Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Experiment: Observing the Machine

Pay attention to your physical mannerisms for 3 days.
Notice the way that you carry your body, any special gestures you use when speaking, your facial expressions, etc. For example you might realize that you have a habit of pushing your hair behind your ear when you are feeling anxious, or that you raise your eyebrows when you are feeling skeptical. You will find that you do these things automatically, without thinking about it.
They are habits so ingrained in your machine that you may never have noticed them before.
Make a list of your habits as you become aware of them.
To help you to observe yourself, imagine that someone is making a movie about your life. Imagine that your favorite actor or actress will play your part and that you’re compiling a list of the mannerisms most characteristic of you. It may be hard to pin point anything at first. Look into every thing that you physically do and pay attention to the little flourishes.
How do you drink a glass of water? Do your cheeks puff out while you are drinking? Do you slurp? Do you chug it all down?
When you are reading a book to yourself do your lips move? Do you twirl your hair or bite your lip? Do you wiggle your feet? What do you do?
Take any activity as an opportunity for observation. Enjoy it, and don’t be judgmental. If you realize that you pick your nose while you read your email, be honest and write it down. Avoid being critical of yourself and don’t try to change anything.
Just notice the embellishments that make your machine unique and list them.
You may also make drawings when words don't fully describe the particular habit. It is of utmost important that these notes be very clear to you, even if the would be completely incomprehensible to anyone else. Make sure that each habit is described as fully and as carefully as possible.

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