Activity 7 - Eventures: Applying What We Know to Challenging SD Events

Tuesday, 06 December 2011 04:31

Maurice Gibbons (c) 2008 Personal Power Press International

Now it’s time to start applying the ideas and practices we have introduced. We will apply them to the short unit of self–direction that we call “events,” which are single acts that can often be done in an hour, possibly a day, and sometimes as much as a week. Projects, enterprises and fields are progressively longer.

To be intentional, we will organize each activity using the briefest of proposals, which will only include a goal and a short plan. We will build on this organizational foundation later in the program.

The intent of this activity is also to push you out into a broader range of activities so that when you come to make major decisions you will be more likely to risk challenging possibilities rather than slip back to safe and familiar choices.

All self-directed learning moves toward action, purposeful action. We learn by preparing for action; we learn by taking action, and we learn by reflecting on the action we have taken. Jerry wants to create a photograph of life in the pond near her house. First, she studies the pond and marks the spot from which she will shoot her subjects. Second, she acts, taking the photograph she planned. And third, she studies the photos and decides what she has done well, and how she can improve next time.

We each live in a closet of the house of possibilities available to us. Up to this moment, most of us have only experienced a fraction of what we could. We invite you to leave the closet and explore the whole house of what is possible.

Here is a start. Choose at least one activity from each of the groups of possibilities below. Here are the guidelines for choosing:

This activity is only valuable if you select activities that are new to you. Your choices should all be first-time events.

We invite you to challenge yourself now and to practice the courage you will need to be self-directed in all of the activities that follow, and that you will need to be self- directed for the rest of your life.

Think about extending your repertoire; expand the range of choices you can and will make; increase the number of possibilities open to you.

Above all, open up, make your choices new, compelling, exciting and fun. This activity is preparation for what lies ahead in the self-direction program. </jb_purplebox}

After you have chosen at least one activity from each category, we will show you how to organize what you will do. It will be not be difficult because our goal is to practice the process in preparation for tougher work.

* Visit a museum of natural history, an art gallery, an historical or geographic society; any organized display of cars, tools, weapons, airplanes, products or industries.

* Visit a casino or horse racing track, or a racing car speedway.

* Visit a local community recreation centre or any other meeting place for people your age or with your interests.

* Visit a part of town new to you and explore the shops and other features that you find there.

* Visit an agency of government.

* Go to a play, concert, or lecture.

* Eat a meal in a restaurant with cuisine new to you, or shop in a new community (eg. Italian or Mexican) for the ingredients you need to cook a meal that is characteristic of that culture.

* Visit and explore a rural or wilderness area.

* Add an idea of your own here.

{jb_purplebox} Once you have chosen your activity, you have to design it, turn it into a productive process. We will do that by naming our goal and planning how we will do it.

We have named the activity, but so far it is without purpose, your purpose. You may go to an art gallery, but why? Here’s a sample goal: “To go to the city art gallery and find the one painting I would like to have hanging in my room.” I might prefer to go with someone who knows painting and would explain his views to me, or I might go to study the Romantics and see what vision they shared. You may also decide to go to the gallery, see the exhibition and just be open and respond as fully as you can. Write it up in your journal like this:

Goal: To go to the Floating Image Gallery and ask the owner to explain the native art they are showing.

Keep the plan simple and basic, but think through the steps and try to arrange it so that you can expect to get a lot out of it.


* Phone the gallery and make the arrangements

* Find the gallery on W55th

* Meet Robert Running Deer and tour

* Make notes in my journal

* Send thank you to Robert

* Play an urban game: go to an arcade, a pool hall, a bowling alley, or bridge club and play.

* Operate a new device, vehicle, machine, tool or instrument. Watch someone use it, try it, learn to do it, do something with it. Be careful.

* Interview a person who does or knows something you are interested in—an old-timer, an expert, an official, or someone with an interesting background or job.

* Try a new sport with borrowed or rented equipment: a game of 21 (basketball), skating, tennis, hiking, skiing, swimming. snowshoeing, squash, body-surfing or a sport of your choice.

