The Definite and Indefinite Thinker
So what exactly is a Definite and Indefinite Thinker. For the sake of this portion, just consider Indefinite Thinker as a creative person, while a Definite Thinker as someone who is not creative. We will discuss the exact meaning of it after you understand some basic ideas in the next few pages.
A few years ago, I got a chance to read about Finite and Infinite Game. I was traveling For a business meeting by train. And tried to become an infinite player. The idea seemed to say that an Infinite Player really changes the world, an Infinite Player is the one who is more powerful, the ones who change the world, ones who bring paradigm shift.
I realized that Infinite Player can be more powerful than finite player, but there aren’t necessary reasons that an Infinite Player will always bring a paradigm in society. An Infinite Player has Infinite Goals, and an infinite goal, is basically a goal, which has at least one parameter infinite, which makes it impossible to achieve, and only possible to reach closer.
Simply Being Infinite Player Won’t Make You Revolutionary
Let’s take an example, an office employee, sets up an infinite goal, to keep working for his current company, it’s an infinite goal, because the time he wants to spend in his company is infinite. When he dies, the race is still going, but he leaves the game. (Like in Buying great cars example, the number of cars were infinite, but he would leave the game, at one point, due to death, or may be unwillingness to play)
So the goal was infinite, and may be he makes some rewards for being the longest serving employee of the company, and his company praises him, but did he bring a change in the world, probably not, an infinite game doesn’t actually makes an innovative or an influencer. A perfect combination of Indefinite Thinker and Infinite Player is required to do that. We shall discuss it in Game Quadrant, right now let’s discuss what is Indefinite Thinking, and how Indefinite Thinking works, and How it can make us an influencer, a leader, a person who brings change in society.
Infinite Player and Finite Player can be equally successful. Doing the same thing for an infinite amount of time, will not make you revolutionary. The people, the groups and the organizations that bring change in the society, are really The ones who had innovative mindset.
If you play by the rules, status quo and the conventions of society, you would never be the revolutionaries or the legend you wish you could be. For doing the things that others never did, you need to think about things that others never thought.
You need to think and find the right goal, a goal that is infinite, that gives you passion, that makes you love the journey and yet has an idea that was never imagined. Passionate people think and find a mission for which they want to work
Simple existence of a mission statement/cause/purpose for which you work, means that you will naturally think in a manner that you become an indefinite thinker. Along with many other representatives from companies were responsible for pitching there company.
Indefinite Thinking: Same Problem can Have Different Answers
Albert Einstein while a professor in an institution, amongst many responsibilities had the responsibility to set question papers for exams also.
At one point his assistant, being worried and puzzled, told Einstein, that the question paper he set for this year was exactly the same as the question of the previous year.
Assistant, had probably thought that this was a mistake, because it seemed outrageous and illogical to set the exact same question papers. Because, students practice Previous year questions, and they would know all the answers very easily.
Einstein was asked, “Dr. Einstein, Aren’t these the same questions as last year’s [physics] final exam?”
Dr. Einstein: “Yes; But this year the answers are different.”
Due to advancement in science, and new discoveries, the answers were different now. This meant that the answers that very correct in last year’s exam, would not get them marks in this year’s exams. This time the different answers and explanations were needed.
Our life is the same, the questions are the same, but the answers are different. Almost everyone has the exact same questions, “How to be Happy?”, “How to be Successful?”, “How to be rich”, “How to be more efficient / productive / hardworking / productive?”
And the answers have changed over time. 20 years how to be productive, was simply having full focus.. but today the answer is “stay away from phones” and Take Good Sleep
Same is in business, the questions have always been, “How to make product fast”, “How to Make it Cost Effective”, “How to Attract More Customers”
And the answers changed, when you needed a better way to travel, 150 years ago, it meant traveling via see, 100 years ago, aeroplanes were the answer to travel long distances. Then we needed something to travel short distances fast, answer came, a few decades ago, when cars became efficient and reliable
Our simple taxis were good but Uber was better
Our TV was good but Netflix is better
Our phones were good but smartphones were better
Our Fans were good but AC were better.
Get Out of Status Quo
Everything we have in our status quo is good, but there can be something better. These great ideas changed the composition of our life times, they made old things outdated.
