The Biggest Problem in your Life

post by Jacobian · 2018-07-22T14:56:04.244Z · score: 8 (2 votes) · LW · GW · 0 comments

Mathematician Richard Hamming used to ask scientists in other fields "What are the most important problems in your field?" partly so he could troll them by asking "Why aren't you working on them?" and partly because getting asked this question is really useful for focusing people's attention on what matters. CFAR developed the technique of "Hamming Questions" as different prompts to get your brain to (actually) think about the biggest problems, bottlenecks, and unspoken desires in your life.

Plan for the meetup:

1. I will go through a list of prompts to get you to think of the various bugs in your life and the underlying "Hamming problems" that lie at the core of what's preventing you from being all you want to be.

2. We will break into pairs, and each person will describe their Hamming problems and why they haven't solved them yet to another person, while looking in their eyes. The other person doesn't have to hear what's being said (I'll provide ear plugs for those who want them). The goal of saying this out loud is to let yourself be vulnerable and make the problem real in your attention.

3. If enough people wish to discuss their Hamming problems, we will break into small groups where one person will present their problem and (hopefully) receive compassion, clarification, and feedback from the others.

These exercises will likely be somewhat outside the comfort zone for most of us, and are partly intended to stretch that comfort zone. You are very welcome to drop out after part 1 (which will take 30-45 by itself) or part 2; Luna has many lovely spaces to hang out in. However, if you choose to participate in any of the parts, please be committed and fully present. Also, please be on time. The success of the exercise depends a lot on the atmosphere created in the space.

Please bring:

1. Something to write with/on, preferably paper-based and not electronic.

2. Ear plugs, in case I misjudge the total number needed or you prefer your own.

3. An open and introspective mindset.

Thank you to the Lunatics for graciously hosting this event at Luna Labs!

(For more details and exact location, please join our Google group).

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