During the 2008 Groundhog Day Resolutions season, I came up with a distillation of my "process" as a cycle similar to an OODA loop. Originally it was a way to motivate myself to do things that could learn to income by focusing on things I naturally liked to do.
- EXPLORATION that inspires you turns you into a GUIDE of sorts, which is a perfectly legitimate way to make money.
- LEARNING and BUILDING over many repetitions turns you into an EXPERT or a CRAFTSPERSON capable of delivering high quality goods, around which tasty services and products can be made.
- SHARING creates connection and community, sharpening your understanding of what you know and what you do, which turns you into a LEADER for people who want to do what you do, or a PARTNER with other people who are at your level.
The implied outcome is not defined in the diagram, but I do seem to be working at my peak when I am continuously thinking along these lines. Looking at this 14 years later, I can see it is also a response to my late-diagnosed ADHD.
How is it Used?
I use this model to help me orient my focus during the day. "Am I exploring? building? learning? sharing?" Each of these contexts have different mental requirements.
- EXPLORATION is experiencing the universe of ideas without any particular goal other than to follow interests. Possible associated trait: ADHD mind wandering!
- LEARNING occurs when I've identified something during my exploration that's new and intriguing. Since it's new, I don't know how it works and my mental model is incomplete. This is difficult and takes a variable amount of time. I can not be in a hurry, but I also can't give up on it. Possible associated trait: ASD desire for conceptual closure!
- BUILDING is taking what I've learned and synthesizing something new to create something interesting (ADHD excitement) and also functionally beautiful (ASD desire for correctness and aesthetic self-consistency)
- SHARING is taking what I've built and showing it to everyone to get the necessary inspirational feedback from others that makes me want to do anything (ADHD Executive Function need for immediacy, externalized motivation). This is essential for my productivity, otherwise I quickly lose interest.
This cycle operates in multiple simultaneous passes, as I may be SHARING as I'm doing any of these phases. This is not a methodical process at all that takes place over a day or weeks. It's more of a realtime loop which is why OODA is relevant to keep me as on-task as I'm able to be (ADHD ease of distraction meets ASD desire for control and predictability).
- The neurodivergent version of ELBS is the adaptation made in 2023 that takes my ADHD+ASD traits into account.