction that something is true or fact.

First Cause: That which causes everything else; the ultimate creative force or being behind the universe.

Formal sciences: A system of gathering knowledge (research) using mathematics, logic, and statistics in a way that is so specific that one can correctly predict a reliable outcome consistently.

Flow: A mental state of operation – often referred to as being in ”the zone” – in which a person is fully immersed in what he or she is doing, experiences a feeling of energized focus, full involvement, and success in the process of the activity.

Futurism: Using systematic thinking to recognize patterns in life and how to respond to the unexpected.

G:

Game: An activity often for fun or entertainment where an individual or groups of individuals must strategize, i.e. make decisions that will lead to a desirable outcome. Most games involve other living players though there are some games such as the card game solitaire where only one living player is involved.

Game Theory: Among scientists it is the name used to describe mathematical concepts (systems) that were designed to explain why and how individuals and organizations strategize, i.e. make decisions when one person (or more than one other person) might also affect the outcome of the decision.

Today, (2010) game theory has become an umbrella term or ‘unified field’ theory for thousands of games, most being rational approaches to many different defined interactions including relationships in business, spirituality, competition, sports, romance and even interactions with nonhuman players such as computers, animals, and plants.

Genetics: A discipline of biology; specifically, genetics is the science of genesheredity, and variationin living organisms.

Geomancy: A form of divination that interprets markings on the ground or the patterns formed by tossed handfuls of soilrocks, or sand. The most prevalent form of divinatory geomancy involves interpreting a series of 16 figures formed by a randomized process that involves recursion followed by analyzing them, often augmented with astrological interpretations. Sacred geometry is a form of geomancy that interprets the strength of chi in a certain geographical area.

Genetics: A discipline of biology; specifically, genetics is the science of genesheredity, and variationin living organisms.

Gödel’s incompleteness theorems: A series of ideas formulated by the mathematician/logican Kurt Gödel’s that was concerned with formal logical / mathematical language systems. One of these ideas states that the search for one formula that will answer all mathematic questions was misdirected since within any given branch of mathematics, there would always be some propositions that couldn’t be proven either true or false using the rules and axioms within the mathematical branch that was being used to ask the question of whether something was true or false.

H:

Hacker:  Originally a hacker was an adherent of the computer programmer subculture that originally emerged in academia in the 1960s, in particular around theMassachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)’s Tech Model Railroad Club (TMRC) and MIT Artificial Intelligence Laboratory. Hackers from this subculture tend to emphatically differentiate themselves from what they pejoratively call “crackers“, that is, those who are generally meant when media and the general public people use the term “hacker”, and whose primary focus, be it for malicious or beneficial reasons, are weaknesses in computer security.

Hardwired: Something in human nature that is driven by internal forces, and that is distinct from intellect or conscious thought. These internal forces are driven by and are a reflection for the most part of genetic and biological factors and what is generally described in the Harrison Mentoring Process as natural law.

Hierarchy: A class of things; elements, grades, orders, values objects, entities and people organized into an order where one thing superior is above, inferior below (either vertically or horizontally), further in or out or at the same level as something else.

Hierarchal behavior: Actions of both an individual and a group designed to find a place for the individual in the group so that that the individual and the group get their needs met while having a similar mission, intention or vision.

Holism: The theory that living matter or reality is made up of organic or unified wholes that are greater than the simple sum of their parts.

Human Being: A man, woman, or child of the species Homo sapiens, distinguished from all other animals purportedly by superior mental development, power of articulate speech, and upright stance

Hierarchal thinking: The contemplation upon the most effective way to find your place in a group so that you get your needs met while having a similar mission, intention or vision as the group.

Human Capital: The stock of personality attributes, knowledge and competences, and knowledge contained in the ability to perform labor so as to create economic value.  In the Harrison Mentoring Process this concept is essential to understanding the Seventeen Wealth and Freedom Resources (SWFR).

Human potential: The capacity to experience full development or the capacity for the complete development of usable resources.

 

I:

Influence: Any event or process where one entity (be it a person, corporation, government, religion, media organization, etc) can change either directly or indirectly another entity’s thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.

Infection through RTPs (Regenerating Thought Programs): The process that takes place (as a direct result of our genetic and biological inclinations towards the creation of community) when we involuntarily absorb ideas and behaviors and then pass-on these ideas and behaviors to others.