An Infinite Player is only bothered about playing and covering the maximum distance towards it’s Infinite goal. But it misses on the things required to truly become a revolutionary. Those characteristics are given by Thinking. The thought process gives us our goal and then Indefinite Thinking helps us achieve it.
Thinking is of 3 types, Indefinite Thinking, Definite Thinking and Zero thinking. Zero thinking is different from the rest of the 2 and as a result we only study Definite and Indefinite Thinker here.
Same happens with our Infinite Game. An Infinite Game is good, but being in Finite Game or Infinite Game is your choice.
It was not until a week after the given incident, that I realized that I had found the trick to Master the finite and Infinite game. I called it definite and Indefinite thinking, and called the whole concept Indefinite Thinker Infinite Player.
I was supposed to deliver a speech and talk about my own company. The goal was to make an impression in the business meet so that my company gets the contract.
I realized that there could be rules to decide what I could speak of my company, but there were no rules to decide how much energy I put while I speak in front of an audience.
While traveling by train, to reach my business destination, I made a number of thoughts in this matter, I decided that I will play beyond the limits of rules. I added exclamation marks, in my speech to know where I will increase my pitch, and I made my mind over how to change my voice to attract maximum audience and attention.
When I reached the destination, the weather had gotten a bit sunny, so I rushed to reach the office. Once I reached outside the office, I found a wonderful shop with variety of juices. I decided to take one, so that I can remain cool and calm, even though there was still an hour to speak, but my heart was pounding, because I was going beyond the rules, and any wrong step could have a devastating negative impact for my company, and my image as an employee
While taking my last sip, I found some guys dressed formally, my eyes and ears were all set on them, a closer look, and I could see that they were the office guys only. I just greeted them with a warm ‘hi’ and smile, and asked about where the event was organized. They pointed my towards the stairs, and asked to go to the second floor. I further asked how many companies were attending this event, they said “about one and a half dozen companies”
Once I was up there, I could see many nervous faces all around, no doubt I myself was nervous too. In a few minutes, it started. The event began, and representatives from companies were called one by one, on stage to present there company, and make there point. I was at number 11, so I had time to hear a few guys and understand public response.
After the Initial excitement, the crowd started to get bored, the flat voices of representatives one after another, slowly lead to loss of interest. I knew that the majority were being to conventional following the status quo. Audience was really bored hearing the same things said by 10 people again and again.
When I got to speak, I walked up the stage and before I started to speak, I ran my eye through the room, few sleepy faces, few talking with one another, some felt border. I took a lot of air in, and then in a high pitch said. “GOOD MORNING!!!!”, few faces turned my way, and I started to speak.
I consistently used the word “Ladies and Gentlemen” so that I got attention, and by the time I was about to finish my speech, I found almost everyone looking at me. Now I am not a great orator, or a wonderful public speaker, but what I realised was people gained interest, as an Indefinite Thinker I was able to bend the rules in my favor. After speaking 15 mins, I had to sit because that was the time limit (I couldn’t find an infinite way to bypass time limit).
People Love The ones Who Bring a Change
After getting down stage, I found one of the few guys who I met at the juice shop, he said, “at least someone entertained us”, I smiled and I moved on. What I knew was that even though there were people yet to speak, I had made an impact. In more or less presented the exact same points, but I had done something extra which was out of the box, Unconventional and was an Indefinite thought and that changed everything for me
I could be anywhere from boring to exciting in my speech. My voice modulation and pitch and tone, were not bound by any rules. What I realized was that finite and infinite games are just our illusions we can play any game as a finite game, and we can play any game as infinite game just by bringing a paradigm shift in our thought process. Our thought process governs who we are. We can leave an impact, bend reality in our favor, and some problems which have no solution, by having the right thoughts.
Take any great painter for example, what they do is take anything in nature and present it to the world with a different perspective, they just take something like a sunset and knowingly or unknowingly think indefinite about how to present it, that’s when the magic happens.
Like my speech, everyone can judge which company is good or bad by few definite facts, but with energy and enthusiasm, you present Indefinite facts, which gave the feeling of confidence. Similarly, everyone knows that the sunset scene looks very good. But painter adds Indefinite things, like brilliant color magic and that makes the painting amazing.
