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Confucius and the Pushup

There is a process used in NLP ( called chunking.  It is a way in which we categorize information when we think and act.

We can use the concept of chunking in a number of ways, for instance becoming more specific to get more details or becoming more general to get a larger picture.  However I use it more often than not to go from the large to the small.

For example, let’s say you lost a bet with your best friend, the consequences of which you had to eat a car.  We can presuppose that your best thinking was taking a nap when you made the bet but none the less you’re stuck.  Here is where chunking might be useful.

You might find that the task of eating the car was just too difficult.  You know, thoughts like, “Oh my God what have I got myself into”, or “I will never be able to do this” or “that rear bumper is just too big to swallow” … that sort of thinking.  But if you were to reframe the project much smaller projects, ones that you could “Swallow” so to speak, you would have a much different perspective, one that is manageable.

We should pause here to remind everyone that this post is not about how to eat a car and please do not try it.  I do know that one person did eat what I remember to be a 56 Buick but still I do not recommend it no matter how cool it sounds.  And if any of my sons or nephews are reading this DON’T EVEN THINK ABOUT IT.  Ok back to pushups and chunking,

Another example germane to chunking is what Confucius said, “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”    By breaking the trip down into small segments, working on that piece and then moving onto the next is an excellent strategy if you want to accomplish anything.  You also have to at least start the journey if you have any hope of completing it.

I mean, we are not talking rocket science here but it is a basic premise I hold central to this project – how can I break the pushup project down to bits I can understand, experience, and master, and just as important, how can I take action today, Saturday, March 28, 2009, to further accomplish my goal.

I’m laughing and wanted to add to that last sentence, “without having to do any pushups today”.  (Now that is funny).

Anything is possible if you break down the elements and components of a large thing into small enough pieces or tasks.  My methodology is to get a scratch pad and start brainstorming, breaking the project down to smaller pieces, breaking those pieces down to yet smaller pieces and so on….Chunking.

Next post I will share with you my actual work on this project.  You wouldn’t think that something as simple as a pushup has, according to my chunking process, over 40 different components….and those are the big chunks.