Information: A unit or units of knowledge, events, experiences, details, truths or beliefs.

Initiation: a formal rite of passage, often a ceremony, marking entrance or acceptance into adulthood or into a certain level or formal component within a group or society.

Insanity: The tendency to act out in antisocial ways that are illogical, irrational and emotionally unbalanced; Doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result.

Intuition: The ability to immediately access and apprehend knowledge without the use of reason.

K:

Kabbalah: Also known as Qabala, this is a set of esoteric teachings meant to explain the relationship between an eternal and mysterious Creator and the mortal and finite universe (His/her creation). While it is heavily used by some denominations, it is not a denomination in and of itself; it is a set of scriptures that exist outside the traditional Jewish Scriptures.

Knowledge: The combination of systematically stored information, untapped objective awareness, and untapped subjective awareness.

L:

Law of Attraction: A theory that states that if a person’s though processes are clear and intention focused is that those things they desire or need will come to them without spontaneously and without struggle.

Law of Diminishing Returns: A term common in economics but applicable to any aspect of life that describes a point at which you have achieved the maximum that :you can from some fixed factor or variable and no matter how much more of this factor you use in the future, the benefit will decrease.

Language: The human capacity for complex symbolic communication through the   organization of words and nonverbal cues.

Left Brain Thinking: A broad characterization of thought patterns attributed to the left cerebral hemisphere of the brain. Left-brain thinking is described broadly as being linear, sequential, systematic and concerned with the details and steps that are involved in a particular process or event.

Game Theory: Among scientists it is the name used to describe mathematical concepts (systems) that were designed to explain why and how individuals and organizations strategize, i.e. make decisions when one person (or more than one other person) might also affect the outcome of the decision.

Globalization (or globalisation): The process of international integration arising from the interchange of world views, products, ideas, and other aspects of culture.[1][2] Put in simple terms, globalization refers to processes that increase world-wide exchanges of national and cultural resources.

Lewis Harrison’sApplied Game Theory (LHAGT):  An umbrella term for thousands of life strategies  including those related to business, politics, spirituality, competition, sports, romance and even interactions with nonhuman players such as computers, animals, and plants.  Most of the games within the model of Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory combine rational and intuitive strategies the goal which is to maximize love, joy, freedom, clarity of thought, emotional balance, personal contentment, inner wisdom and happiness.  A comprehensive list of over 500 games discussed by Lewis and his students can be found at:

www.LewisHarrisonsAppliedGameTheory.com

Linear Code: A systematic ordering of information important in error correction and detection schemes.  Linear codes can be valuable in transcending obstacles.

Love: There are many definitions of love. Like God, art, and truth, love is one of those concepts that is essential to our lives and yet cannot be easily defined. Generally speaking it can be described as an intense feeling of affection, an emotion, or an emotional state. In ordinary use, it usually refers to any one of many interpersonal states.

Lucid Dream: Pictures, images, people, events or symbols in the mind of a sleeping person who is aware that that he/she is dreaming.

M:

Making a Difference: The intention to serve another or group in ways that shift or change the life patterns of that individual or group.

Mathematics: is an academic discipline, actually a collection of disciplines – both an art and science, depending upon whom you talk to – that is concerned with exploration, and measurement, and through these the drawing of necessary conclusions. Among the things in the Harrison Process that mathematical tools are specifically relevant too are the measurement of change, patterns, quantity, space, and structure.

Matrix: A 1999 American science fiction action film the future is depicted as  a simulated reality created bysentient machines  which is perceived by most humans as an authentic reality. The film addresses and integrates many ideas related to human and technology interactions especially the idea that logically speaking computers will, in time, control and dominate humanity without most of humanity even knowing that this has happened.

Meaning: Intention and significance.

Meditation: A generic term that describes a mental discipline involving self regulation and the focusing of attention on one specific point of reference or on the discarding of any point of reference.

Mentalist: The belief that some mental phenomena, particularly parapsychological activities such as telepathy and mind reading exist though they cannot be explained by physical laws.

Mind: A non-physical part within a conscious being that functions and acts in a myriad and combination of ways including aspects of intellect and consciousness that may include thinking, reasoning, imagining, memory, emotion, feeling, perceiving, caring, desiring, willing, distinguishing, assessing and judging. Mind is the stream of consciousness and includes all of the brain’s conscious and unconscious processes.  “Mind” is often used to refer to the thought processes of reason, thus a person acting without reason might be accused of “being out of their mind.”

