All insight is already growing inside of us. It is simply waiting for someone else to give it clarification and validation and permission, and waiting for us to convert it into motivational energy. But when we have these experiences that so beautifully disrupt our habitual thought patterns, how we actually process those insights is what separates the saints from the aints. Have you ever met the person who returned from a weekend meditation retreat and spent the next eight months obnoxiously droning on and on about their newfound enlightenment? It was unbearable and made you want to slap them in the face with a forty pound salmon, no doubt. Because they seemed to have confused talking repeatedly about issues with progress and change. Indeed, there is none so pious as the new convert. But within that criticism is a potential cure. The key word being convert, as in, convert our wisdom into being better and more useful people. That’s the prime spiritual directive for each of us.
ENCODING — The practice of processing experiences into insights and insights into habits
Instead of immediately running to preach and baptize and making disciples of all nations, we turn our insight into a new habit. Which, ironically, is a habit in itself. But then again, once you see everything as a bunch of habits, life becomes a lot simpler. And in time, what was started as an insight, organically transforms into an inclination. If it sounds like a lot of work, you’re right. But again, the habit of creating new habits is a habit itself. And both are worthwhile investments. You have to keep a watchful eye on your own inward impressions, and find ways to operationalize them into your creative practice.
Personally, when a new insight comes crashing into my consciousness, there is a encoding specific process that works for my personality and learning style. Capture, meaning, writing it down. Concentrate, meaning, give it a think. Comprehend, meaning, understand how it applies to my unique experience. Categorize, meaning, classify the context of it. Comment, meaning, react to how it makes me feel. Compose, meaning, create art inspired by it. Converse, meaning, talk about it with others. Collect, meaning, add new facets and angles and refractions over time. Custom, meaning, embody and thread the insight through my bodily actions in the world.
Your encoding process, which can take anywhere from days to weeks to years, is a powerful tool for personal creativity management. It integrates and synthesizes the insight into your body, mind, and spirit, embracing it into the fabric of your being. Like an enzyme. How will you double your learning next week?
Take action on new learnings immediately
Reduce the likelihood of making the same mistake over and over
Clarify what you already know and convert it into motivational energy
Convert the wisdom you receive into being a better and more useful person