write because you’ve got something to say

it’s been quite a long time since i have last posted something around here. i didn’t quit! it was just an end of university year with many exams and a successful BA diploma in pastoral theology for me. and that took from me a lot of time.

i haven’t published, that’s true, but i was constantly thinking in the past two months on why do i write for and what do i write for. of course i know why i write! (see that down below). well, the result of this reevaluating of my purpose is that i decided to start in the future a hungarian version of this blog. i will translate most of the posts that i already wrote and will constantly do that from now on. so, my hungarian speaking fellows: from now on you don’t have to complain, that you don’t understand what’s happening! magyar flag

 

why do i write? 

when i started thinking about launching this blog, i bought myself a notebook (paper, not digital) and i bought it in order to write down my ideas and plans. but i bought one particular notebook, with the following very inspiring quote on the cover:

you don’t write because you want to say something. you write because you’ve got something to say.

now, as i think back to the moment i have bought this copy-book for my notes, i know that was a short, but substantial moment.

 

you’ve got something to say:

self-knowledge
i have to start with being selfish. writing for me means to know myself better. that’s why i write a self coaching blog. it’s a way of expressing myself. sometimes it’s good to write out the things you have deep inside – for that you need a journal. writing on the blogosphere teaches me to control myself, my words and my thoughts. readers give a good feed-back (if they like-follow-comment-share etc).
but i never exclude the possibility that readers can benefit from my selfish experiment. everyone is free to learn from what i write.

share yourself with everyone

knowledge
some can work more on finding a topic to write about, than what it takes to actually write a post. it can be a nice experiment to try to find the topic that most people are interested in. if the topic is good, the readers will come.
i see it the other way around. what i write about it’s already present, i have dreams, experiences, i see things, read, think on the things i experience. i don’t search for a topic because i need to write something, anything. i’ve got something to say and that’s what i’ll write about. it’s up to the readers how will the articles are received.

write because you’ve got something to say

providence
you need to know your audience – they say. and that’s true. when you start a page, you have to take in consideration that the content you are posting will be read by one type of audience. so if you want to reach as many readers as you can, you have to write in such a way, that a wide range of people become interested in your articles.
now, for me, that’s not enough. i don’t want to trap in people in to my blog. i care about those who visit my blog and read my content. i keep an eye on those who are interested.
74% of those who visit my blog are native hungarian speakers. i can’t leave this vital information out. so, by taking the blog to a new level and providing a hungarian version, i want to show my readers that i care about them.
for those who don’t speak hungarian, relax: i know what topics you prefer and will continue writing on that, plus + i am happy to answer all you questions and be a friend when needed.

take care of your audience

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so the process starts with me, an egoistic attempt to express myself and to improve. but in this process i hope to see the needs of others.
i hope i can be useful for others too. 

mission-thinking

it is very healthy to take some time for yourself in order to evaluate your past, take a deep look at your current situation and plan for the future. this kind of  evaluation is important, because it can help you to know where you belong. many people just live with the flux of everyday questions. when you stopped evaluating your role in the society, your position in your work career, your aim for the future, i think you might be close to a burnout or you activated the autopilot mode in your life. things just happen, you just live from one day to the other. doing new things can easily insecure you, having new acquaintances unease you, dreaming of better and focusing on improvement  are missing.

what can help you getting over this phase in your life, you might ask? i propose you a small exercise, if you are willing to give a try. i named it mission-thinking.

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of course, those who know how much interested i am in theological studies, might think that now i want to make a point on some Christian techniques or a sort of convertion. well, they are wrong -maybe-
we live a time of almost total secularization of the word mission. you go to army and you are sent out to the field-work, you already have a mission to complete. or, you work in business, you have to know the mission statement of your company. the word mission has been dechristianised during the years. but the meaning and context we use this word in is the same: you have an aim, you want to reach a goal, you are willing to fight for something- you have a mission, or a vision (the way i called this in a prior blog post).

 

so, here’s my suggestion and the theoretical background of my mission-thinking conception:

when you think about the things you are doing, or you would like to do, try to see them as missions. you should reevaluate the most important aspects and parts of your life. in which things do you see a mission?
– what you learn will be only an income source, or it’s also something you really want to live for?
– your role in the society, as a volunteer, member of an organisation, church member or simply as neighbour is the way you really want to add to your fellow-beings?
– is your hobby meaningful enough to make you feel you are actively doing something, or it is just a way you say goodbye to the world and become lonesome?
if you really think what you are doing is more than getting over the everyday tasks, you need to say it’s not only a must-do thing, but it is your mission. i think this phrasing is more powerful than having a goal, reaching an aim…

so, take some time reassess things and say it out loud what is your mission.

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mind the gap

there’s a big chance that you are -like me- a little more pragmatical person. dozens of theoretical books to read for exams, personal development and in order to make it as a professional. at least that’s what the certificate states.

i for myself enjoy to learn from the books professors recommend as compulsory. but sometimes i have the feeling it’s not enough for a proper preparation. many university courses are not a “how-to” or don’t inspire sufficiently. there is a big gap between theory and practice, theory and inspirational learning. if the educational system is not fairly practical, we might find ourselves in the situation of not knowing what to do with the thousands of pages we read.

