Visiting the reject pile: Some things I said, and don’t mind saying again, that were left out of LEAP!

I never write “a” book. In the two years or so I’m at the task of producing a new work, I write the equivalent of several books. Write and cull, write and cull. The false starts and other anomalies that don’t seem to get me where I want to go at the time are cut and pasted into my Clipboard File for that particular work. Occasionally, I go back and peruse what didn’t make it into print. Or possibly did make it and I don’t remember saying it quite that way. I took a look at the Clipboard File for LEAP! How to Think Like a Dolphin & Do the Next Right, Smart Thing Come Hell or High Water the other day. Here are some culls from the culls:

IF YOUR AXONS AND DENDRITES ARE PUZZLED ABOUT HOW TO IDENTIFY DOLPHINTHINKERS, WE HAVE A SUGGESTION
The best way to spot a dolphinthinker is to go stand in the crowd and watch for the people who, however they manage to do it, display an uncanny knack for wading in the chaos and fashioning something good from it. Artists can do this, of course. And musicians and other creatives. (Even writers occasionally.) And some of these may, indeed, be dolphinthinkers. But if so, it is not their art or their music or their writing as such that qualifies them to be to be thought of as dolphins. Rather, to say it again, it is their zeal for the pragmatic—for finding what works and, in a larger-than-could-be-intrinsically-expected, energy-radiating way, transforming it into very much the right, good, smart thing to have done next.

THERE’S A GOOD REASON WHY THE DOLPHINTHINKER KEEPS STRESSING THE IMPORTANCE OF THINKING PRAGMATICALLY
Dolphinthinkers avoid the utopias and the utopians. They may mean well, but has always been the case, they are nearly always dreamers without visible, viable means of support. Barry Goldwater came close, but in the end he gets no cigar. Extremism in defense of idealism is a vice. And utopians are invariably extremists. Without a middle, the center doesn’t hold. Another reason to stay pragmatic.

THE IDEA OF ABUNDANCE HAS RUN INTO STIFF HEADWINDS OF LATE, BUT WE NEED TO KEEP IT POINTING DUE NORTH
The strategy of the dolphin is an abundance-seeking strategy. Your author believes it is the best strategy on most occasions that you can possibly adopt. It is the most powerful strategy available for realizing significant personal, organizational and civic/cultural/governmental goals and hopes consistently in change-driven times and for contributing to the probability that life—all life—on the planet, and perhaps anywhere in the universe, will continue. Without abundance, there can be no sustainability. What we need to achieve sustainability—of our environment, of our scarce resources, of our species mates, of our own health and happiness and humanity—is available only through pursuits of abundance like those framed in this work.

IF BRUTUS WILL PARDON THE RIPOFF OF A WELL-TURNED PHRASE, WE’VE COME NOT TO PRAISE THE STATUS QUO BUT TO DO SOMETHING ELSE TO IT
The dolphinthinker’s ability to find functionality is a result of her ability to step back and look at the big picture. And then, not be panicked or flummoxed by it. But, rather, be intrigued. To remember the truth in Marshall McLuhan’s observation: “Darkness is to space what silence is to sound, i.e., the interval.” In this second decade of the 21st Century, there’s plenty of venues to choose from. An unprecedented number of critical components in our lives, communities, nations and businesses are broken. So dolphins are going to be arriving at more and more contemporary locations not to praise the status quo but to splinter it. To shatter ossified systems and outdated power alignments. To break up the logjams of the unresponsive and the irresponsible. And to interrupt and dislodge the suffocating, stultifying grip of what is no longer functional and suitable or never has been.

WHY DOLPHINTHINKERS TEND TO PAY CLOSER ATTENTION TO BRAIN ISSUES THAN THE AVERAGE NEOCORTEX
We never want to forget that our human brain is nothing if not a veritable Houdini. One of its favorite tricks is what researchers call “the confirmation bias.” We don’t have to be taught how to use this bias. It comes built in, possibly (or so evolutionary psychologists suggest) because long, long ago, when so little about the surrounding world could be reliably modeled or measured, thinking that we live in an easily “knowable” world was a help and a comfort to our distant ancestors. In any event, the tendency of our brain to seek out and to interpret information in ways that fit our preconceptions continues to fill our wakeful moments with unhelpful nonsense.

THE DOLPHINTHINKER’S IRON FIN IS NOT SOMETHING WORN LIKE A LOADED GUN DRAPED OVER THE BICEPS
In fact, when a dolphinthinker is forced to resort to iron-fin qualities and actions, it usually comes as a surprise to all but other dolphins in the mix. The dolphin’s iron fin doesn’t telegraph menace or danger, not until the need emerges for a dolphin to exhibit steely resolve. Then and only then is when the dolphin’s iron fin rises into view. And then, there must be no doubt, no delay and no holding back. So to think like a dolphin, you must be able to wear dual fins comfortably, proficiently, interchangeably. One is an everyday fin for navigating the little stuff of ordinary life. The other is a tough-as-nails fin for interacting with the world’s, the marketplace’s, the organization’s, the community’s or the family’s most destructive and recalcitrant deviants and actions.

For more information about LEAP!, go here.

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