Monkey Mind: The endless, obsessive process of thinking about one thing for a short time, and then another thing for a short time, without any specific intention to do so.

Morality: The study of what makes actions right and wrong. Based on the Latin moralitas “manner, character, proper behavior” It attempts to define, explain and examine social behavior. Also specific system of what is defined as right and good as is often imposed upon the individual by group belief or from the top of a hierarchy.

Movement Reeducation: The reorganization and recreation of an individual’s postural patterns.

Multiple Intelligences: A theory that states that within the human race there are many different categories of “intelligences”. Some and not others can be measured scientifically.

My Chemical Romance: An ecstatic form of love, known as romantic love which is caused in part by the interaction of certain brain chemicals.

Mystic meditation: A type of meditative practice that not only brings the meditator into an altered state of consciousness, but gives them a sense of connectedness with an authentic reality, that transcend the senses and all mental concepts and or brings them to God Realization, and the transcendence of death.

Myth: A sacred story.

N:

Natural Law: The rules that consistently define how the universe functions.

Natural science: is one of three divisions of science, the other two being the social sciences and the formal sciences prior to the 17th century Natural Science was called natural philosophy and was less broad in interpretation of what was or what wasn’t scientific. The natural sciences as of 2010 are astronomy, biology, chemistry, earth science and physics.

Nature’s Systems: The systems that define the workings of the universe. These systems are generally defined either as LINEAR or NONLINEAR. Linear systems tend to relate to mathematical and scientific systems. Nonlinear systems may refer to a diverse range of perceptions including physics, theology and the belief that a creative intelligence is expressed in all living things.

Need: A desire for something that is essential for emotional, physical and/or mental survival.

Neuroeconomics: A relatively new science/art within behavioral economics that combines neuroscience, economics, and psychology. The focus of this system is to explore how people make decisions. It does this by studying the role of the brain in evaluating choices, categorizing risks and rewards, and isolating factors in how humans interact with each other.

Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP): A system for creating personal and organizational change by applying influence in certain specific ways.

Nineteen Game Based Resources: Eighteen qualities or skills common to all human beings. The full potentiating of each in balance with the other sixteen is the foundation from which love, wealth and freedom emerge. They are a core element to the application of Lewis Harrison’s Applied Game Theory

Non-linear:  Of or relating to a system of equations whose effects are not proportional to their causes. Essentially an equation that seems illogical but functions in ordinary reality/ Such a set of equations can be chaotic.

Non-Verbal Communication: The process of communication through sending and receivingwordless messages.

Number: Formally speaking a number is mathematical object or symbol used in counting andmeasuring. Numbers may also have a symbolic meaning in religious or spiritual practice. These are usually known as “sacred numbers.”

O:

Obstacle: Anything that stands in the way of our achieving a desired result.

Oneirology: The scientific study of dreams

Ordinary person: A person who unconsciously behaves in a simple and basic manner. Such a person acts out general social norms in their daily life, and does so habitually only changing their behavior to match changes in these social norms. They are not generally concerned with moral or ethical dilemmas and seldom examine the meaning of their lives. They question little and have concern for less.

P:

Paradigm: A paradigm is a theoretical and philosophical model, pattern or framework; specifically of a linguistic discipline or a mathematically based or scientific school of thought.

Pattern Language: A term coined by architect Christopher Alexander, is a structured method of describing good design practices within a field of expertise. Ordinary people can use it to successfully solve very large, complex design problems. Pattern language has much in common with many verbal and non-verbal languages however it is unique in that pattern language applies to some complex activity other than traditional communication.

Peak Experience: An ecstatic transpersonal experience that can be duplicated through intention and actions influenced by that intention.

Peter Principle: A business concept, originally presented as a humorous exploration of corporate culture and the slow rise of incompetence in middle and upper management.  It was first presented in1968 by Dr. Laurence J. Peter and Raymond Hull in their popular book: The Peter Principle.

Physical Energy: Energy associated with the flesh or corporal body.

Physics: A scientific study related to the detection and comprehending the basic rules that control matter and energy.

Plant Spirit Medicine: A specialized form of herbal healing that recognizes that each plant has a unique spiritual essence and that this essence can be called upon by a skilled individual to heal a person, plant or animal.

