December 2009

netPsychologist.com Newsletter

Tools and Tips For Success Being Your Own Authority.

It's not unusual, for me to not get something.

A lot of things in this culture baffle me. This year-end phenomenon of list making is one of them.

It's the best of, the worst of, person of the year this, least person of the year that. On and on the listing goes. It's as if every publication and industry must publish their lists of opinions. And the amazing thing is, we read them. I suspect, if for no other reason, that's why list making continues, because the lists get read.

Perhaps there is value using some sort of schema to organize our recent history, that is the year that is ending. Maybe we learn something from such a review. But, of course, it's not just year end lists that we make and read. We make wish lists and resolution lists and shopping lists and gift lists and lists of parties and lists of people to send cards to and bucket lists and lists of bills to pay. And we also like to read the lists others make of these things. After all that, somewhere between January 1 and January 15, we collapse, then prepare during the next 10 months to do it all over again.

Given that many of us are list makers and list readers, here is my list of suggested lists that might be useful to our personal growth and development:

  • The Most Boring Period this year of Simply Sustaining, i.e. chopping wood and carrying water and what I learned from that.
  • The Middlest List, i.e. things, events, insights that were neither noteworthy nor unnoticed, those mediocre happenings that I was aware of.
  • My Most Personally Transforming Experience(s) this year.
  • The Avoided List: things I deliberately chose not to do.
  • List of My Greatest Disappointments this year
  • What I Am Most Pleased About Myself List.
  • The List of High Points and Low Points in My Marriage or Significant Relationship.
  • List of Things My Body Taught Me
  • List of Ironies and Synchronicities that occurred to me
  • List of Reasons I Need To Make Lists (Or Not).

That's ten. If you need more or different topics, make up your own. We may be attracted to other people's lists by the worry that they know something we do not. God forbid we should miss anything. The problem for me about that is, it's a focus on others rather than attending to my own awareness and observations.

Cheers for 2010!

ps. Deliberately choose to not read another person's list until after January 15. If you must do listing, make yourself your own authority and create the lists important to you.

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Contents of this newsletter © Paul W. Anderson, Ph.D.


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