Monday, April 27, 2015

Having a Genius

There are lots of different ways that we look at people but sometimes we need to let go of our initial judgments. As a society, we have created an idea of what we feel is normal. I feel like we need to change that norm. This is where creativity comes in. Experts and professionals tell you what is wrong and what is right but how do they know? If there are new ideas, there isn't an expert or a professional. If you are looking for new ideas or new ways to do things, you have to know where innovation already exists. We design for the middle of the bell curve but you can find new ideas at the tails.

By catching the tails of the bell curve, you are looking at the extreme users. These are users that have found new ways to use existing technologies. Some of these users are cost sensitive and find the value in innovative ways. If you can find these users and observe their behaviors, you can use that information to create new products, services, and experiences for your customers. Each customer is unique and different but our culture encourages people to be the same.

People don't have the same the likes. We don't even think the same way. Some people think visually, conceptually with words, physically, or kinesthetically. I am a physical thinker. When I talk on the phone, I have to pace. As I listen to people, I animate what they say in my head. I walk around and if I can draw on a whiteboard or a piece of paper, then I can show what I am thinking.

Going back to creativity, we as a society feel like you either are creative genius or you aren't. This simply isn't true. As kids, everyone draws or colors on paper. We all draw. We all dance. We just grow out of our creativity as we get older. We are trained to. And when it comes to "genius," the concept has changed to being a genius when originally you had a genius. In Rome, a genius was a guiding or divine spirit that would deliver inspiration to people. If the genius didn't do his part, then it wasn't your fault as the person receiving the inspiration. Nowadays once you get that label of a creative genius, you have all the pressure to perform again and again.

Unfortunately, our society is all about manufacturing with output... Output... Output... The industrial age changed everything. Our educational system came out of the industrial age. It is no wonder that most students think the same, ask for directions, and don't think for themselves. We are building people that are a bunch of followers instead of helping people learn how to think and lead.

"If you're not prepared to be wrong, you won't be original."

Sunday, April 26, 2015

What is Light and Truth?

During church today I decided I would read up on the lesson for Sunday School during sacrament. I wanted to be sure that I was ready to teach in case my teachers didn't show up. This week's lesson was based on John 7 and John 8 entitled "I Am the Light of the World." I read through the manual and the chapters and a few things specifically stood out to me: the word choices and the questions that the Savior used.

There are four major words that are repeated over and over again in these chapters and they are belief, know, truth, and light. The teacher who taught the lesson today really focused on the first three words.
"And truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come (D&C 93:24);"
 Truth is knowledge of eternal things. But what is the difference between knowledge and belief? Is it the ability to doubt? Because knowledge grows and it can wane with time. Knowledge based on this previous scripture does not have to be based on truth. People who believe things differently than you, who have a different perspective can know things as certainly as you do although they can be opposed. Knowledge appears to be a mental state of being that is deeper than belief.
"Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8: 31-32)."
 If we are curious and question our faith and our beliefs, it is through continued searching and studying that we gain greater knowledge. People knew at one point in history that the universe only contained our solar system. As people continued to search and study the stars, they found more truth and gain greater knowledge. The universe is infinite and it is changing. What we see in the night sky right now may contain the light of worlds and stars that no longer exist as well as the sky may not yet show the light of worlds and stars that are now in existence. Only through questioning, studying, and experimenting, did we gain this knowledge and the same is true with all knowledge.

Before we can begin on this journey though it starts with faith and belief. Faith is our actions which are based on our experiences. Belief is the position we put ourselves in from which we see our world around us. Our beliefs can change as we move to see the world from different perspectives and as we gain more knowledge. I am not saying that beliefs are the same as values so let me give an example. I know that I can be forgiven for my mistakes. My friends and family have forgiven me for things in the past. I can remember my mistakes. Not every individual event and choice and consequence but some. So I struggle sometimes in knowing that God will forget them. I know God will forgive my sins but will He truly forget my sins? I believe that He will but I do not yet know.

Our teacher left us with an interesting question: Why do we do what we do, when we know what we know? How do our faith, knowledge, and choices intersect? Why do we live contrary to our knowledge at times? It is no wonder that when we do that, our knowledge and light within can wane.
"For the word of the Lord is truth, and whatsoever is truth is light, and whatsoever is light is Spirit, even the Spirit of Jesus Christ (D&C 84:45)."
 When we see people, we use the phrase at times to say that they carry the Light of Christ. We are Children of God. We carry a Spirit within us. If that Spirit is light, what is light? Light is both a particle and a wave according to science. Many times when we talk and think about light, we simply think of only visible light. Light has a whole spectrum of forms and it radiates from all living things. Radio waves are also a form of light, which we have learned how to use as a form of communication. It is amazing that mankind created a physical form of communication that uses light when God had been communicating with the Spirit the whole time.

