A Mentee’s question: “how should one realize/choose what one wants to take aim at?” The “Big Picture” answer is to determine what is the MVP (most valuable point) of your life. Next, fashion the best way to live in order to achieve it. As background, imagine being in a bowling alley looking at the 10 bowling pins set in a triangle–and with the lead pin at the tip of the triangle facing you. Behind the lead pin are 2 pins; behind that, 3 pins; and in the back row are 4 pins. The idea of the game is for one to roll a ball down the lane for the purpose of knocking down the lead pin first and having that knock down the 2 pins behind it; and having those 2 pins fall back and knock down the 3 pins behind them; and finally having those 3 pins fall back and knock down the 4 pins in the back row— a “strike,” since all 10 pins are knocked down.Now, draw a picture of these 10 pins or use 10 blocks to represent your list of your 10 life’s Necessities and the top most Important things; in priority order, label them from A to J. The lead Pin A is your present “here and now” major concern; the 2 pins behind Pin A—the top Necessities–are Pin B, say, representing your present family and Pin C, your Career. Behind Pins B and C are 3 pins—Pin D, e.g. parenting properly your anticipated future family; Pin E, your daily Selfhood Greatness improvement practices; Pin F, your friends. In the back row are 4 pins—Pin G represents perfecting Critical Thinking; Pin H, being a Self-Made person (i.e. Self-Reliant); Pin I, cultivating Good “ME/WE” Manners; and Pin J, to keep going straight ahead in “Down Times.”
At this point, “flip-flop” the triangle of 10 pins so that the Pin A—the lead Pin—faces away from you and, instead, points to your Mission in life. Thus, when a decision about Pin A or about Pin D or about Pin J is made, you are using a mind’s eye Spotlight (a strong beam of light that illuminates a small area) on the one chosen. However, all other 9 Pins, to avoid being neglected in decision making, need to be seen as well. One reason is that failing to consider the effect on one of them may generate a counterforce that slows, stops, or reverses your wholesome progress. Another reason is that proper consideration given to each of the non-spotlighted pins can cause their independent operations to work interdependently together to promote actions of the Spotlighted Pin. For such Foresight and Forethought, a Floodlight, used as your peripheral vision, is needed. A "Floodlight" is a broad beam intense light on an area larger than a Spotlight. It highlights the entire bowling alley lane and its 10 pins, without specifying any particular part. Hence, you can see all of the pins in the triangle and their surroundings in greater detail than allowed by the Sunlight of your awareness. The scope of that awareness depends upon how well you have trained yourself not to be “blind to the obvious” + to see deeply + to understand part or all of the obvious’ “what it is” and “as it is”.
To now answer the above question, the point is to head all of your daily activities so that all of their beneficial effects will be supportive of the MVP lead pin connected with your Mission. While standing behind the triangle, with the lead pin A pointing to ones Mission in life, let us say that pin G in the back row represents your immediate problem. To handle it right now with efficient and effective planning pertaining to your Mission, figure out how to “hit” (or cultivate) pin G in order for it to “hit” (or cultivate) pins H, I, and J as well as pins F and C. If planned well, then pins F and C will hit pins D and E—which, in turn, will hit pin B–and pin B, in turn, will hit pin A. Continually cultivating pin A is the way to keep advancing towards ones Mission.
This “Reverse Bowling Pin” Concept is the single most important way to see the "Big Picture" of the scope of any subject, or of some meaningful long-term course; to plan for stepping stones connecting where one is presently with where one ought to go; and to best use ones Talent as a bridge to travel “straight ahead” to the other end—i.e. ones Mission in life. For example, if a decision is to be made about ones career in the “here and now”, then one must keep in mind the effect it will have on ones mate and children—e.g. will they be harmed or enhanced?—will one make enough money to live in a safe environment with a good school system”. In my daily thinking about work, I must consider all aspects of a given subject in order to generate the bestworkable options for right situational solutions.
To “Stay-on-Point” demands Foresight (“seeing” ahead and around corners to detect and prepare for what is likely to happen in the future) and Forethought" (“figuring out” and planning ahead before taking calculated risks) in order to reduce the number of layered bad consequences. Both also minimize the destructive magnitude of unexpectedly arising problems when one is fighting other “alligators”.
To the end of preparing how to deal with each of the situations concerning each pin, I research pertinent aspects of a tough topic. This starts with looking up the meaning of the subject’s keystone word in up to 1000 books in order to discover what everybody has known and now knows about that subject. After gathering that information, I put the story in priority order or fit ‘bits and pieces’ on different planes of existence. These enable me to see the “big picture” of the subject as well as discern the essence of the meaning of that same keystone word on each of its planes of existence. In turn, that paves the way for me to create a Classification of that subject. Each Class in the Classification is like a Bowling Pin but I shine the Spotlight on the lead pin so as deal with the bull’s eye of the Archery Pad before dealing with any of the surrounding circles (or other 9 pins). If, in researching what is spotlighted, I learn something new or applicable about that (or any) subject (or Pin) in general, some of that material will apply not only to Pin A but also to Pins C and E. Inserting that information in the Pin C class and Pin E class (whether in the spotlighted subject or a different subject), it may rest there mentally untouched by me until a year later when I get back to it. Meanwhile, I have picked up new information or seen the old thing in a new way. Hence, when I Spotlight the entire entity, my new perspectives allow for that entire entity to fit together harmoniously. From that, 3 options are extracted for Plans A, B, and C. Plan A is tried first to see if it works for the proposed situation; if not, Plan B. A meshing of the Plan with the situation means the subject at hand and my thinking abilities have been expanded from the inside out. That creates insightful paths into the Unknown whereby new discoveries can be made. jabaileymd.com; JABLifeSkills; Theievoice.com