Play: A range of intrinsically motivated, yet voluntary activities normally associated with pleasure and enjoyment.

Pleasure: A pleasant sensation.

Polyamory: The desire for, acceptance of or practice of having more than one intimate, loving, relationship at a time with the full awareness, knowledge and free consent of everyone involved.

Power: When applied to human activities it is the conscious ability to harness internal or external activities so that the entity in possession of this power (be it a person, corporation, government, religion, media organization, etc) can change, either directly or indirectly, another entity’s thoughts, feelings, or behaviors.

Practical Math: Mathematical tools that are specifically relevant to the measurement of change, patterns, quantity, space, and structure.

Prayer: A form of spiritual or religious practice that seeks to activate an intentional connection to spirit, inner Qi, god, or some deity, through deliberate practice.

Prions: are small protein molecules. They are found throughout the spectrum of living creatures from baker’s yeast to Homo sapiens. It is not yet clear what purpose they serve when functioning normally.

Proxemics: The exploration of how we use and perceive the physical space around them.

Pseudo: Peak Experience: A hedonistically driven ecstatic experience that has no purpose other than pleasure.

Q:

Question: An inquiry that is concerned with the who, what, where, when, why, how or which of anything.

R:

Radical Thoughts: Ideas whether true or false are so out of the mainstream so as to break with, even threaten the status quo.

Rappport: An important feature or characteristics of subconscious communication which involves commonality of perspective such as being “in sync” with, or being “on the same wavelength” as the person with whom you are interacting with.

Reciprocal Altruism: A unique behavior in which one organism provides a benefit to another with some boundaries and conditions.

Reframing: A communication technique popular among many psychotherapists and teachers of practical human potential skills.

Regenerating Thought Programming (RTPs): An abstract scientific theory concerning evolving patterns of contagious cultural information, that survives long enough to be recognized as such, and which can parasitically pass from mind to mind altering the behavior of those who receive it.

Relationship: An association with or the dealing and/or connections a person, place, or thing has with another person, place, or thing.

RTPs (Regenerative Thought Programs): An abstract scientific theory concerning evolving patterns of contagious cultural information, that survives long enough to be recognized as such, and which can parasitically pass from mind to mind altering the behavior of those who receive it.

Right Brain Thinking: A broad characterization of thought patterns attributed to the right cerebral hemisphere of the brain. Right/brain thinking is described broadly as nonlinear, creative, and imaginative.

Romantic love: Any form of love that is combined with sex, as well as emotional feelings associated with the two.

S:

Scientific Management (Taylorism): An influential and pioneering theory of management developed by Frederick Winslow Taylor an American mechanical engineer.  Taylorism  seeks to analyzes and synthesize workflow processes, improving labor efficiency and effectiveness.

Sanity: The tendency to accept a worldview that expresses intellectual clarity and emotional balance.

Science: From the Latin scientia, meaning “knowledge”  in the strictest sense (specialized language) science refers to a system of gathering knowledge (research) so specific (based on the scientific method) that one can correctly predict a reliable outcome consistently.

Self Actualization: A motive, intention and process related to the realization of one’s full potential.

Self-Assessment: An inquiry into who we truly are?

Sex: Any thought, word or deed or manifestations including sexual acts involving physical intimacy. Sex includes desires arising from instincts, genetics, biology, consciousness and, or the subconscious.

Shamanism: An anthropological term of Siberian origin referencing a wide and diverse range of beliefs and practices regarding communication with the spiritual world. A practitioner of shamanism is known as a shaman (pronounced) “SHAH-men” or “SHAY-men”). The term is used more loosely in the human potential movement to include any person who enters into an altered state of consciousness or supernatural realms or dimensions to obtain solutions to problems afflicting the community. The shaman operates primarily within the spiritual world, which in turn affects the human world. The restoration of balance results in the elimination of the spiritual, emotional or physical ailment.

Shaman’s Dance: A term specific to the Harrison Mentoring Process that describes ways of thinking and being in daily life that both reflect and enhance the shamanic process.

Six Degrees of Separation: Also referred to as the “Human Web” this refers to a popular culture concept that everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth, so that a chain of, “a friend of a friend” statements can be made to connect any two people in six steps or fewer. In reality a person with low social intelligence would be much more than six degree of separation from everyone else. A person with high social intelligence might be as low as four.