The rules of the game are not changeable, but they surely are malleable, it would be called cheating or corruption if you break the rules. But an Indefinite Thinker knows how to leverage The things that do not have rules or the things that are available in abundance.
More often than not, there are some rules in every work you do, but there are some undefined rules that still exist. Gravity existed before Newton defined that physical quantity. We are unknowingly or knowingly doing many things that are not in rules. We do them just because they are the status quo. We grow up when we start to be an Indefinite Thinker and think about how to leverage that undefined rules that we still follow.
By simply changing our choices we can gain an edge over the competition, and those right choices come from Indefinite Thinking. Our thought process governs our actions, and our actions govern our reality. We want our reality to be the infinite goal, and our actions are The result of Finite and Infinite Game we play.
The Thinking and the play go hand in hand. First we think what is our dream which becomes our infinite goal, then we play to move towards our dream to become a player, and in the way come many hurdles, these hurdles can be sorted out be Thinking Indefinitely. And then when we know the solution to the hurdle, we again have to work Indefinitely to leverage it to the fullest.
The Players and the Thinkers when perfectly mixed can do wonders. I did this by simply making smart choices in that speech I gave. My goal was to make an impact from my speech. I thought Indefinitely to find the recipe for achieving my goal, and then I played to full fill it.
There is a really interesting thing that many of you might have missed out in this portion. What type of game was I playing when I generated the goal to make an impact. Was it a finite goal or an Infinite goal?
If I tell honestly, the information provided was insufficient. I never told you guys what my goal actually was? My goal was to be a better and successful employee for my company. And being a better employee, can be considered as Infinite goal, because we can always keep improving our best.
My goal was to be a good employee, and delivering a powerful impactful speech was a milestone in that bigger journey of becoming a successful employee. But I never did my Indefinite Thinking towards becoming a better employee, my Indefinite Thinking was to help me achieve my milestone. The collective count of these milestones would take me towards my goal.
And milestones can be finite, and in this case indeed they were finite. What happened in the story was, that basically I had an Infinite of becoming successful employee. On the event I found a milestone for that Infinite Goal. The milestone was to bring maximum
Indefinite Thinking is Connecting the Dots
Everyone has played that connecting the dots sheet in childhood you connect the dots and it forms an actual meaningful drawing. Our world is the same, we connect the dots. If we connect the right set of dots, then slowly a larger picture starts forming. All we know is that the dots exist, and dots somehow shall connect together.
Life is the same, all the things that happen in our life are the result of the many dots that somehow connect. If we connect the right dote we get success.
In any work we connect the dots, just think how you used to prepare for exams in your school days, the dots that you connected that time were:
- Read the creation
- Read the notes
- Do problem solving
- Get reference creations and more practice
- Revise notes
- Take doubts
Most of the people did at least this, though there are a lot more things they can do, I am an Indefinite Thinker, I don’t have any respect for limits so I believe you can have far more points for preparation also. Now consider these 6 points as dots. The person who connects more dots and does it accurately will succeed. When the 6 dots will connect the picture will look good.
A picture can be called complete when these dots connect. These dots can be connected easily and quickly, because most of us are well aware of them. And we understand there meaning.
But what about confidence, do you need confidence and a high level of confidence? If you are not confident in yourself, why will someone give you marks for an answer that seemed unconfident or skeptical. If the teacher is not convinced with your answer you shall not get good marks. Therefore we need a high level of confidence so that they get convinced.
7. Be Confident
Confidence is the dot, most of us will follow the status quo and will be happy with the first 6 points, but an Indefinite Thinker will know that Confidence is like Gravity before Newton, it existed but no one knew how it works or how to use it. Same is Confidence, we all know this word “Confidence” but only an Indefinite Thinker will actually connect the dots. Confidence exists, and it’s an essential part of exams and yet it is not used by most of us.
As the Indefinite Thinker got one more dot in the form of Confidence connected, his picture would look better than anyone else. With 6 dots picture looked complete, but adding and properly connecting another dot, made the picture look even more beautiful. This extra dot added more details and clarity to the larger picture.
