Saturday, September 7, 2013

Memoirs of a convergent thinker

I spent all of 2011 engaged in cognitive rehabilitation and therapy.

Rose contemplates OT vs. PT vs. S.L.P., February 2011

      I had some amazing therapists.

Among them was Sue Newman of Courage Kenny Rehabilitation Institute.
      She imparted many things upon me and helped me to understand that I am a 

                                         Convergent Thinker.

        What is a divergent or convergent thinker?

                            A metaphor I came up with:
        Picture yourself lying on your back on some nice comfortable grass with your head near the base of a large tree.

                            Are you there yet?

        A convergent thinker can hone in on the absolute details of the furthest out bud. They can literally feel what the texture of the branches must be. And they know what the tree's fate will be exactly 12 years from now.

        Conversely, a divergent thinker can see all the intersections of the branches leading up to the top, and they can speculate on the many different ways that the branches must be textured, and think about several fates the tree might have.

        The point is that a convergent thinker might miss the multitude of paths leading up to that aforementioned bud 100' above them and the divergent thinker might not have as detailed a drawing of that bud's anatomy.

                            These are absolutes, and we live on a spectrum, not at absolutes.

        I am pretty far down the convergent thinker end of the thought-spectrum, and that's not a bad thing. The world needs convergent thinkers, in my humble opinion. Teamed up with a divergent thinker, great tasks can be accomplished efficiently and completely.  

      Furthermore, as Sue Newman made me realize, there is a great power in understanding which end of this spectrum you lie on. The techniques she taught me for "coping with" an extremely convergent mind allow me to harness this hyperbole 

                            Band name, I call it!

                                  and achieve great things with it.

        Like anyone's, my convergent mind will still cause trouble when I let it go unchecked. That I am a convergent thinker is likely no surprise to anyone who knows me. If I were a gunslinger, I would shoot from the hip and ask questions next. As it stands, I am the guy who will put something in his pocket and realize 40 miles later that I needed to leave that item back where I grabbed it.

                            Get it?

      The purpose of this post is twofold:

  1. A confession: I am a convergent thinker, and I am okay with it. When is the last time your convergent thinking got you in trouble? What about your divergent thinking? I don't think one is better than the other, simply different.
  2. A plea: Take a moment to identify where you lie on the spectrum, and think about how your antithesis might operate. I have found attempts at balancing my convergent-thinking habits to be very beneficial. Your employer will probably get a kick out of it, too! I view my convergent thinking as an asset, and think you should view your position on this spectrum an asset as well.
      Future posts will either be labeled as convergent or divergent, depending on the dominant thought process responsible for that story :-).

      Speaking of future posts, here are my current post-goals coming in the next few weeks:
      1. Tell the story of Liz and my first alpine climbing trip this summer in Glacier Gorge of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Liz follows up the third pitch, North Ridge of Spearhead Mountain, 7-27-13. My cold feet warm up while on belay.

      2. Talk about my trip up to Minneapolis with Angelyn and her family.

Holly, Peggy, Angelyn, and myself got to visit Minneapolis this summer.

      3. My trip to Alaska to visit family and see Kim and Jamey get the most married at the beautiful Resurrection Bay outside of Seward, AK.

View out to the ocean from Seward, AK, 7-2-13

Oh look, I just did it there! 

More to come.


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