Discussion Prompts

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I think

therefore I am.

- René Descartes


ost of us have a tendency to self-reference, which is the predisposition to not seek outside input. It occurs when we falsely believe we have all the data we need for our current project. I have always pictured the human brain as having its own little library of books upstairs that we have collected over the years and I have come to recognize that this little library is always missing critical resource material. When we self-reference, we shrink our thinking by using only our limited collection of books. The way to correct this tendency is to think out loud around people whom you respect in order to allow them to contribute their resources to your thinking process.

Thinking out loud can be more difficult than you might imagine. Here are a few prompts that might help you practice, and thus develop, the marvelous habit of sharing your internal process with a trustworthy other in real time – meaning unpolished and raw. This ability can greatly enhance both your thinking ability and your level of trust in the people who matter most to you.

Please feel encouraged to send me prompts that you have found stimulating (jan@self-construct.com).

Cartesian prompts

What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?

People who know me would describe me as:

How did your parents react when you wanted something as a child?

What were the three best characteristics of your father? Your mother? What were the three worst?

Did you have nicknames as a kid? Were they nice?

The perfect parents for me would have been a man who ____________________ and a woman who ____________________.

I am a ________________________. (Fill in the blank with as many roles as you can think of.)

But, to me, the three most important roles are:

I want to learn how to _____________________. (As many things as you can think of.)

When I was a kid, I would spend hours doing _________________.

I got in trouble when I was little for ___________________.

When I ___________________, time seems to fly by.

What makes me unique is my ______________________.

My favorite novel/movie/song is _____________________ because ____________________.

I envy people who:

If I could go back in time to rework my choices I would go back to the year ______________ and change ___________________.

If humans lived three hundred years, I would have plenty of time to:

I think the three highest paying jobs ought to be:

A perfect day would be:

A perfect week would be:

A perfect month would be:

A perfect year would be:

What do I want to be true about me?

I’m afraid of ___________________________.

© Copyright 2014 Jan Iversen. All rights reserved.