Social Intelligence: A theory that explores and defines ones ability to respond optimally, effectively, and appropriately in social situations.

Social networking: A social network is a structured system made of individuals or organizations (nodes) that are, for one reason or another, interdependent.

Social paradigm: A theoretical and philosophical model, pattern or framework that does not meet the strict requirement of a traditionally-defined paradigm and which requires that the belief be based specifically on linguistics or scientific school of thought.

Social Science: An umbrella term for various fields of academic scholarship that explore aspects ofhuman society and which lie outside of the natural sciences. Social science” is commonly used as anumbrella term to refer to a plurality of Among the most familiar natural science are: anthropology,archaeologyeconomicsgeographyhistory, international studies, linguistics,  political science, and  in some contexts, psychology.

Sociobiology: A field of scientific study which is based on the assumption that social behavior has resulted from evolution.

Sociology: The study of individual behavior in society.

Sociometry: A branch of sociology that uses quantitative assessment methods for measuring social relationships.  At its most sophisticated level it is a way of inquiring into the structure of groups.

Soul: The core of our being that transcends and underlies our emotional and physical existence and may even cease to be at all.

Space: Where we are, what is around us and where we can ce goods and/or services for use at a later time?

Specialized Language: Specifically defined and rigidly applied organization of words and non-verbal cues communicating detailed specific ideas in a highly defined specialized group.

Spiritual: Related to the divine, or to sacred matters.

Spiritual Focus: A desire and intention to apply thoughts, word, and deeds towards a connection with the divine.

Spiritual Seeker: Person who desires to know who they are, their reason for being and the source from which they came.

Spirituality: A sacred, devotional state of being often, but not always related to the concept of a creator or divine, intelligent force.

Stanislavsky’s Method: A theory developed by the Russian theater artist Konstantin Stanislavski and used in acting where an actor has a strong personal identification with a character, possibly including a reproduction of the character’s emotional state.

Status: Reputation, relative importance in a community, rank or social position

Storytelling: The sharing of an account of a real or imagined event.

Suffering: the disruptive, necessary mental, emotional, psychological, and spiritual experience of unpleasantness and aversion associated with harm or threat of harm. When suffering is physical, we know it as pain. Words that are roughly synonymic with suffering include these: unhappiness, misery, pain, woe, unpleasantness, distress, sorrow, misery, affliction, illness, discomfort, displeasure and disagreeableness.

Support Triangle: Any group of three people who come together in the agreement to consistently support each other in being extraordinary.

Sweat Equity: Physical energy or intellectual .talent or time offered as a currency or payment for some good or service in lieu of cash

Synergy: The cooperative interaction of two or more agents or forces among groups, so that their combined effect creates an enhanced combined effect that is greater than the sum of their individual effects. In LHAGT and in the creation of effective Life Strategies  synergy is essential for it expands the role of proactive and community based relationships

System: An established group of interdependent details or parts, items, ideas, or principles – that form a complex whole, and maintain their existence by interacting regularly, harmoniously, orderly, and methodically over time to perform a task.

T:

Tacit knowing: A type of untapped subjective awareness, a process that is the essential personal component of knowing and knowledge and which cannot be systematized in the way that objective information might.

Tarot: A pack of cards (most commonly numbering 78), used as a tool to map mental and spiritual pathways.

Technology: Technology is the making, usage, and knowledge of toolsmachines, techniques, craftssystems or methods of organization in order to solve a problem or perform a specific function.

Tetris effect: What may take place when people devote sufficient time and attention to an activity that it begins to overshadow their thoughts, mental images, and dreams.  It is named after the video game Tetris.

Theory of constraints (TOC): A systematic approach to transending or compensating for the weakest element in any process?

Time: A continuous, measurable, progression of perceived existence. Among most groups time is defined as the past, present and future presented as a whole.

Time-shifting: What happens when an individual or organization takes information, usually in the form of a visual media (TV programming is the most common form) and intentionally pays it at a time other than when it could have been shown “live”. This is done to increase or increase influence. An example might be Time-shifting the opening ceremonies of the Beijing Olympic Games so that they get to be viewed during the evening hours in the United States.

Tipping Points: A common cliché that expands the technical application of the term critical mass to address many different situations relating to group or individuals.

Tools: Any device or devices used to perform or facilitate manual, mechanical, or technological tasks.

