The Socratic Method Bathtub Vision
“Here you go, Skyeee,” says Emily. I hang up the phone, pick up the club soda with lime and look out the window over the city to the ocean. Its late afternoon in September, 2004, in the not-yet-open Jazz club room with wall to wall windows on the top floor Eastland Park Hotel–the largest hotel in New England about a century ago–in Portland, Maine. I lean back into the big black leather sofa, and look over to the two female bartenders, one who’s becoming more than friend, neither of whom understand what my work is or why I come to the club day and night but don’t drink alcohol. “Cheers!” I’ve been staying here for the last month, and they let me work here during the day.
I look back out the windows, focusing not on the ocean but on the challenge before me. I’ve just gotten off a call with a Vice President of a local Fortune 500 Company with a PhD in psychology, who is sponsoring my event* in a little over 48 hours. Earlier this year she attended my 2-day workshop in Baltimore, my 4-day boot camp in Austin and my 8-day boot camp in Lake Tahoe, and she raves about my work [link]. She just told me she’s still trying to enroll a few more of her fellow executives for this weekend… but she sounds a bit nervous. I just told her about the vision I had in the bathtub last night. I’d received the inspiration to change the event to be delivered via “socratic method,” which I am envisioning simply as answering all questions with other questions–another of my experiments. Although its the same content, the delivery style will be more challenging than what people are expecting, and I know there’s a good chance it will backfire. I just know it will be more powerful and more aligned with the intended outcomes of the workshop, so I have to go for it. My heart begins to beat faster. I didn’t know it then, but about 75% of participants would indeed choose not complete the event… even my event sponsor.
Adding to my challenge, attending the workshop along with Fortune 500 execs will be drug addicts who read a book by a student of mine who applied some of my concepts to addiction, several young men who read my AWW book online, people who heard about me from my speech at a futurist conference after 9/11, and God knows who else. Not exactly an audience I can easily tailor my message to. I’m sure some of them will love it. And those are the ones who matter.
As I am in the middle of envisioning the event, I remember there cutie waiting for me down in my bed. She’s got to go–I need to focus. I close my laptop and head for the door.
One of the ways I learn best is from following my visions, heart, mind and instincts into adventures involving significant risk, which require my complete focus and presence. I have started telling my life stories, at least 98% of which is are completely true, in The Ronin Diaries. You can start with any book in the series, currently the first one published is Gone Ronin. You can download it for free here.
*Most of the content of this weekend workshop was delivered in a different context and different formats as an online course called, VisionForce 101, and as a home study program called, The Visionary Mind program.