And confidence is just an example there are a lot many other dots. And the beautiful thing is that even though a definite player will never work to be Confident because it’s never part of his dpts, but still he has confidence, it may be that the confidence is less or it is sufficient. But he never thought of it, just like Gravity, he unknowingly had some level of confidence, but he is yet to develop and learn it in reality.
Indefinite Thinker’s Dots
A Definite Thinker will do everything that he is asked to do, asked in the form of rules, in the form of limitations, and in the form of procedures. An Indefinite Thinker will do everything that is necessary, but he will think different, and he will find other things that were required but no one talked about it. He will connect few extra dots, the dots that exist but they were never discovered.
This raises an interesting question, “How many dots are there?”
What is the total number of dots. Even if you understand that you need to connect more dots, but how many dots do you need to connect? 10, 15, 30 how many?
Well a Indefinite Thinker actually knows that total number of dots are unknown. The dots will never end, if you try to find, you will surely find more dots and more room to improve. The dots won’t end, but the picture would keep getting bigger and bigger. The goal of Indefinite Thinker is to become more and more creative, and find better solutions.
An Infinite Player loves the journey, and therefore he loves continuously improving the picture, the dots are infinite, so the more the dots he connects, the clearer would be the actual picture.
You just need to find dots that Don’t exist and are unknown (remember gravity). And then connect them. Like the thoughts of indefinite player, the dots that can be discovered are infinite. We never knew that there was a force pulling us towards earth until Newton proved it. And when he discovered it, Physics took a giant leap forward and opened the door for explaining many things.
Newton connected a dot in the form of gravity, which made the picture of science much more clearer. And it was a result of Indefinite Thinking as such thing as never known to us before. Indefinite Thinking and finding these dots can be risky.
What I feel is risk can be explained by the concept of dots easily. What happens when you discover a definite dot, (Definite Thinkers dots are necessary conditions for completing mission) and you know that it will be an important part of the mission, but due to conditions you are unable to fulfill. When you decide to complete the mission without that dot it’s a risk.A Definite Thinker will find troubles I’m achieving it.
But as I said earlier, passionate people are Indefinite And Infinite. Therefore they have many other undiscovered dots already connected. We must understand that the passion and the Infinite goalmare similar, yet different.
Keep Connecting The dots, Those dots won’t end but the circle Would keep Getting Bigger and Bigger
Now please think within yourself what would you call the process of connecting never ending dots? What would you call a person who connects a never ending no. of dots? Think a bit hard because we have discussed this in one of the earliest points.
It’s called infinite game and the person is called infinite player. A person who keeps connecting dots without stopping will be an infinite player. Remember how we defined as infinite player: a person with no rules, who has a goal which is not defined:
An Infinite goal is like ‘becoming fit’ or ‘becoming handsome’ there is no true definition of it, you can not do a perfect distinction of handsome, you can’t tell the exact day or exact time when you became fit
An Indefinite Thinker will find all the things that are already written and are necessary like a definite thinker. And then he will start finding out important undiscovered dots, this would be the stage when he becomes an Indefinite Thinker. And then he starts to work on it, he works day in and day out till he achieves his goal.
But remember that the first step is to decide goal. If the goal is infinite you will naturally do it. And there is a warning I will try to give you, probably no one has time to do this all for his every goal, no one can be an Indefinite Thinker Infinite Player, for each thing he does in his life. Being an Indefinite Thinker Infinite Player is selective, there are only a few areas where we can achieve this. Trust me finding a single missing dot can take weeks. Newton didn’t find the missing dot of gravity in a day it took him a lot of time and really deep thinking.
So it won’t be wise to try to build the thought process for each and every activity. Decide on an infinite goal, and something that you want to put your entire life for. Decide on one goal. You can be an infinite player, and you can connect the dots for any
Head back to almost start of creation, and reread the story about Apple, calculating squares was a necessity. They were bound by 1 rules, the rule that was the fact that there processor was not designed to calculate squares. A Definite Thinker will be bound by a rule of status quo, which is that the square of any no. is the number multiplied by itself. But being an Indefinite Thinker Apple brought out an amazing way to do it. There are 4 combinations in which the players and thinkers can be arranged and we will discuss when you need to be which one in Game Quadrant.
