Thursday, March 08, 2007

A Higher Order of Thinking (H.O.T.) Parts 4 and 5


After a hiatus last week, we are back onto the 11 stages of thinking, rationalizing, acting, basically stages of living and leading yourself. To recap, the 11 levels of thinking we identified are;


  1. Need Now: The lowest level on Maslow's Pyramid of needs. Basically, the way a baby cries for a bottle, or a toddler wants their mommy and doesn;t stop to think that they are blue in the face and whaling at the top of their lungs in Wal-Mart.

  2. Want Now: Selfish, "me, me, me" attitude combined with a hint of what they actually may want. No idea where they are headed because they are focused on the now.

  3. Not Now: As these spoiled kids get older, and responsibility hits them in the form of their first job, or chores, etc... the first reaction is often to shirk away from that responsibility.

  4. What Now?: "I have a job" or "I went to school", now what? This is that wonderful transitional period when children become adults because they stop doing what they were told, and start identifying for themselves what they want out of life.

  5. Why Now?: This is the fighting getting older/ responsibility/ having to think on their own stage. Much like the "not now' stage, only you have more money and can do more damage to yourself without any direction.

  6. Right Now: Once they truly know where they want to go, this is the first step towards truly growing up and maturing- seizing opportunities and getting busy living because it is what they want.

  7. More Now: This is where we start to increase our acheivement, desire, and effectiveness by implementing more/ better time management strategies, we improve our skill sets, and we allow ourselves to want more out life.

  8. Share Now: This is where we become less selfish and we share what we know, and where we are headed, with those who are important to us.

  9. Love Now: This is the stage of life that not everybody hits (but we hope that you do) wherein you know who you love, what you are passionate about, and why it is good to be you.

  10. Mentor Now: This is where we take the love of what we do and combine it with humility as we teach others to do the same and pass their teachings on. It is about affecting change within the world you live in.

  11. Leave Now: This is the final chapter of our evolvement- self actualization. As a matter of fact, this stage is often not complete until after we are dead, because the key to this stage- is legacy. Leaving a legacy at your job, within your home and community at large, and in the world... making it all better than you left it.

Today we are discussing stages 4 and 5 of the HOT paradigm, What Now? and Why Now? stages of thinking and rationalizing. This is to keep us on pace after a hiatus last week, but also because these stages of thinking are highly related.


In the What Now? stage, people enter a plateau in their maturity, their relationship, their job, or for many people, their life stage after completing university and landing their first career- oriented position. Why does it happen? Simple. It happens because there is no manual for how to live your life. It happens because most people need to be told what to do or what to want rather than identify it for themselves... I myself, plead guilty to doing this even this very week!


Basically, the What Now stage is focused around one thing: the search for meaning in our lives. Often if we find it (or if it finds us) we step into the Why Now stage, because we do not feel ready to accept the responsibilities that go along with the meaning we have uncovered. For instance, if you decide being a parent will bring deep meaning to you, and that is what is missing in your life; you may not want to accept the fact (Why Now?) that this means you will be cutting back on your social life, new expenses must be incurred, and your life must immediately shift from an inward (selfish) focus to an outward (selfless) focus.


Pewople will remain in the What Now? stage until they find meaning for themselves, and people will remain in the Why Now? stage until they can accept and even embrace the responsibility that goes along with their chosen life path. When this happens, life gets VERY exciting. The Right Now stage comes next and it is all about action (sometimes even too impatiently), but you will have to wait until next thursday for that message.


Thanks for reading.

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