Rethinking: How is it done?
Step 1: Find something that concerns you, like hot summers and cold winters in a city.
Step 2: Find a time and place when/where you won’t be distracted or interrupted, like a morning on your own at your home.
Step 3: Put on some comfortable clothes, eat something, have a tea, coffee or water, relax.
Step 4: Have a paper and pen ready for notes.
Step 5: Start pacing and let your mind wander.
Step 1: Think about what you know about the issue.
Step 2: Think about what you like/dislike about it.
Step 3: Forget what you know and like/dislike about it.
Step 1: Ask yourself whether this issue could be approached or handled differently.
Step 2: Put aside all objections to whichever thoughts pop up.
Step 3: Play through alternative scenarios.
Step 4: Test your favourite scenarios with regard to possible objections.
Make notes, think some more, take a break, pick up the ideas again some days or weeks later, do another rethink, compare your thoughts with those of others, discuss your ideas with others, find ways to raise awareness on the issue.
Some additional notes
Rethinking: How is it done?
Step 1: Find something that concerns you.
Anger and need are interesting sources of inspiration, and channelling anger into a rethinking session is healthier than letting it fester.
Besides, you might come across an idea which can make a difference, for you and for others.
And it’s always easier to think about subjects that have a connection to your life.
Steps 2-5: How comfortable to get?
How comfortable and secluded you need to be to think freely and without distraction depends on what you need.
For me pacing in my flat is great, because it allows me to play through arguments aloud and gesticulating, something I wouldn’t like to do in the park.
On the other hand, I remember long photo tours along the coast of the Baltic Sea with no one around that were ideal for thinking. The same goes for the Hebrides in Scotland, a fact I used in the dot.story.
The Hebrides were his mind-clearing space: the strong winds, the jagged coastlines, the hidden sandy beaches, the emptiness, the rapidly changing weather, the roughness that had a magic and depth of its own.
But whether you lie down to think or take a bath (always works for me too) or retreat to a remote cottage, the trick is to relax so that thoughts can flow freely and without interruptions.
The warm-up isn’t a necessity, but it can help you to assess where you stand on the subject you want to explore, plus it can help you to get into thinking mode.
If I have to think about something (because it’s on my to do list), and I can’t get any thoughts flowing, then I invent a character who opposes whatever I think I know about the subject.
If the character doesn’t do the trick, or I want to dive deeper, then I play through scenarios or invent a story. This way I can test whether what I know might work or not, or whether there are alternatives.
Adding some playfulness and daring to the thinking process opens more doors, as does imagination.
In a state of mind that is playful and allows for anything to be questioned, you will discover most.
This is a point also made in book 1, beginning:
Meeting you today made me realise that we are still in a very early stage of our project. We are playing around like children in the nursery, with no worries in the world. And I believe that’s exactly what the project needs at this stage. Because a carefree environment will yield a great variety of ideas. It will be next year, or the year after, that these ideas will have to grow up. And then we’ll get ready for the actual experiment.’
In the next phase, you need to test whether your ideas can be put into practice. At this point you have a choice.
Either you allow possible hurdles and objections discourage you, and you dismiss the idea as: This can’t be done and especially not by me.
Or you put your energy into figuring out how to make your idea possible.
This is a point also made in the dot.story:
Maybe this was the reason, she still felt a little testy at times. dot. made everything look so easy, because they simply acted. She just wished others would do the same and stop wasting time with politics and ideologies and power battles and banging their chests.
And she felt this regret, this regret that no one had thought up something like that when she was a kid. What a life she could have had if people had focused on making things possible instead of insisting on excuses and instead of bullying each other for being different.