Touch: To come into or be in physical contact with another thing.

Traveling Salesman Problem: One of the most intensively studied problems in computational mathematics. The Traveling Salesman Problem (TSP) requires that we find the shortest path visiting each of a given set of cities and returning to the starting point.  This problem has not to this point (2010) been completely solved though genetic algorithms created by computer scientists Michael C. LaLena can, according to LaLena “be used to find a solution”. In the Harrison Mentoring Process the TSP can be used to solve extreme problems.

V:

Vision: An idea, concept or content of experience that one wishes to have. A vision is different than a goal in that a vision is formless where a goal is already fully formed.  A vision is a type of content. When a vision is clear in the mind of a visionary the form that will best serve the fruition of that vision will arrive spontaneously. In this sense one might say that the content of a vision defines the form that we call a “goal”.

Visionary: An individual with clarity of thought, a passion for a clearly defined experience, and foresight on how that passion may manifest.

W:

Walkabout: A rite of passage during which male Australian Aborigines would undergo a journey during adolescence and live in the wilderness for a period as long as six months. In modern life it refers to any spiritual journey where a person is unrestrained by any specific plan, structure, time frame or boundaries other than those related to functional behavior.

Want: A desire for something that, though not essential for survival and well-being, will bring emotional, physical and/or mental satisfaction.

Wisdom Sage: An extraordinary person who has a mastery of living well in the world while in possession of spiritual wisdom.

Wu Wei: a Chinese perspective on the Law of Attraction. The literal translation being, “the action that requires no action.”

Y:

Your Best Life: The fulfillment of the Seventeen Wealth and Freedom Resources in the Harrison Mentoring Process

Z:

Zen Koan: A storydialogue, question, or statement, the meaning of which cannot be understood by rational thinking but may be accessible through intuition or lateral thinking, i.e. a type of thought  that solves  problems or  accesses wisdom through an indirect and creative approach, using reasoning that is not immediately obvious and involving ideas that may not be obtainable by using only traditional step-by-step logic.

Zen Mind: A way of being or thought associated with in a Japanese School of Buddhist. In Zen Mind offered a person is completely clear in thought, present in intention, child-like in innocence, and free of regrets for the past or expectation for the future.

Zero Sum Game: A situation in which one participant’s gains result only from another participant’s equivalent losses. The net change in total wealth among participants is zero; the wealth is just shifted from one to another. In basic terms it means that if one person wins than everyone else has to lose.

 

Non-Verbal Communication

The focus of this blog is   To explore, and learn to apply wordless messages as a tool for the creation of love, wealth, freedom and greater influence.

Definition:  Nonverbal Communication – The process of communication through sending and receiving wordless messages.

This is  extract of a class I taught on problem solving and the illusion of time.

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STUDENT:  What is the history of nonverbal communication as an academic discipline?

LEWIS:  It is generally accepted that the first scientific study of nonverbal communication was The Expression of the Emotions in Man and Animals (1872), a book by Charles Darwin.  Darwin proposed that emotions could in fact be reliably communicated in facial expressions by these creatures.  For close to a hundred years, most researchers on nonverbal communication struggled with the idea that most definitions concerning this type of communication were based on arbitrary symbols.

 

 

STUDENT:  Why was this a problem?

LEWIS:  That would mean that the meaning of such symbols differed from culture to culture.

 

 

STUDENT:  How has this changed?

LEWIS:  Paul Ekman conducted influential studies in the 1960s that determined that expressions of fear, anger, sadness, disgust, joy, sadness, and surprise are universal. With Ekman’s reach, it became clear that a large percentage of facial expressions are to some extent iconic, and thus universally understood.

 

 

STUDENT: I understand that human beings do not communicate by words alone.  Yet our bodies are regulated through the nervous system, and also by the sophistication of our communication skills.  Speak further about nonverbal communication skills from this perspective.

LEWIS:  Nonverbal communication can occur through any sensory channelsight, sound, smell, touch or taste, and transcend words.  Nonverbal communication may also include body language; posture, facial expression, voice tone, eye movements and eye contact, gestures, touch, (Haptic communication) and other subtle factors.  All these communication cues determine how we interact with other people.  In addition, our programming will determine the reality we choose to create and the boundaries we accept, either consciously or unconsciously.

 

 

STUDENT:  You mentioned other subtle factors of nonverbal communication.  What would be examples of this?

