Refuse To Choose! by Barbara Sher

Sher views coping mechanisms as things to be cultivated. Instead of fighting your accreted habits, how do you best aikido them into a better life?

Reviewing and Reflecting is the primary mechanism that engages this self-learning. And the best way to have something to review is to live out of a notebook for a month.

Fast forward to now, and I live in TeX. New ideas go either into a `todo' wiki via phone or into a composition notebook. Periodically purge the wiki and journal into ~/todo/${date}-${idea}.tex, work them until complete, then git mv -f them into ~/todo/done/.

This is simply a blank book devoted to what you do each dayas a Scanner, of course. No laundry lists or general journaling, just anything related to being a Scannerthe place to capture your best ideas and also the tangents that pull you off those ideas. In addition, Ill sometimes ask you to work on an exercise that requires writing, and you might want to take notes on anything you find particularly useful inside this book (or anywhere else).

This is your personal version of the Leonardo da Vinci notebooks. If youve never seen them, find a book of reproductions in your library or try to get a glimpse on the Internet.

Its important to make sure you own the right kind of blank book to serve as your Scanner Daybook, because this is no ordinary journal. You can carry a spiral notebook to write in when you leave the house, but you need a more impressive book to enter those notes into when you come back home. Get something you like, but more formal than youre accustomed to usingone of those books youre almost afraid to write in
Your Daybook lets you go into planning that idea without having to actually produce it. If you decide you want to make a film, youll find that youve captured the idea at its best moment, when you were the most enthused and the most creative. And if you never take another step, youve had a good time and risked nothing.
Open up a fresh pair of pages in your Scanner Daybook (remember, in your Daybook, you always start on the left-hand page so you have plenty of open space to write on). Leave a bit of space at the top of the left-hand page for the title of this entry.
write up something in your Scanner Daybook every day for the next week or two, if possible. Once you understand the benefits, youll start looking forward to these writing sessions, and then it will be okay to be more flexible and skip a day or two
For a place to hold your new parcels, you need a bookshelf or a closet with empty shelves in it and a small sign attached in plain sight that says My Lifes Work Bookshelf or My Autobiography or Souvenirs of an Adventurous Mind. You can even treat it like a collection of a composers or writers works and call it your Oeuvre. That has a nice ring to it.

Every time you have a parcel youve made with your Scanners Finish, youll place it on this shelf as a way of creating a small display, almost a museum, of all the ideas and projects and plans you loved and worked with.

To arrange your life so it can support your remarkable potential, you need to do some more learning about who you are. Youve gotten a good start in these past chapters but in order to gear up so youre ready to do everything youre capable of, you must look more closely at your unique style, your particular problems, and your specific needs
Either/Or Thinking

If you, too, are someone who has forgotten other ways of working besides the 2-weeks-vacation-per-year model, chances are youre stuck in Either/Or thinking. Its not an unusual way to think by any meansunless were talking about Scanners. Scanners are typically creative and not ordinarily tied to rigid thinking. Theyre the quintessential out of the box people, if only because theyre aware of so many different fields.

But over and over, I found Scanners like Helen who shut down their thinking before they went looking for other solutions, and I never understood why. Remember, the only thing I did for Helen was suggest that she go to Africa for a shorter period of time, since she couldnt live there all year. Thats not rocket science. And then I realized weve all done the same thing in our lives, and I began to understand

Life Design Models are a combination of time management and task organizingand more. Life designs have always been at the heart of my work, because theyre the essential underpinning for any happy and productive life. In my first book, Wishcraft, published in 1978, I said we must find clues to your life designto the discovery of what youll be happiest doing and what youll be best at. From the beginning, its been clear that instead of trying to change yourself, you should arrange an environment so that it gives you what you need to function at your best