Who read the article on David/GTD in the Atlantic Monthly?

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spectecGTD

Guest
I certainly think that Jim Fallows was using "cult" in a positive sense. It seems he was emphasizing how similiarly people who adopt GTD will approach the whole issue of stress management & open loops..

The basic principle (or belief, if you will) is "get it out of your head and into a trusted system". If one isn't willing to accept that as a fundamental building block, then many of the GTD techniques don't make much sense or else they just fall into the general category of unrelated time management tricks.

Accepting the concept of mind like water and actually expending considerable energy in working toward that goal can make it look as though one has adopted a sort of groupthink approach to life & work. For some of us that's using common sense to solve a stress management problem - for others it might actually appear as though we've joined a cult.

Whatever the case, it's an indirect testimony to James Fallows' writing skill. He was able to capture your attention & lure you into reading the article using a term you found objectionable. It worked with me, too.
 

Arduinna

Registered
Grateful, I think of "cult" not in a Jim Jones context but more like "cult movie"--as in "known to a relative few who have a zealous appreciation for it." Something like that. GTD inspires a combination of fervid gratitude in some who find in it something that works--finally!--and a desire to achieve that state of operational bliss DA calls "mind like water." Even getting a tiny toehold on it has me believing what others have said about it, that it can change your life radically. It's simple, but its effects are deep and powerful. Some people understandably feel intense about it, as they do anything that effects a positive transformation in the way they engage with the world. Functional enlightenment without religion. JMO.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
Arduinna, thank you for stating the OBVIOUS -- that gargantuan 5-ton "marshmellow" sitting right in front of me, otherwise known as the actual objective of GTD, to wit: "mind like water."

And thus I must offer a resounding, "Doh!" LOL

I feel so silly.

I'm totally unfamiliar with the martial arts and have only a passing knowledge of oriental philosophies -- I'm more "experiential" than intellectual so I could not speak about something so esoteric as "mind like water."

However, over the last 72 hours, my entire waking life has become a calm meditative "Chop wood, carry water" and am accomplishing so many things, and thus...... although I could not possibly speak about "mind like water" -- the simple fact is that having THAT be the ultimate objective is, essentially, pretty normative, not extraordinary or obtuse or outre goal.

I've been so busy accomplishing so many many many things, simply experiencing where the "2-minute Rule" coupled with Part I of the GTD book led me ---- that I really hadn't noticed that big fat plump marshmellow entitled, "Mind like water" on which the entire process prolly not merely leads to, but for all I know was maybe even founded upon.

LOL!! :)

"Mind like Water" is not *exactly* the kind of concept you'd ever broach with the typical corporate manager with, hey?!

Although that first paragraph of the article might as well have been written for me, specifically, lol --- fact is, it was the last couple paragraphs that made me write DA's name down, on a very short list of others, who every once in a while, I check to see what they're doing and more importantly, what actual impact their lives might (or, indeed, might not) be having on others. Just names I follow up on every few years or so, nothing intense.

I wasn't even going to buy the GTD book, but Fallows explanation of the "2-minute Rule" so radically changed the course of my daily life, that curiosity got the best of me.

Arduinna said:
.... a desire to achieve that state of operational bliss DA calls "mind like water." Even getting a tiny toehold on it has me believing what others have said about it, that it can change your life radically. It's simple, but its effects are deep and powerful. Some people understandably feel intense about it, as they do anything that effects a positive transformation in the way they engage with the world. Functional enlightenment without religion. JMO.
I know at some point in the future, that there will be others who ask me, "WHAT happened???!!!" and I intend to give them hard copies of Fallow's article, and if they have further interest, then get them a copy of GTD.

But I wouldn't dream of mentioning the Big Plump Marshmellow - it's simply not normative in the Western paradigm and might either confuse them or even turn them off.

"Functional enlightenment without religion" -- you are SO articulate! Thanks again.
 
A

Anonymous

Guest
spectecGTD said:
I certainly think that Jim Fallows was using "cult" in a positive sense. It seems he was emphasizing how similiarly people who adopt GTD will approach the whole issue of stress management & open loops..

The basic principle (or belief, if you will) is "get it out of your head and into a trusted system". If one isn't willing to accept that as a fundamental building block, then many of the GTD techniques don't make much sense or else they just fall into the general category of unrelated time management tricks.

Accepting the concept of mind like water and actually expending considerable energy in working toward that goal can make it look as though one has adopted a sort of groupthink approach to life & work. For some of us that's using common sense to solve a stress management problem - for others it might actually appear as though we've joined a cult.
Thank you, spectecGTD -- this has been such an enigma to me, in that whatever I've read of GTD or the people who've adapted it is absolutely antithetical to the manipulative programs promulgated by actual cults.

In a true cult, all the individuals become psychological clones of oneanother.

In GTD, an individual simply takes on as much as they want, when they want.

However, as I mentioned in my last posting, yep, "mind like water" could convey instant cult status upon GTD, simply because this is not ((yet)) normative to Western Culture.

That may change, however, as the Economist has named READY FOR ANYTHING as one of the best ten books of the year - so, perhaps, the concept will spread and no longer be an alien or fringe idea to most.

In past years, I've read lots about actual, real, true cults, and anything I've read or experienced about GTD is absolutely antithetical to anything whatsoever cultlike.

I can see how maybe Fallows was being humorous, tongue-in-cheek even, but maybe not -- he's a pretty serious writer, usually writing about very serious issues, and I'm certain that he was being honest in his last couple paragraphs - which is fine. But I had a completely different reaction to his. Where he seemed uncomfortable & confounded, my initial reaction was more along the lines of, "Wow, that is a real hoot, I'll have to keep track of the fellow he's writing about -- that's pretty radical, in an entirely HEALTHY sense.

LOL.
 

TesTeq

Registered
Corporate managers' problem.

Grateful said:
"Mind like Water" is not *exactly* the kind of concept you'd ever broach with the typical corporate manager with, hey?!
... and that's the problem with many corporate managers :( .
TesTeq
 
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Anonymous

Guest
Re: Corporate managers' problem.

TesTeq said:
Grateful said:
"Mind like Water" is not *exactly* the kind of concept you'd ever broach with the typical corporate manager with, hey?!
... and that's the problem with many corporate managers :( .
TesTeq
Thanks for your comment... for some reason it thrust me into an imaginary scenario --- wherein, one with no knowledge whatsoever of GTD is hired by a company which has adopted GTD.

It's easy in my mind's eye to see that were I unknowingly thrust into such an environment and be expected to conform to GTD..... that I easily could surmise, upon first impressions, that I was surrounded by a set of True Believers...

I'm NOT inferring that such response would necessarily happen, simply that it's quite conceivable that stepping into a situation where everyone else was totally trained in GTD and were really enthusiastic about same MIGHT provoke some "suspicions" about my new workplace and a confusing curiousity about the company.

Fallows went to three different GTD seminars, which could easily bring the cult-associations dramatically into clear focus. He was examining GTD for his article -- which is a dramatically different approach from the rest of us who are simply trying to fully understand & incorporate it into all areas of our lives.
 

Cpu_Modern

Registered
I had read that article when it came out and I still remembered this phrase verbatim: "and I'm nervous when someone tells me he's going to do something but I don't see him write it down."

But – I remembered it as a forum post our member @TesTeq wrote years ago!

Instead it was in that article, oh well.
 
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