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Discussion Forum > Is the emphasis on "want" too selfish?

I am addressing this question mainly to Mark Forster, but of course anybody and everybody can chime in.

In the "Standing Out" process we instruct our unconscious to pick something we want to do, giving it as little criteria as we can on what we mean by "want" so it can make its own criteria. But I find when I do this I tend to pick what I classify as selfish actions: easy actions that tend to benefit me and not much on how I can contribute to my family, friends, and society, nor on how I can give glory to God.

How do you get out of this trend for "Standing Out"? And do you guys have a similar experience or is it just me?
November 6, 2017 at 7:40 | Registered Commenternuntym
I'm finding if I have the thought "standing out and ready/committed to do the task", that seems to eliminate all resistance.

I then feel ok to skip a task if it does not meet that criteria.

e.g. if there is something else nagging in my head that I must do for the day, it makes me think more about what I'm doing that moment and stop if it is the wrong thing.

I suppose we all have our own idea of what standing out means to us.
November 6, 2017 at 10:36 | Unregistered CommenterMrBacklog

Let me understand this right.

When you ask yourself what you want to do all you get is easy actions that tend to benefit you.

But what you REALLY want to do is "contribute to my family, friends, and society, [and on what will] give glory to God".

I guess there's three possible answers to this:

a. Change the question to "What do I REALLY want to do?"

b. Accept the fact that what you really want to do is easy actions that benefit you. After all this is a time management system, not a course in ethics or spirituality.

c. (Recommended) Forget about the question altogether and just do what stands out - which will allow your mind to train itself to do the right thing.

A possibly related quote which I came across earlier today:

"True religion is commitment, not just faith. How much you believe is only manifested by what you’re willing to sacrifice for it." (Taleb)
November 6, 2017 at 11:21 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Thank you both for your replies.

MrBacklog I was actually leaning towards going for "ready" instead of "want" as for some reason it seemed to be working better for me.

However Mark reminded me a basic piece of theology that I apparently forgot to apply here. Frankly, it's embarrassing. But then that is why we're all here to help each other.

"After all this is a time management system, not a course in ethics or spirituality." Well of course! But I do REALLY want my ethics, spirituality, and time management systems to work together.
November 6, 2017 at 18:04 | Registered Commenternuntym
One method is add them to the list, as separate lines :
- contribute to my family
- contribute to my friends
- contribute to society
- give glory to God

If scanning (or other selection method) highlights one of the above, then scan the rest of the list with that in mind.

If nothing on your list meets the goal, then you need to add something that does. If you have several things on your list that would meet the goal, but none of them stand out, consider deleting those and adding something that does.
November 6, 2017 at 19:43 | Registered CommenterCricket
nuntym, Cricket et al:

The whole point of the standing out method is so that you don't have to categorize, prioritize, mark thing up or ask yourself complicated questions. You just put everything on the list without differentiation. Than leave it up to your subconscious mind to sort out. It's much better at it than you are.
November 6, 2017 at 21:19 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Axe the word "want." Don't define it, just drop it. It has too much baggage and has brought us nothing but trouble!

Instead, make the list and do the next thing that intuitively stands out to be done, per Mark's anecdote of his original standing-out experience, the prayer list:

"A very long time ago I was reading a book on prayer...

"She advised making a complete list of people you wanted to pray for and then each day going down the list and praying individually for the people whose names stood out.

"That's it. She didn't describe what she meant by that, but I never had any trouble understanding her advice."
November 7, 2017 at 4:35 | Unregistered CommenterBernie

Yes, get rid of the baggage. That's it!
November 7, 2017 at 9:59 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
Also, your list is a perfect place to write these thoughts and doubts as well! I've found that one side benefit of scanning is that you are reading and rereading things. Even if something doesn't "stand out" as something to do, you're still reading it. That can have a nice effect of keeping it in your head.

So if I write: "try to be a good person today" on my list, even if I don't ever action it (but you should!), that thought will nest itself in your conscious and also your subconscious and may start to influence other things that start to stand out.

"Don't freak out, you'll feel better after you sleep." is another good one, heh.
November 7, 2017 at 14:42 | Unregistered CommenterJesse

<< your list is a perfect place to write these thoughts and doubts as well >>

I like this approach and do this myself all the time.

Have you tried phrasing these things as questions? Example: "How to be a good person today?"

Or maybe a gentler phrasing, something for consideration: "Perhaps I could be a good person today"

This phrasing tends to draw me in and get my mind working in the background, trying to answer the question. Whereas the direct imperative phrasing ("Try to...") sometimes generates resistance.
November 7, 2017 at 15:24 | Registered CommenterSeraphim
So what's wrong with "Be a good person today"?

Or even better "Be a good person".

Do. Or do not. There is no try.
November 7, 2017 at 15:42 | Registered CommenterMark Forster
"Be Prepared" - the motto of the Boy Scouts.

"Be Good" - a line on somebody's AF list?
November 7, 2017 at 21:06 | Registered CommenterAlan Baljeu