Master Key Week 8: Backwards Thinking

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I Am Slowly Going Crazy…

“I am slowly going crazy… 1,2,3,4,5,6,… SWITCH…  crazy going slowly am I… 6,5,4,3,2,1, SWITCH…” now,  faster…

When I was a kid, these were lyrics to a brain teasing song we used to sing as a challenge ourselves to see if we could go forwards and backwards…. and then go faster and faster, forwards and backwards until everyone tripped on their tongues, broke up laughing.

I still sing it to my Grandkids… they love to be challenged and they teach me so much.

The shear thought of doing something backwards is something we resist. It takes real focus.  Purposely going backwards mentally, actually anchors me very much in the present moment… a good thing!

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You sank my Battleship!

Week 8 brought the challenge to go backwards in our minds eye, a step at a time, from the clear image of a finished battleship to it’s origins in the creative thoughts of a person with a definite problem that needed a solution…

‘Admiral, what shall we do?’

‘I need something that is massive, made of metal for strength, that floats on water, with huge guns to blow stuff up and defeat the enemy who is trying to defeat us…Did I mention I want to blow stuff up. So I need really, really big guns that shoot really really big shells… I WANT A WHOLE FLEET OF ‘EM’

Ok… I get the order to build a fleet of ships with REALLY BIG GUNS.

The fun begins… skilled designers and engineers passionately ask a barrage of questions leading to more discussion and detail, detail, detail.  Groups of engineers who have determined tensile strength and load bearing specifications, are called upon to calculated every detail. Hard mental work based on faith, precise knowledge and experience leads to agreement. Creation in thought, ‘Idealization’, takes place. The planners plan and  the drafters draft so others can see it… “visualization”. Plans are handed off to be followed precisely by those whose job it is to source and build or ‘materialize’ the tangible execution.

Materials purchase orders and contracts have to be drawn up and reviewed by lawyers and agreed to  by suppliers and authorized by executives. Workers must be hired and trained and equipped and paid and fed….I think you probably got the idea several steps back. It’s complicated and complex and it happens everyday in real life. Yours and mine. Without emotional commitment at each step, a sense of mission, vision, passion… the end result can stall, get stuck or bogged down and never get finished.

Hail to the finishers in life.

Overwhelming or an exciting challenge? “I can be what I will to be.”


Think it backwards, build it forwards…

I remember a business mentor of mine, Perry Spice, who taught me the same principles in solving business problems. As I lamented a set of annual key performance objectives set by corporate management, I was perplexed as to how I could ever hit the goals. Instead of giving into my learned “woe is me” whining and complaining, Perry taught me a valuable lesson. He suggested a method of breaking down a problem into component parts by thinking (planning ) backwards.

He said, “Phil, let’s be clear on what the goal is first. Describe the goal in detail. What are that goals parts? In other words, what has to happen immediately before the goal is achieved? What happens just before that?…and before that, etc. Let’s build the formula backwards from the objective…if we can describe it backwards, we can build it forwards.” Brilliant!

So very simply stated: if 2 = 1+1, then 1+1 = 2 . Go find two 1s, join them together and those two 1s, united by common purpose, create the effect or result which is 2. The cause is the intention expressed by  the “+” to link two ‘1s’.

The mental work of idealizing in minute detail (spiritual creation) is the hard work. Focused, repetitive visualizing creates the quality of the materials needed.  The assembly of the materials that manifest your thinking and your enthusiasm, is fun.

Think, feel, believe, do, be, have…


Mom always said, “You can go have fun after your chores are done.”

Serve others and your chores become fun. Deeply, richly rewarding, soul-expanding joy. We are created that we might know Joy.

Be to will I what be can I = I can be what I will to be.


HMMM… Like Yoda, it sounds.

Think it backwards, build it forwards.

Do it Now! Do it Now! Do it Now!

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