Multiple Identities

Timothy Kenny
A free video tutorial from Timothy Kenny
Author of "Accelerated Learning for Entrepreneurs"
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Mastering Thinking Skills Vol 2: Become a Creative Genius

Reverse Engineering the mental frameworks that geniuses from Jobs to Da Vinci used to dominate their fields.

06:18:54 of on-demand video • Updated May 2014

  • Learn the Language of Metaphors
  • Develop Industry-Shifting Innovation Skills
  • Deconstruct the Strategies of the Most Successful Geniuses of History
  • Build a Creative "Interstate System" to Connect the Different Parts of Your Brain
English [Auto] The next thing I want to talk about is multiple identities and what is identity and then what's a role. So a lot of times these things get confused people saying well I want to be a leader leader. Really. Your identity or is it really our role. A lot of people say well that's who I am but any anybody who's a real leader knows that before you can be a leader you have to be a follower before you can lead other people. You have to first follow somebody else who's a good leader so you can learn how to lead. So you're not always going to be in that leadership position. If you're a son you're going to be a brother sister to somebody else and you're eventually going to be a father and then a husband and then you're going to have a role in your job maybe you're reporting to a boss but you're also somebody else's boss. So in different times and places in your life you're going to be having different roles and a lot of times people confuse that with identity. Best way to think about it and so you've got to pay attention to that when other people are talking about identity. Because usually when people are talking about identity they're talking about the roles that you're playing instead of really who you are which is kind of a collection of all these roles together. So instead of your identity being a single person or a single character on this stage of your life it's all those different characters that you play at different times and different with different people in different locations during your life. So best way to think about identity is is that collection of roles or to think about it if you want to go into the more existential way of looking at it more and more spiritual way of looking at it is or meditative way of looking at the observer. So instead of identifying with those roles you're identifying with kind of the observer of the person that's up in that box see it fear that's watching all this stuff go. And so that's what's happening a lot of times when people are meditating and they say well observe your thoughts or your feelings and let them pass by what they're really trying to get you to do is adopt and go to that place where you're kind of up in the in the seat in Abbassi and you're kind of watching your thoughts and you're watching what's going on and you're not so into it. One of the things that happens for example he left here when he was playing the Joker character in Batman is he got so into that. And there was another guy that diaries are you trying to remember. He was always the bad guy political. I'm blanking on his name but so with him he overdosed on heroin. And most people think was his suicide. So why did that happen. Well part of it somebody who's such a great actor and gets gets in that role sometimes they can get stuck in that role and that can be a real problem. So sometimes you can get stuck in a role and not even realize it and not be able to break away from it and see it from kind of a third person perspective. You're stuck in first person so that can be a problem. And a lot of your success in life success in your profession success in your family life your relationships is going to be your understanding of the role that you need to play in that situation. And a lot of times what happens is like you have a lawyer come home and that'll be it. And they're so used to being legal and following all the rules and putting people one on trial and putting the heat on them that when they come home they don't have the skills for those other roles. And so they're going to do that with their family the people they love and their friends and that's not going to work for them. So your role that works in one Dumi isn't necessarily going to work in another time. It's really important to make distinctions between the different roles that you play in your life and each of those roles and what you're going to be learning in this course is how you can build your different perspectives into different roles and then you can distinguish those by thinking about them as kind of a different character. And it's true that you have going on in your head. And so that's her that's how we're going to build it out so that you can very quickly shift between different roles. That's something that Disney did I think about that earlier I wouldn't be talking about that more in a little bit so Disney he had this progression of three different modes that he went into. And this is really important. Any time you're trying to be creative any time you kind of come up with new ideas and he starts as the visionary the dreamer he's looking up he's kind of looking into the sky. He's trying to draw as much as possible into. So very divergent he's trying to really open up and cast a very wide net and just brainstorm bring it as many views as possible. So that's the first place that's where you're you're you're putting your arms out and you're kind of trying to bring in as many new ideas and you're not really caring as is a good idea or bad idea. And if you're brave strong with other people you're not going to say oh that's about it you just want to get people in low so they can express their creativity and not have to worry about what this right or next one is the creator. So so people get lost in trying to visualize everything trying