LEWIS:  People also use objects or artifacts to communicate nonverbally, including hairstyles, architecture, symbols, and clothing.  There are also many nonverbal elements within speech. This is commonly known as paralanguage, and may include elements such as pitch, voice quality, volume, rate, and speaking style, as well as prosodic features such as stress of voice, rhythm, and intonation.

 

 

STUDENT:  If  body language and posture are forms of nonverbal communication, where would dance fit into this conversation?

LEWIS:  Dance is definitively a form of nonverbal communication, and one of the most universally understood and expressed.

 

 

STUDENT:  How about writing, sign language, or painting?

LEWIS:  Yes these are considered verbal communication. All written texts have nonverbal elements, such as the physical layout of a page, handwriting style, and the spatial arrangement of words.  However, those elements of writing, or any other form of communication that do deal with words would be considered verbal communication.

 

 

STUDENT:  How about an art form such as painting?

LEWIS:  In painting there is the physical layout of a work, the painting style, the spatial arrangement of the elements in the work, and the tools used to create the work.

 

 

STUDENT:  There is so much here to learn.  Where can one begin?

LEWIS:  When studying nonverbal communication, it is usually easiest to explore and learn about face-to-face interaction.

 

STUDENT:  How would one do this?

LEWIS:  Nonverbal communication through face-to-face interaction is generally classified into three primary areas:

1. Environmental conditions where the communication takes place.

2. The physical characteristics of the communicators.

3. The behaviors of the communicators during interaction.

 

 

STUDENT:  Why these three?

LEWIS:  Because they utilize the primary elements in communication – neurology, understanding, and programming.

 

 

STUDENT:  This seems very complex and very systematic.

LEWIS:  It is very systematic, but this also makes it easier to understand.   Look, there are many different systems utilizing this triad of neurology, understanding, and programming. Among the most influential in my own studies and teachings are the writings of Milton Erickson, a pioneering psychiatrist in the field of trance work, hypnosis, and influence.  What made Dr. Erickson’s work unique was his mastery of rapport.  He developed the ability to enter the worldview of his patients, and from that vantage point, having established rapport, was able to make extremely effective interventions that influenced his patients to overcome many phobias and assorted life problems.  Most masters of influence now know that it is much easier to influence an individual or group if you can create rapport with them.  It is rapport that facilitates change through influence.

 

 

STUDENT:  What is the specific definition of rapport?

LEWIS:  Rapport is a harmonious communication or relationship between two or more living creatures.  Rapport is generally characterized by empathy, affinity, and mutual understanding.

 

 

STUDENT:  Are we always conscious that rapport is present?

LEWIS:  No.  Rapport is one of the most important features or characteristics of subconscious communication.  It is a commonality of perspective; being “in sync” with, or being “on the same wavelength” as the person with whom you are talking.

 

 

STUDENT:  Can one consciously build rapport with another?

LEWIS:  Yes.  There are a number of techniques that are supposed to be beneficial in building rapport such as matching your body language (i.e., posture, gesture, etc.); maintaining eye contact; and matching breathing rhythm.  Some of these techniques are explored in the Conversation on neuro-linguistic programming.

 

 

To explore these concepts in greater detail see the Conversation on Change, the Conversation on Understanding Systems of Greater Complexity, and the entry on Milton Erickson in the Level: Standing on the Shoulders of Giants.

STUDENT:  Is whistling, grunting, or “scat” singing, as might be found in some forms of jazz, considered verbal communication?

LEWIS:  They might be in common language, but definitely not in specialized language. (See the Conversation on Specialized Language)  Among scholars and academics dealing with various forms of communication, the term “verbal” relates directly and specifically with spoken words. The vocal sounds you have spoken of in your question are nonverbal.

 

 

STUDENT:  I have heard it said that the eyes are the doorway to the soul.  Can you discuss eye gaze as a form of nonverbal communication?

LEWIS:  The study of the role of eyes in nonverbal communication is sometimes referred to as “oculesics.”  Eye contact can indicate interest, attention, and involvement.  Studies have found that people use their eyes to indicate their interest with more than the frequently recognized actions of winking, and slight movement of the eyebrows.  Eye contact is an event when two people look at each other’s eyes at the same time.  It is a form of nonverbal communication and has a large influence on social behavior.  Frequency and interpretation of eye contact vary between cultures and species.  Eye aversion is the avoidance of eye contact.  Eye contact and facial expressions provide important social and emotional information.  People, perhaps without consciously doing so, probe each other’s eyes and faces for positive or negative mood signs.