* Try a new home game such as checkers, chess, poker, crib, Wizard, or bridge. Or try a word or numbers game such as a crossword or Sudoku.

* Take one lesson in computer skills, dancing, playing a musical instrument, or speaking a foreign language.

* Use a club, community centre, or business to experience meditation, yoga, pilates, or massage.

* Visit a beautiful site—garden, river-or-ocean front, arboretum, viewpoint or other--in or near your town or city and take an artistic photograph of a carefully chosen scene.

* Visit a travel agent and plan an exciting trip.

* Find out how to create a Facebook, a blog, a Skype camera connection, or a website on your computer.

* Plan an event that you know will make you laugh out loud. Don’t be afraid to dress up, be silly, or get others in on the act.

* Select a worthy cause and do something demonstrative to help or support it.

* Contact someone you have lost touch with and renew your relationship, or contact someone you have had a disagreement with and do what you can to reconnect.

* Find a rural site and choose a place to go for a walk—go for the walk.

* Place your idea of an activity to experience here.

Remember, choose something new, and something that challenges you. Remember also that you must keep yourself safe. We do not take any responsibility for your safety. That is up to you. All of these activities can be done without danger to yourself. Do not do any of them unless you are willing to take full responsibility for yourself.

Choose at least one activity from the list above, state your goal, and lay out a plan in your journal. Do the activity and comment on it. Remember, if it’s not exciting, don’t blame me or the event. You are responsible, Make it exciting for yourself, and be excited. That’s the way it is.

* Pick a topic. Go to a library and find a book on that topic worth reading. That is, find out how to access library resources.

* Better still, go to the library and ask someone at the information desk what resources you can find at the library. (You may be able to borrow and read in comfort in the library your favourite magazine, business newsletter, or newspaper)

* Write down a question you want to answer. Find a source in the phone book and phone it for the answer. I know, I know, but rack your brain. The struggle is good for it.

* Take something apart (then put it back together?). That is, find out how it works. It may be wise to use an old thing.

* Name a field that interests you. Do a computer search on the Internet for articles and other resources. Select three that are most useful out of at least ten that you check, and bookmark them. You could also write one interesting idea from each of them in your journal.

* Get a field compass and figure out how to use it to create a simple game. See if a friend or child can play it.

* Find out from another person how to cook fish and what to cook with it. Do it. Do it together, if you can.

* Find out the steps someone successful took to start their business and outline the process in your journal.

* Take a lesson in something you can’t do, are afraid to do, but want to do.

* Find a place to play with children, play with them, have a good time. Note in your journal what you learned about being with children.

* Arrange to shadow someone doing something you would like to do.

* Ask someone skilled to show you how to sketch, paint, sculpt, design or otherwise create a small, simple work of art.

* Find out where the path, trail, road, stream, or river goes—find out by going.

* Think of a field that you are interested in and find out where you could go to train for that work, and if you are eligible. If you aren’t, find out what you have to do to become eligible.

* Go to a lecture or meeting about a topic that interests you and find out something you don’t want to forget. Decide what you can do to make sure you don’t forget.

* Find out what you can do to help people less fortunate than yourself and then do a sample of it. Or simply see what help someone you know needs and provide it without accepting any reward.

* Hardware stores, carving tool stores, and the tool sections of some department stores have demonstrations of how to use tools or care for them. Find one, attend and take part.

* Find out how to do one basic step of the Salsa or tango—or any other dance. Learn it well enough to dance it.

[Side question: In this last list, how many different ways for finding out can you find?]

Choose one of the “Find Out” activities above, make your goal, design a plan, and do it. Then comment in your journal about what you learned specifically about the activity and from it, and what you learned more generally about learning, self-direction, and/or about yourself.

Every experience is rich in potential for learning, growing, and becoming, but you have to take the time to absorb, understand and use it.


Last Updated on Wednesday, 28 December 2011 15:29