Cut the Crap!



Many years ago I learned about the Crap Detector.
The great American author Ernest Hemingway was the originator of the idea. I came across it in an essay by educator Neil Postman where he wrote:
"For those of you who do not know, it may be worth saying that the phrase, “crap-detecting,” originated with Ernest Hemingway who when asked if there were one quality needed, above all others, to be a good writer, replied, “Yes, a built-in, shock-proof, crap detector.”"
Postman's entire piece is well worth reading.
Why was Hemingway, and Postman, such a proponent of having a functioning crap detector?
In a nutshell, to lead a better and smarter life.
Life is full of a lot of crap. Bias. Fake news. Propaganda. Obfuscation. Currently in 2017, we have tons of it, coming at us every day from politicians via the media.
If we don't have a way of filtering the crap from the good stuff, we can be overwhelmed and led astray.
I recently learned another useful tool for crap detection and control from psychologist Dr. Mark Waldman who invented something he calls a C*R*A*P board. The idea is to identify (and write down) all the crap that is getting in the way of your happiness and your goals:
C is for Conflicts that have no easy route to a solution.
R is for Resistance we are feeling toward certain things, ideas, or people.
A is for Anxiety we may be experiencing.
P is for Procrastination (putting things off) or other problems.
Dr. Waldman recommends capturing this crap in writing and putting it up on the wall as a reminder of the self-generated obstacles that could get in your way of your happiness and success.
Perhaps a good way to end this is to return to Neil Postman who wrote:
"Postman’s Third Law: “At any given time, the chief source of crap with which you have to contend is (coming from) yourself.”"
When we learn to cut the crap that we are producing, we can clear the air and get real about who we are, where we are going, and how best to get there.
Terrence Seamon helps his clients cut the crap that is getting in the way of progress. Follow him on twitter @tseamon

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Customer Service with HEART

The Devil's Approach to Change Management

Impacting the Culture - Part 2