Getting the Juice Out of the Morning
Here’s a recent comment from a friend and former student:
In the next few postings, I’ll remind you of how you can use the Mess Around Method to do just about anything at all and several specific things you can do to deal with dumb stuff they require you to put up with in college and high school. What you may not know is that you can do it on purpose and cut through huge piles of wasted time, time that you can use to get all the juice out of your day.
If you are in a college or high school, you can use the Mess Around Method to:
- Read textbook chapter quickly and well.
- Memorize easily and have fun at it.
- Minimize time spent on assignments.
- Write to please teachers of freshman English.
- Ace a test even if you didn’t study for it.
- Pulverize unreal school anxieties.
I’ll show you how that works after a little demonstration for you to try out.
The Mess Around Method
Conventional wisdom has it that good thinkers approach problems logically and systematically, and with their conscious minds. That’s flat-out wrong.
Solutions “come to us” and then we nail them down in language or in mathematical symbols or in a painting or a poem or in what’s causing the sewer line to clog up. That’s just the way the brain is set up. We have a fantastic problem-solver in the not-conscious part of the brain. If we use the conscious part appropriately, communication opens between the two parts. Data flow to the non-conscious, which gets to work and sends back exactly the solution you need. When that happens, you feel tingly all over. It’s downright delightful. I don’t have to prove this to you. You’ve experienced it lots and lots of times. Maybe you thought it was an accident. It isn’t. When you understand how it works, you can do it on purpose any time you feel like it.
When you were a little kid, you used this capacity with total confidence and with elegant efficiency. It may have looked to grownups as if you were playing. But if you look closely, you will see that playing is serious business. Ask lion cubs. In the sandbox, you were getting the knack of using that wonderful mass of jelly in your skull. I don’t know how schools got it so wrong, but they sure did. Even in the 21th century, they still have it upside down, and kids in most schools are taught to doubt their powers.
A Bar-Fly Puzzle
To demonstrate your mind in action, here is a little puzzle for you to try out. Watch what happens as you work on it. You will feel the solution before your conscious mind can make it concrete. It will “come to you.” Watch.
Here’s the puzzle:
Get the olive out of the cocktail glass in the attached photo by moving one matchstick once and another matchstick once. Don’t move anything else.
I’ve given photos of the two moves in a later post . I want you to have to experience of solving it yourself first. In that later post I’ll explain the mechanism you used to solve the puzzle.