by Dale Shumaker
The Back of the Napkin by Dan Roam is about visual thinking that's simple to follow... and anyone can do it, anytime, all you need is a napkin. If you can draw stick figures, you can do this. It's great for problem solving, selling ideas using pictures and a flow of thought. So others walk away getting the picture of what you just shared.
His book covers how to solve six kinds of problems:
who and what problems( people, things, rules),
how much problems (measuring and counting),
when problems (scheduling, timing),
where problems (direction),
how problems (how things influence one another),
why problems (seeing the big picture).
When you sit down and want to explain something to someone,
The Back of the Napkin flow of thought can effectively illustrate the idea, so other people get it. People can quickly see what your are talking about, easily relate it to their lives, and create an attachment to it and you, because it is in you own personal handwriting. It is then easy to take it with them and remember it later.
You have the built in tools... your eyes, your mind's eye and your hand; plus a pencil and paper or a white board. Skills involve the ability to draw boxes, arrows, stick figures. People like pictures and how they relate, even more so when coming directly from your hand which increase the personal connection with you. When doing it in their presence, the person participates with you in the creation of the idea.
To do this process, you must look, then see what you see, imagine what it may do or be, and then show. Simply, look, see characteristics of what you see, consider the possibilities, do a simple sketch which illustrates what you are seeing and imagining in it.
Looking is collecting and seeing.
Seeing is selecting and clumping.
Imagining is seeing what isn't there that could be.
Showing is making it clear.
With your ability to see, use your mind's eye, then your hands with your pencil and paper, you can master visual thinking process and on napkin communications.
When advancing your looking, seeing, imagining, showing skills, you look for proximities, color, size, orientation, perceived movement, shape and shade.
See is seeing objects (who and what),
quantities (how many, how much),
position in space (where),
position in time(when),
influence and cause and effect (how),
how it all comes together to tell us something about the scene.
Applied imagination uses the SQVID process.
S... simple versus elaborate,
Q... quality versus quantity,
V... vision versus execution,
I... individual versus comparison,
D... delta(change) versus status quo.
We imagine these and apply them in flowing back and forth from each other. For example, simple to elaborate; or individual characteristics to how it compares to something else. By using each as a continuum and maneuvering the possibilities, we stir the imagination to see its various potentials. We then find a good place for each part of the idea.
(The book elaborates on this and Roam has created a very stylish system to flow and apply for more involved problem solving and presenting. It's worth reading this part in the book to understand and apply it. He uses simple hand-drawn illustrations throughout the book, so you can see his points simply, and see numerous examples of how he does it.)
Take time to look, see (that's really see into what you are looking at), imagine the possibilities with what you see, then show in simple hand-drawn symbols, arrows, figures that illustrate what you have in mind.
Then after having a good look, seeing what is involved in all areas, imagining the possibilities, you pencil the thoughts so others see it too with a framework. Choose a framework or express your ideas with... people portraits, charts, arrows for direction, relationships of things, maps, time-lines, flow charts, plots.
Roam pencils several chapters with his napkin illustrations on how to refine the art of napkin communication. He also takes you through visual communications psychology so you grasp how people learn and take away information in an enduring way. He has used this for both individual presentations and for multi-million dollar company applications.
The Back of the Napkin is interesting to look through and seeing how he has imagined this. Look it up at you next trip to your local book store. It's a fun journey to see how he develops this. I found myself putting his ideas to work and even the next night using it to explain an idea to someone.
The website has more and also worth a few minutes to check out http://www.thebackofthenapkin.com/
Andrew Murray (1828-1917) about 100 years ago made these suggestions on how to make principles part of your life. Especially making the principles of the Bible a Spiritual part of you. Many say, "I read it and get it, but I don't always do it as I think I should." Here's Murray's method for reading and making it a walking part of your life.
"The great bane of all our converse with Divine things is superficiality. When we read anything and understand it somewhat, we think that this is enough. No: we must give time, that it may make an impression and wield its own influence upon us.
Read every portion the first time with consideration, to understand the good that is in it, and then see if you receive benefit from the thoughts that are there expressed.
Read it the second time to see if it is really in accordance with God's Word... ponder them in order to come under the full force of what God has said on the point...
Read it then the third time to find out the corresponding places, not in the Bible, but in your own life, in order to know if your life has been in harmony with the New Life, and to direct your life for the future entirely according to God's word... Only give Him time to hold converse with you and to work in you, and your heart shall overflow with the blessedness of God."
from Words of God for Young Disciples of Christ by Andrew Murray
Basically, to read something to get what it is saying, follow this process.
If it is not directly from the Bible go to the Word of God to see if it is consistent with what the Bible says. If it is the Bible, read other corresponding verses to expand possible insight to its meaning. Then read it a third time and compare it to what is going on in your life and how it relates to that. Ask God to show you applications, and ways to apply what you read, change your behavior based on what it means.
This is reading on purpose. It requires several readings to grasp the full intent and make application. Then repetition again and again, helps you to make it an automatic part of your life.
This is what Scriptures mean about renewing the mind, and study to show yourself approved.
To become Spiritual we must deliberately expose ourselves to principles and Words from Spirit. This will over time make us into what we want to be. We must take it on our selves to establish routines that keep pressing Spirit, the life of Spirit into our hearts, minds and souls.
Take time to do this. Develop a plan for you and follow it. Allow the Spirit to do its work and mold into you its character. This cannot be done short of time. You must take the time and give it time for it to happen.
The blessedness of God will flow into your life as you give devoted time to His Spirit and asking His Spirit to become all of you and direct all of you in everything you do, and all of who your are in Spirit.
As Oswald Chambers expresses,
"But when we have the right relationship with God, life is full of spontaneous, joyful uncertainty and expectancy. Jesus said, '. . . believe also in Me' (John 14:1), not, 'Believe certain things about Me.' Leave everything to Him and it will be gloriously and graciously uncertain how He will come in... but you can be certain that He will come. Remain faithful to Him."
(My Utmost for His Highest devotional, April 29)