Gaze comprises the actions of looking while talking, looking while listening, amount of gaze and frequency of glances, patterns of fixation, pupil dilation, and blink rate.

 

 

STUDENT: Please discuss nonverbal cues of the voice.

LEWIS:  This is known as Paralanguage. (sometimes called vocalics)  It’s the study of  nonverbal cues of the voice.  Various acoustic properties of speech such as tone, pitch, and accent, collectively known as prosody, can all give off nonverbal cues.  Paralanguage may change the meaning of words.

The linguist George L. Trager developed a classification system which consists of the voice set, voice qualities, and vocalization.[11]

  • The voice set is the context in which the speaker is speaking. This can include the situation, gender, mood, age, and a person’s culture.
  • The voice qualities are volume, pitch, tempo, rhythm, articulation, resonance, nasality, and accent.  They give each individual a unique “voice print.”
  • Vocalization consists of three subsections; characterizers, qualifiers, and segregates. Characterizers are emotions expressed while speaking, such as laughing, crying, and yawning.  A voice qualifier is the style of delivering a message – for example, yelling “Hey stop that!”  as opposed to whispering, “Hey stop that.”  Vocal segregates such as “uh-huh” notify the speaker that the listener is listening.

 

 

STUDENT:  What are your closing thoughts on the concept of nonverbal communication?

LEWIS:  Communication, especially distinctions in how we hear or listen, has many subtle elements.  When we listen, (or speak) we naturally focus our conscious attention on words, rather than body language.  However, our subconscious absorbs and responds to both verbal and nonverbal signals.

 

 

STUDENT:  Can one easily distinguish positive forms of nonverbal communication from negative forms?

LEWIS:  Nonverbal forms of communication are not usually positive or negative in and of themselves; the perspective of the observer, the message being delivered, and the situation at hand will determine the appraisal.

 

 

STUDENT:  Is there still much research being conducted on nonverbal communication?

LEWIS:  Studies now range across a number of fields, including social psychology, linguistics, and semiotics.

 

 

STUDENT:  What are the specific characteristics that define a type of communication as nonverbal?

1. Nonverbal cues are culture bound.

2. Nonverbal messages primarily communicate attitudes and emotions.

3. Nonverbal cues substitute for, contradict, emphasize, or regulate verbal messages.

4. Nonverbal cues are continuous.

5. Nonverbal cues are more reliable.

6. Nonverbal cues are often ambiguous.

 

 

STUDENT: Speak about clothing as an element of nonverbal communication.

LEWIS:  There are many different levels of communication that are reflected from clothing, including cultural and social interests.  One of the most powerful forms of nonverbal communication related to clothing is a uniform.  All clothing has both a functional and a communicative purpose, but this is even more so with a uniform.  When a person is in uniform, they can identify gender, position, influence, rank and function.  All of these can be clarified even more if the uniform contains a badge and a social insignia.

 

 

STUDENT: Speak on bodily characteristics as an element of nonverbal communication.

LEWIS:  Elements such as physique, height, weight, skin, and hair can also convey nonverbal information.  There are certain bodily characteristics that change their meaning depending on the interaction and qualities of those involved in the communication.  These factors include skin color, ethnic background, national origin, gender, odors, and clothing.  Studies have shown that there is a correlation between how a person dresses and their interest in courtship.

 

 

STUDENT:  What is the connection between nonverbal communication and financial success?

LEWIS:  Nonverbal communication affects us on every level of living, including financial success.

 

 

STUDENT:  What are your final thoughts on this conversation on nonverbal communication?

LEWIS:  Nonverbal communication is often much more impactful than verbal communication.

The more one can understand body posture, the perception of time, and our relationship to space the more effective our communication will be.

 

 

STUDENT:  If a person has the use of language, why does nonverbal communication even exist?

LEWIS:  There are many theories on this point.  One theory states that spoken language is most effective as a tool for communicating information about events external to the speakers.  Nonverbal cues and codes are more effective for creating and maintaining interpersonal relationships.  This brings into play the concept of social intelligence.  In many situations, it is considered appropriate – more polite – to communicate attitudes towards others nonverbally, rather than verbally.