I have begun to respin my doctoral research and resulting dissertation into a book. This will be my first book (except for my dissertation, of course). Sometimes I feel like the proverbial writer sitting at the typewriter with a pile of crumpled paper at my feet, because I can't get past the beginning paragraph. I go from wondering if I should take a matter-of-fact approach or go for the emotions? Should I make this a book about organizational development or target the self-help market?
After reading Tom Koulopoulos' new book, it occurred to me that I don't have to do this in a vacuum any more. The lone writer approach is denial of being part of the world I want to impact. The observer cannot be separate from the observed, and all that.
Hence, this post, and my request of you. I would love your take on my initial (actually, it is about the 5th) pass for the introduction to my book.What I'm posting is the first couple of paragraphs. Does this draw you in? Do you want to know more? Is it a downer? Does it ring true...or not? Please post your comments, or contact me off-line.
One more thing: The working title for this project is "Flow-based Decision Making: The Impact of 'Being in the Flow' on the Ability to Make Decisions." I realize this is beyond boring, but, being the technical communicator that I am, I have a hard time with fluffy, sexy titles. I would love ideas about this, too.
Thank you in advance for your help. Here goes:
CHAPTER 1: INTRODUCTION
We are living in a world that is more connected than it ever has since the beginning of time, and yet we are feeling more and more isolated. If you have spent any time trying to find work in this environment, you know exactly what I mean. We fill out forms online, we upload our resume or CV, and click the submit button. And then we wait. There is no one with whom we are allowed to follow up, and there is no response. Everyone is so busy and overworked, no one wants or has time to meet on a one-to-one basis. The time to communicate with another human being is reduced to abbreviated words in texts on our smartphones. (This is resulting in the morphing of language at a rate of speed never before imagined. But that is fodder for another book!) As a result, our individual, as well as our collective well-being is suffering at a rate that is eventually going to impact both individual societal health and our very existence.
In the United States, for the last half century, most people have managed to live in the middle to upper portions of Maslow’s Triangle, but in recent years, have found themselves slipping to the two base levels. When we are constantly worried about how to pay our basic bills and we are looking for work or in a job that is unsatisfying, we are thrown into a space that causes us to be negative. Those negative thoughts then perpetuate our situation. The resulting spiral facilitates bad decision making.
This is a book about you and how you make decisions. It is designed to suggest a new way of being. Each of us has to take responsibility for changing our situation. All it takes is a decision to change. Simple, huh? Change is never simple. It takes courage to trust in the idea that the Universe always works toward the positive even in the direst of situations. Some people use their religious or spiritual beliefs to reinforce this thinking; others use scientific evidence; others know intuitively that personal well-being lies in a space we call “flow” or “being in the zone.”
Someone once described to me the way to get to “Source” (what some call “God") as a wheel with spokes, with Source in the center. On the wheel itself, there are an infinite number of points from which the path to Source is a straight line to the center on its own individual spoke. I love this image, because it validates all spiritual and non-spiritual belief.
This book is an examination of decision making as part of the flow experience, with the ultimate goal of individual and societal well-being. The support for the ideas herein comes from my research in the fire service, which I use as a model for decision making in the “flow.” I combine this work with my Master’s research in managing conflict from a place of authenticity and thirty years as an information technology and human interaction consultant, entrepreneur, teacher, and international leader in the field of technical communication.