to come up with tons of creative ideas and they get so lost in that sometimes because they're so good at it. They get lost there and they never actually create it. They never actually put something down on paper they never take out the Lego blocks and actually build something. They never take action. So it's easy to just stay in that first place. And a lot of people get stuck in that first place. It's easy and people are going to criticize you and it's you don't really criticize yourself and you don't get any negative feedback. So that's why people like to stay in that place and not take action. But creation is really important because as I said earlier you've got to start to learn to see things in 3-D and from multiple perspectives so if you've got some blueprints that are drawn up in 2D and then you start building a house and you realize this doesn't really I didn't from the blueprint but this isn't really the way I want it where you start modeling a car and you're trying and profile pictures of it from the front and from inside. And then you start to straighten the clay off and start modeling it that way. You start realizing well I saw from this side and I saw it from the right and I thought it looks good. But now that I'm looking at it from 45 degrees on an angle I don't really like this look anymore. So that's where creation allows you to get feedback and you really couldn't get any other way. Now we're talking about Nikola Tesla later and he really developed his visualization skills to the point where he could actually create things in his mind. And as you get better visualization you will be able to actually create things in 3D totally in your imagination. So and this is stuff that anybody can do even if you feel like you can't visualize. I could visualize I could visualize it all but the way I proved it to myself eventually was and this is this was after months and months of trying. Fairly or only having bits and pieces of it like the easiest time to visualize is going to be right before you go to sleep. But when you're dreaming you're just visualizing that's what the empty is if you you know if you take a huge bowl of mushrooms and you ingest that and I guarantee you you're going to visualize so everybody can visualize. It's just a matter of gaining control of it. And because of our society we don't we don't really look at it as a thing to be taught or a thing to learn to see it as something that's particularly valuable. A lot of people learned through life that I just can't envision was it would eventually prove that to me is thinking about I was giving somebody directions of how to get. I was taught my brother and I said hey get something out of my desk. And so go up the stairs go over here go into my desk in the back left drawer top drawer. And I realized well how did I just do that. I have a picture of where the thing was and I knew how to direct my brother to go up and get it. So that's the kind of thing where you learn to do that when you're giving somebody directions and getting from your house to your work or from this place in the city's other place in the city. That's your ability to visualize and it starts out with our ability to move around in geographical locations it really originally comes from our ability to be able to visualize different perspectives to be able to do that. So let's go back to Disney first thing is the dreamer. Second thing is the creator really externalising putting something down on paper creating something. So you can get feedback and then the critic is really getting that feedback and doing it in a very purposeful way. Maybe having a checklist of all the different things or having different critics that come from different. So some of these are putting together a Hollywood movie. You're not just going to have one create on the set your critics. Now I'm looking at the business perspective from the PR. Is this really you know a PC thing to do is that you going Klein I'm going to get flak from this group or that group or whatever do we need change. Show me a script. We need change since cinematography is the audio sound good. All these different aspects to it and not one person is going to really be able to do all that's kind of the purpose of the director. But that's more of a superficial thing. So you want to be able to critique things and not just critique it from one perspective but from multiple perspectives so that's really important also. And going in that order is also very important because when you're visualizing you're really bring in everything when you're creating you stopped doing that you stop that creativity and you start building something. And once you start building it you don't go back. You can't go back and visualize and and retune and revise but before you do that you really usually better off critiquing it from all those different angles. You you're not going through that loop a million times. You do it as two or three or four or five times but cut down on the amount of creation because creating your visual is something that takes a lot of time it's very time intensive and take a lot of energy. So you don't want to be doing that over and over again if you don't have to when you really shouldn't be critiquing more before you go back that process I hinted at this a little bit earlier about the different roles that you play. And it's part of developing your perspective is developing your roles and working out which roles that you're you're great and which ones you're not so great. So oftentimes you see people that spend a lot of time developing their roles in work but they're not focusing on their roles as much at home. And and that's just part of the cultural value especially in North America. And so you see things starting that not work as well when you're not focusing on those roles as much. So a lot of people spend a lot of time reading books taking courses that they can improve their business