On The Spectrum, I am…

KYMSoHaToIn another article, here on knowingyourmind.com, I wrote “I Am Versus Am I.”  It was about when we think of ourselves in a particularly negative way, by saying, “I am thish and such…,” and then to counter that thought with asking ourselves, “Am I really thus and such…?”

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to question one’s self, regarding our own noological (Meaning: of the mind) stance, can be found when we objectively place ourselves along a spectrum of emotions, thoughts, or abilities.

For instance, if I think I’m shy, I might think of an imaginary horizontal line and where I might be on that line. I take the thought of what it means to be “shy” and I dwell on that thought for a while, as I am also thinking about what the opposite of shy is, which is boldness, or courage. If I take the time to actually understand what shyness truly is, I could be surprised to know that the word might not actually fit me. While I’m at it, having too much boldness can be just as much of a problem as being too shy, as it can be a disruptive and disrespectful way of being.

Next, I might ask myself if I am always shy. The answer to that is probably “No.” I can then take in certain variables that might cause me to feel more shyness in one situation over another. I can imagine intersecting lines through the spectrum for different variables, all along it. One variable might tend to make me feel more shy than another.  As we take the time to understand this spectrum that we’re on, then we can begin to have a better understanding of ourselves. What social situations might cause more angst than others? What topics of discussion might cause us to be more shy?

We can take these spectrums and begin to develop our own mental picture of who we are in so many different situations.  We can begin to come to have a better understanding of our strengths and weaknesses. We can challenge both of them, in order to help us grow.

Another spectrum to think about is that of knowledge/ignorance. So often, we might fall into the trap of comparing ourselves with someone else whom we feel is either more intelligent or more ignorant than us. Did you know that intelligence is a very difficult term to define? There still is no common agreement as to what it is, although there are similar shades of meaning that shine through in just about all of the definitions. Levels of intelligence can vary due to changes in circumstances and environment, as well. Whereas one person might excel in one area, they may not have the same ability in another one. The key to knowing your mind with this is to understand just where you fall on the spectrum, and to know what variables come into play to influence the levels of your knowledge or ignorance. In essence, measure yourself against… yourself, and no one else.

Some other spectrums to think of, and don’t forget to find out the specific definitions of what each pair holds, keeping in mind that going too far to an extreme at either end isn’t good:

Patient/Impatient

Coordinated/Uncoordinated

Fast/Slow

Creative/Non-Creative

Lemming/Lone Wolf

Emotional/Logical

Natural/Spiritual

Reliable/Unreliable

Leader/Follower

Feminine/Masculine

This list is just off the top of my head. There are hundreds of other combinations that can be used. If you come up with any, please, let me know.


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