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so let’s try to mind the gap. mind the gap – originally used to warn passengers getting on the train/bus/metro – has also the meaning to deal with the void. in our case the void between uninspiring theory and practical ability.

here’s what i propose in order to mind the gap:
during studies or already being in practice search for people in you profession that inspire you. if it’s possible meet and ask for advice – until here nothing new or complicated. but an old roadster can surely recommend some good books to read for your profession. and i’m sure, that one who is in the profession for many years, won’t suggest you books that are packed with boring or ununderstandable theory. instead, they will give you titles that will inspire and grow you wings.

i ask every pastor, psychologist, theologian and people who work in a helping profession to give me their top 5 list of books that could inspire me as a further professional. i collect the lists and after 15-20 lists i compare the lists and choose the books with the most occurrences and add them on my to-read list.

this is one practical way i try to mind the gap.

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what’s your excuse?

 

the trolley problem

 

after talking about decision making and responsability with one of my friends -16.5 years old teenager- he suggested me a book: The Trolley Problem by Thomas Cathcart. (i wish i would read books like these at the age of 16!)

he actually prescribed it to me. yes, doctor E., i will take my book medicine! – i promised him.

so did i and here i am, finding this book worth of reviewing it, but before i actually do that, let me add a short comment: this book and the theory behind is mind blow!

blownmind

the main idea behind the whole complex problem is quite simple and was developed by british philosopher Philippa Foot in 1967. something went wrong and our tram driver can’t stop for sure the vehicle he is driving. on the main track, where the tram is heading forwards are five workers. the driver has two possibilities: do nothing –by this killing the five workers, who can’t get off the track – or, steer the track to the right, where on the secondary line we have only one worker. The main question is: would you steer and give up the life of one, in order to save the five (utilitarianism) or you wouldn’t play God and just let everything ongoing, killing the five workers on the main line?!

it’s an ethical question that is to be stressed out by this imaginary experiment.

the result of this attempt was what we call today trolleyology. trolleyologist kept going further by adding elements to this story, or inventing new ones with different circumstances.

 

you may feel that this trolleyology is something like scholasticism did, by asking hair splitting questions like: how many angels can dance on a pin? by adding new elements and new stories, the moral problem actually gets more complicated, but also helps to take better decisions (hopefully).

for example, in 1985 philosopher Judith Jarvis Thomson changed the plot a little, inviting us to add an element to the story. let’s imagine the same story, without a tram driver, but with a switch standing near you. you can change the tram from one line to the other one – what do you decide as an outsider who has no professional responsibility for the action? you let fate make it’s course or kill one worker in order to save five others? and what if there is no switch and you realize that the only way stopping the tram is to throw a heavy weight in front of the tram – but you only have a very fat guy who you can push from a bridge in front of the tram, by this killing the fat guy, but sparing the life of the others. results show that you would not push and kill the fat guy in order to save the others, but you would steer or change the switch from the main line and kill the one worker versus the five. it’s killing in both cases, but do you see umber between the stories and decisions?

 

in his book, thomas cathcart enlightened the case from many other aspects: what would an altruist ultra-christian say about the case, or how would a Kant-fan philosophy teacher comment this, or what would the church say, what would lay people think about it and so one.

this book was a great subscription.

you should also read it, no matter the profession you have.

 

i have a question

i am sure many of you heard the big pedagogical contradiction of organised education: the one who is supposed to give the answers is asking (teacher), and the ones supposed to ask questions (students) are required to answer them.

the truth of course is, that this situation is overdone by students (mainly by those who don’t like to learn) and it is mostly true when a repetition class is held. anyway, this exaggerated situation shows us clearly, that the one who asks the question, has always the easier part of the given situation. just ask my friend, who recently had a few austere job interviews and had to answer hundreds of unanswerable questions – he was happy to end the sessions and be done with the fire of purgatory, he told me.

the one who asks the question is the one who can lead the conversation. and if you know how to ask questions, you can lead the conversation and situation wherever you want to arrive. (those who work in a leading position and want to know more about asking questions the right way, i suggest this link as a good start: https://hbr.org/2011/08/the-art-of-asking-questions – and contact me later to talk about it).

but it’s not only the business world where you can use your ability of a good questioner. everyone who has to memorise or to know the content of a given text, should make use of the ability to ask questions. for every high-school test, exam material or content of a paper or book, here is a great rule in order to know better the content: the text is the answer, you have to ask the questions.

comenius

  1. first of all, let’s admit, that while you read a paper, you are too busy paying attention to underline the details, mark the most important information, finish the work. maybe it’s familiar to you too, that after a few pages you ask yourself: what did i just read until now?! that’s because you don’t stop to think, rethink. well, by forcing yourself to formulate the right questions you have to stop, overvalue, think and think outside the box. try it out: one question after every page, should do the work for the start.
  2. after reading a paper, you can sum up how much you remember of what you just read by writing down all the questions you can formulate, but you have to be able to find the answers from the text. make cards and write down on every card a question & after that search and write down the answer on the given card. reread the content of the cards. after a while you will associate every answer by the question you formulated yourself.

it’s not about discovering America again, it’s not rocket science.

it’s all about discovering your strength, by making use of the ability of curiosity that everyone has.

 

ask questions. associate. develop.  

time for questions