and their career but they never do that in terms of well how can I be a good citizen. How can I be a good family member how can I be a good father. How can I be a good husband or a good wife. How can I reach out to my wife her family how can I create things that are going to live on even after I die so because people are thinking from that perspective because the cultural values aren't there they're not going to work on those roles as much and that's going to really hurt them. A guy I was talking to a couple days ago he was speaking of leadership and he was talking about he's a V.P. of a really big company and he was talking about how with things that helped him with leadership the most was taking a leadership position his church and I told him I really agree with him because one of the hardest things to do is read somebody somewhere where it's completely invisible. I mean what's harder to lead somebody to than leading them to an idea of God where is this god or that God or spirituality or whatever. That's one of the hardest things to do because there's that vision is so difficult to show that person may convince them that that's the right direction to go. So some of the best leaders are the ones who are in that environment and such. It's such a difficult game to play. And so that build strength and that builds some of the greatest leaders so that's why you see some of the greatest leaders are the people that were involved in some sort of religious movement. Now switching between roles is once you become conscious of those roles the next step is to put labels on them so you can label them. And this is something that I do. My girlfriend is really fine. I gave different roles to different roles that she wakes up. Sometimes you get really angry about something. And so I had a name for that. And she was just her normal self I don't know another name for that. So when she got in a really bad place it was kind of out of control. Then I could say well I want to talk to that other role. And so people a lot of times people have developed that observer role so they get stuck in first person and they're switching from role to role and they don't realize it. And so if you ever have a experience when you're talking to somebody and they're talking to you from a role that seems kind of weird like they're being too personal and you're in a business role where you're being you're in a personal situation and they're treating it like business. So if somebody brings their girlfriend to a business meeting a play that's kind of weird where some where if you're at church and you're talking about business with somebody it's kind of weird. So understanding in what context what role is appropriate. Not everybody always understands that. And so then you can make mistakes and so because they're not conscious of the different roles they play those roles start to lead together. And so I think sometimes that's OK. And it's really important to be able to transition between those and do it smoothly. So understanding how that works and where somebody is like if you're on the golf course sometimes you're talking about business sometimes it's it's personal. And so it's kind of the melding of those two things. But if everybody is talking about personal stuff. And then you come in and you're talking about like oh these are the facts and the figures that this this stuff really helped me you want to do a deal. It's like you don't really understand the role that's going on right now. And so that's not going to work. And you're going to be excluded from that group because they're going to under they're going to see even if it's just an intuitive way and not consciously that you don't really understand what role you're supposed to be playing. And that's really important one of the greatest things that you can do is draw out these roles drawable face even if you're not the driver not the driver but draw a face for each one of these or draw a stick figure and just make them a little bit different color differently. And that's going to give you the ability to distinguish between those different roles. And once you do that give them a label. Why. OK you can say this is the business where you could get that guy name. Or you could think well a role model that you look up to or some celebrity or some character in a movie or a TV show or a book and you can name that role that one. And once you come up with all these different names and these different labels that's going to make it a lot easier to make those distinctions. And part of the reason it's hard to make the stations is you're not going to have labels on them. Well that sign and that sky blue then you're just going to call both of those blue. And so somebody who's really good in the business world didn't have thousands of distinctions on the different areas of business different kinds of business where somebody who's maybe like an artist or like the you know watercolor painter they're going to know everything about the different kinds of paint oil paint versus war paint versus different types of paper and different weights of paper and all these things you never even knew existed because that's their domain. And they that's where they have lots of distinctions so people have different distinctions different areas. You've got to have the ability to make the distinctions between the different roles you play because not something important no matter who you are. You've got to be able to distinguish between those and putting labels on it by having different words. That's part of the reason. I mean people hate biology classes because you've got to memorize all these different biology. And so at the beginning of learning anything they're going to try to get you to memorize and learn all that lingo because otherwise they don't know how to teach you. That's why learning through metaphors is so important because it allows you to skip that process of