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Part V: SUMMARY > Actions for Practice

Chapter 36. Actions for Practice

Actions for practice summarize the key concepts of positive uncertainty and provide you with a checklist of actions you can take to develop your skill at creative decision making. Keep this summary handy and refer to it whenever you need to make a significant career or life decision.

  1. Embrace the four paradoxical principles.

    Positive uncertainty is a decision-making philosophy. It recommends that you acknowledge and be positive about uncertainty. The four paradoxical principles provide opportunity for creativity and proactive behavior.

    Be focused and flexible about what you want.

    Be aware and wary about what you know.

    Be realistic and optimistic about what you believe.

    Be practical and magical about what you do.

  2. Shift from either/or to both and more.

    The both and more position is another paradox and provides a holistic perspective to decision making. For example, it says to be both a thinker and a feeler at the same time. To be both seems contradictory yet might be more than being either/or.

    Use your whole brain; be both rational and intuitive.

    Use all your senses, your head, your heart, your gut, the seat of your pants, and so on.

    Develop a memory that works in both directions—remember the past and imagine the future.

    Make sure your idea is not the only one you have. Multiple options are empowering.

  3. Be aware of the software of your mind’s eye.

    The way you see things is the way you choose to see things. You are the developer of the software of your mind’s eye. Believing is seeing. It is up to you.

    Learn to dream positively and precisely.

    Employ metaphor, creativity, and scenario rehearsal as decision-making tools.

    Have the courage to challenge your convictions.

    Watch for personal warning signs of the four new neuroses: future phobia, info-mania, perspective paralysis, and reverse paranoia.

  4. Become a futurist.

    All decisions are about the future. Your decisions partly determine your future and partly reflect what you believe your future to be. Think creatively about the three kinds of futures:

    The possible futures: This is what you think could happen. Become a “possibilist,” imagine as many possible futures as you can.

    The probable futures: This is what you expect will happen. Remember that what you expect is influenced by what you want, believe, and do not know.

    The preferable futures: This is what you want to happen. Treat your preferable futures as hypotheses—let goals guide you, not govern you.



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