Light can be absorbed and reflected. Since light is a particle, there is even such a thing as light pressure. Light pressure is equal to the power of the light beam divided by the speed of light. A one-milliwatt laser pointer exerts a force of about 3.3 piconewtons on the object being illuminated. It is possible to use the power of light to lift an object, or a person. It would take 30 billion 1-mW laser pointers to lift a U.S. penny. You can YouTube videos where light spins a turbine. Light can be measured but we cannot measure darkness. Darkness is simply an absence of light or an absence of the Spirit. When we talk about how God, Christ and His angels exude light, knowing that we are also spiritual kin and spiritual beings, how do we grow in light? Or in other words, how do we grow in truth? There were many other aspects of these two chapters that were extremely interesting but those will have to wait for another post.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Worse Than Comments Are Interventions

I told myself that I wasn't going to write a post about this topic but for some reason, the only way I can really get things off my chest is through writing about it. Talking through things helps me reason but writing helps me purge. And I don't think I have been that busy lately with only having two classes left in my last semester (a lot of my classes were block classes that finished halfway through the semester) but I certainly haven't written on this blog in a while. So because that is the case, let me catch up a bit on what has happened lately.

First off, I have been having struggles finding a job. Johnson & Johnson is just one shining example of how I don't have enough experience to do what I want to do. I went through three rounds of interviews with them and HR cut me off because I didn't meet their post-graduate work experience metric. This is the story of my life currently. MBA doesn't mean advancement... At least not yet anyways. I guess I have to bank on it meaning something later in my career because the only jobs I can get interviews with it in the business world are entry level. Good thing I didn't rack up any college debt... Oh wait... Grad school... Riiiight.

Second headache as of late, girls don't really work right now. I have tried dating. I have tried dating for a long time. This blog is full of great stories of success and failure and quite a few more funny dating failures but failures nonetheless. Right now, I am about to graduate in a month and so I decided to put dating on the back burner so I can spend time with my friends that I made during my MBA program before we all head out to our various careers around the country and around the world. And here enters my third issue. Friends... What really classifies as a friend?

Are friends people that are brutally honest with you? Are they the people who see your flaws and accept you for who you are anyways? Are they the people who you can be yourself with? These are all assumptions that I made on what classified someone as a friend but a perspective is only one person's version of reality from their narrow point of view. And after my spring break in Moab, my friends whom I went with decided to share with my their point of view of me in what felt like an intervention of sorts.

Don't get me wrong. I ask for feedback a lot more than the average person. And I tend to listen and ask questions so I can understand why and where someone came to the conclusions that they did so I can determine how I can improve. I want to improve. That is the reason I asked for the feedback in the first place. Taking that into account, the feedback I got stung more than usual. It hurt actually and it has been hard to shake it. It wasn't like it was funny or that what they said could have become funny. They questioned my character and the relationships I thought I had with them.

They said that I couldn't be trusted. They said that I was a liar and a slimely salesman. They said that because of those things, they kept me at arm's length because they didn't know what was real and genuine or if I was not being authentic. They said I didn't own things or take responsibility. They said that they couldn't believe that I was happy for them because of their success when I was trying to be. They said a few other things as well but these were people that I thought I was close to. These were the people that I spent most of my free time with. They are the guys I live with, go climbing with, go hot tubbing with, etc. I appreciate candor probably even more than the next guy but this felt more like a brother stabbing you in the side and twisting it than someone telling you that you have food in your teeth.

I am not the best person by any stretch of the imagination. And it is true that I stretch the truth time and again. It is also true that any person's perspective is their viewpoint of reality and everyone is different in that regard. So I decided to see if this was only the viewpoint of a select few individuals or if this was common. I asked a few other people to try and get a 360-degree perspective. I was grateful to find that their belief was fortunately not commonly held however, it did make me begin to doubt more and more my self image and my relationships. Was everyone as honest with me as these few people? What were people really saying with their body language versus what they told me?

I guess one of the reasons this was such a hard pill to swallow was because it lacked the Sandwich Effect when it comes to delivering bad news... sandwiching the meat of your discussion with some positive feedback to soften the blow just a bit. It was like getting a sucker punch followed by right hooks and left jabs. I honestly felt and continue to feel beat up just being around them now because I can feel the sting of their comments even a week or two after the fact. I know I need to work on those things because I don't want this to happen again and I will try it but at the same point in time I don't know how to directly improve our relationship or their perspectives. I feel whether or not this is true that this is kind of out of my control.