explaining lingo to people. That's part of what's going to make you a great communicator. You want to be a great communicator. You've got to force yourself to look at things from the other person's perspective instead of using your own professional lingo. And that's what makes people that are really great communicators great at what they do because they're seeing it from enough different perspectives that they can say here's an example from your own life and that's how I'm going to show you how I learn this new skill. So I covered that before. Meaning your cast of characters practicing them when I'm going find a role model why is it called a role model. It's called a role model because you've got that person's teaching you how to play certain role. And the mistake you make is if you choose a role model and then you try to copy them in every aspect of your life. I guarantee you 99 percent of people that are going to be your role models certain areas of life can be really great. In other words they're just not going to have me answer those questions. If somebody put a hundred percent of their time in one domain one area of light that means they've made sacrifices in those other areas. There are other roles and so they may be really great here and they need to top their company but that's because they never spend time with their family that's because their marriage is in the trash can. So you've got to understand the role model is not necessarily somebody who's an expert on all the roles but just maybe a certain role. And don't get stuck there and get obsessed with well I want to be like this person in every way because ultimately that's going to cause you to adopt some negative things that maybe you're not conscious of because that other person isn't conscious of me either. So that's really important. Now the dark side of some of this stuff is the negative roles and what I mean by that. What I mean by that is sometimes your roles are going to be conflicted. Sometimes one role wants one thing one rules wants and other things that they're going to be in conflict and you've got to find that balance and that balance isn't always easy because you know what people think about something this way so it's not something that you're just going to be able to go to anybody and say well gosh I got into this role versus that or how much pressure really slowed down or how much I really spend with my family how much you spend going out to parties and doing this and doing that versus going out playing sports playing golf and everybody's going to have different values. So just because you think about should be this way. Maybe your wife thinks the should be the other way. And we also develop roles at different areas of our life. So take somebody who's this is often a pattern and sibling so older siblings and younger siblings and middle siblings are going to take different roles in the family. So one great example of that is take somebody who's the youngest student in the family they're going to feel like they're always kind of behind everyone else. And so how are they going to get attention. Everybody every child is going to do things to get attention so that they're going to get taken care of by the family so they to get love and approval and support from their parents. That's part of what needs to be a child because you're totally dependent so you have to make sure you're doing the things that are going to get the approval from your parents from your peer group from whoever you're in school with from your teachers from all those different authority figures and those people that are supporting you because without their support you die. So that's the evolutionary heritage and you can't get around that. So when you're very young you learn certain ways to get attention you learn certain ways to get approval. One of the ways I learned how to get approval was through learning if you're getting good grades so that's what led me down this path. Whereas other people don't get that somebody who becomes a comedian when they're really young they start getting laughs. They figure out a way to get somebody to laugh and that gets them approval and some praise that gets some acceptance and so they learn at an unconscious level. This is the role I should play. So now 30 years old and they're still making these jokes like a five year old. And the reason is they learn that role to get approval at a certain stage of their life and they didn't realize that different stages of your life you need to play different roles. You can't always be dependent. You have to go from dependence to independence and then to interdependence. And how does that all work. So those different roles and understanding what stage of life are you at. What role should you be in that in that stage of life. That's really important I understand. So all this stuff is interesting. Your collection of roles isn't something that's changed. Stay stacked of your life. It's something that changes and at each stage of your life there's going to be different shifts that you do need in the making and also priorities shift. So something that was positive in one area of your life or what stage your life maybe now it's more of a negative or something that was really maybe it took you a few years to get really good at this area of your life. And now it's time to move to a new area of your life and go somewhere where you're still just a beginner. Something when I start learning dance about a year ago I was so bad I was literally the worst person. I remember when I was a lifeguard I was the slowest swimmer. And so everybody else all the other like ours were faster swimmers and they. And when I started doing it and that's a very physical skill when I was learning how to dance I thought I was going to be pretty easy because I was really good at sports like baseball basketball football and so I was an easy to pick up. But again I was the worst