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Targeted Thinking January 13, 2014

Posted by nrhatch in Meditation, Mindfulness, People.
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Some people claim they can’t meditate because they can’t get their thoughts to slow down long enough to see the sky beyond the clouds.

As an interim measure, they can give themselves a more mindful approach to thinking by focusing on a specific target.

Instead of allowing their thoughts to stream by on auto-pilot, they can reclaim the reins and give themselves something to think about.

Pick a cloud.  Any cloud.


One tool designed with targeted thinkers in mind:  The Book of Questions  by Gregory Stock, Ph.D.  With no “right” or “wrong” answers to trip over, this book causes readers to look deep for answers.

It’s a terrific conversation starter and/or companion for road trips.

A few questions from the First Edition:

12.  If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the body or the mind of your 30-year-old self for the last 60 years, which would you want?

35.  Would you give up half of what you now own for a pill that would change you so that one hour of sleep each day would fully refresh you?

72.  If you could have free unlimited service for five years from an extremely good cook, chauffeur, housekeeper, masseuse, or personal secretary, which would you choose?

73.  Would you be willing to go to a slaughterhouse and kill a cow?  Do you eat meat?

78.  If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living?

100.  What do you most strive for in life:  accomplishment, security, love, power, excitement, knowledge, or something else?

140.  Would you like to know the precise date of your death?  How might knowing when you’ll die help you to plan your life?

198.  If you could pass your whole life cared for in every way as you slumbered peacefully, entranced by wonderful dreams, would you do so?

213.  What would you like to be doing five years from now?  What do you think you will be doing?

A few reviews:

“The best questions are the ones you can’t Google. Here is a whole book of them.”
—Austin Kleon, author of Steal Like an Artist

“Capturing both future and present dilemmas, this deceptively simple book packs a real punch.”
—Ray Kurzweil, author of How to Create a Mind and founder of Singularity University

“These questions can take you into critical examination of what you are doing in this life.”
—Robert Thurman, professor of Buddhist studies, Columbia University

“A good question is better than a brilliant answer. I personally focus on the word ‘quest’ in question, which is the essence of each interlocutory.”
—Richard Saul Wurman, creator of TED

“These questions will get you thinking about some of the things we can go through a lifetime avoiding; they’re deep questions, but then humans at our best and most real are deep people.”
—Bill McKibben, author of Oil and Honey

“Don’t know what to do this weekend? Here is the answer: Pick up this book and drive your friends, loved ones, neighbors, and strangers crazy with smart, tough, interesting questions.”
— Juan Enriquez, TED speaker and coauthor of Homo Evolutis: Please Meet the Next Human Species

“The Book of Questions covers an enormous range of challenging issues with wit, insight, and brio.”
—Arthur Caplan, Director of Medical Ethics Division, NYU Langone Medical Center

“In a world endlessly in search of answers, Greg Stock reminds us that what really matters are the questions.”
—Seth Godin, author of The Icarus Deception

“Your answers to these questions will help us decide what humans should be. Take your time.”
—Kevin Kelly, Senior Maverick at Wired and author of What Technology Wants

“Provocative, surefire conversation starters. Watch out; some of them will have you questioning old and comfy assumptions.”
—David Brin, author of The Postman and The Transparent Society

Aah . . . that’s better!