person in my class I was the slowest person to worry. And it really humbled me because I thought oh well I'm going to be able to learn this really quickly. And it was a real challenge. And so oftentimes we quit at the things that were not immediately good at. And so it causes us to stay in a certain role and not explore those other roles. And that's one of the challenges that you're in the face. And that's one of the most important things you've got to have that vision of why these different perspectives and roles are so important so you can push through that initial pain. Now the question is how do you actually put the stuff into practice. Number one the first thing you should do right after you watch this video is you've got to stop and take out a blank piece of paper. Or if you're on your phone if you're on the computer take out a text document create a little note for yourself and start writing down what are the roles that I play in my life. And then what. It not just rolls but even maybe different personalities like maybe this really fun loving guy part of the time and other times I'm really serious. And other times I've really analytical and other times I'm really lucky. So you may not think of those as well that are very common in the business man. The other time I'm the analyst or whatever. If you don't want to use those labels you can just think about it as kind of a different personality so whatever label that feels most most comfortable to you maybe you think oh well this one I'm the President's you could say I'm Obama in the SITUATION ROOM Bush or Clinton or whatever. So if that's what feels most comfortable in your career and you want to say well that's my role models and that's what I'm going to be and that's fine. You can use a person's name you can use a position like in a company or your position in your family but you can also just use any sort of word any sort of creative word that really strikes you. And it's going to mean we remind you where you are. So make a list of that stuff and then drought the racism and the really cool thing that you can see from throwing out the faces that the faces change so they don't always look the same. And even if it did that's why it doesn't matter how good of a artist you are because once you look at all these different faces you're going to see the very slight differences between how you do which one of those and that's coming to you from unconsciously how you're processing these different things as you're in that different place and how you're representing that you're going to see maybe Surt if you add them all smiley certain smiles are going to seem more genuine. Other smiles are going to seem we're kind of tapster it's going to be a little bit irregular certain faces are going to be really rounded happy looking. The eyes are going to be bigger and bolder and happier and that other ones aren't going to be as much. So that's going to give you a sense of well they've got to enjoy life as much went out in the ladies room when I'm in that other place. And you become conscious of this and you're certain take that box seat in the theater. You're start to like wow I can kind of switch between this and I have a little bit more control over how I'm experiencing my life and how I'm doing things creatively and how I'm shifting between these rules to get the most out of myself and maximize my potential. So that's the first thing. The second thing is once you do that create a habit out of it. So go through those roles every week and look at well how am I doing in that role. How am I doing in this role. And then make it a habit to go through those roles and pricks that pick some primary roles and say well this is a place where I'm kind of weak. So I want to improve in that area and also look out well where I haven't conflicts where my stress now am getting overwhelmed and getting angry and start to look out well. Are there some conflicts between the different roles that I'm playing in life and what's really important in a long term not necessarily what's important right now though. Sometimes you do need to make short term shifts where you really for one thing really high priority thing and everything else has to take a right temporarily. But in the long term you really want to be and how do you want to shift between these roles and where do you want to spend most your time and what's not important to yourself but the other people in your life. So once you figure that out make it a habit to look at this stuff every week and make it a habit. If you're if you noticed over the past week you've really forgotten something why you didn't go to the gym all last week or the week before that either when you started eating healthy. Maybe it's time to cut back on some of those other roles and pay a little bit of attention get yourself back on track with that stuff. So roles are really great because they allow you to chunk things down each allow you to organize a ton of information so that instead of saying I'm going into I need to do this habit and that habit I need to use this kind of food and this kind of shopping I need to go to the gym do these exercises read that book come up with this exercise plan all that stuff. All you have to really do is say I'm going to go into my personal trainer mode I'm going to go into my my my mode where I'm really healthy or healthy guy about. That's what I started out when I was putting weight on some might say that's healthy diet not exercise guy that's muscle building guy or whatever. So it's really easy to just have fun with it and out each week go through it look at your different roles and start paying more attention and observe the rules and kind of zoom back not get stuck in that first person because a lot of times that's what causes people to feel like they have no control because they're just stuck in one place. So that's it for this video. And I'll see you guys in the next section.