The thing we learn from the above quoted example of Apple is, that the limitation was the processor and there were no rules and no limits on the mathematics behind it. The brilliant engineer must have been An Indefinite Thinker (unknowingly) who thought of everything that was not limited or bound by the rules and he did a wonderful work.
Read the Story just in case you forgot the example. The story with which the Part 1 of this creation starts is one of the most subtle examples of Indefinite Thinking. A single solution that could be implemented without disturbing the rest of the arrangement, and at the same time was cost efficient, and good at performance. A single solution correctly placed all the dots.
When I spoke at the business meeting for my company (discussed in Definite and Indefinite Game), the rules asked me to speak in a neutral and ethical manner, and I had to finish the speech in given time, I always followed these rules and everyone else also did the same. All the other people lived in an illusion, that their job was to tell the facts and praise the company. Well I also did the same, but rules never governed my energy, my enthusiasm, my voice modulation etc. I did what everyone else did but I added the energy and enthusiasm to the mix and that turned out to be magical
Definite and Indefinite Thinkers
In start of this Part 3 of the creation, I narrated a story of how I played like an infinite player, and added confidence, energy and enthusiasm. My infinite playing helped me a lot. I made the decision while travelling in the train that I will show confidence and work as an infinite player. And as promised, I will explain the exact meaning of a Definite #Thinker and Indefinite Thinker here
Yes, he was in a game, he was playing to live, he was playing to have fun, But he never had an aim of life at that age. So what would you call a person who is a part of a game but he is having no goal, he has competitors even before his birth. He had to fight many germs, many infections, many injuries that he got at an early age.
He was in competition with other kids when he played football. But at that age, he could not have had an aim. He had no thought process. But it was necessary, in a zero thought process, he will observe and explore the world. He will bring up his thoughts, believes and he will develop habits.
Soon he will have a mindset, and a unique way of working. His mindset will make his a thinker. From this point onwards, in major part of his life, he will make decisions on his own. At this point he needs the skill for Indefinite Thinking.
Indefinite Thinking means a mindset and thought process to find solutions to problems that no one else ever thought.
A Definite Thinker
A definite game, is a type of thinker with which, there are a limited number of dots. The dots are finite. The goal is to connect the dots. The person plays by convention. And the result is that the person performs good, and he will be capable of achieving all his goals. But Indefinite Thinking is creative, innovative and helps with out of the box thinking, therefore I affirm that Indefinite Thinkers try to connect the maximum number of dots, and find long lasting solutions. It is surely possible that a Definite Thinker finds an undiscovered dot, but that happens due to accident, or when he is wandering, in its core a Definite Thinker, has no intent to find undiscovered dots.
A definite thinker, is bound by rules and restrictions, and he tries to play within them. Again, Steve Jobs and Apple Story, tells it all, in a situation, where the processor had limited their dreams, a Definite Thinker would not have failed. A conventional process never means that he would not be able to achieve his goal. It just means that it would take time.
A Definite Thinker would have thought by the rules, and worked with only the given dots. The problem was that the processor did not support calculating squares. So if a Definite Thinker was supposed to solve the problem, the most probable solution would be to get better processor, which shall be compatible with calculating squares. This would solve all of their problems.
Another probable solution would be to store the values of squares in memory, most probably they would need the squares of first hundred numbers, so they can store the values of them in there. This will have the processor fetch them from memory and as a result would be comparatively faster in terms of speed also.
Both of these seem to be decent solutions, and there is nothing wrong with that. But a definite thinker, is only bothered about his own definite number of dots. His thought process is not sustainable.
The machine was already in its later stages, changing a processor, would be meaning that there would be many things that would need to be remade and built from the ground up again. Also, adding a more expensive processor will add up to costs, and make things less affordable
The second solution, while require less work around, but the memory at that time was very expensive, and storing that much information, would mean that there would be added costs of more memory, and adding more storage would add up to the weight and the volume of computer also.
A definite thinker, has definite parameters and limits to meet and therefore he would not be bothered if his solution gave rise to another problem. A Definite Thinker mindset is not bad, and in no ways I wish to say bad about it, or criticize it, in fact in later portion of Game Quadrant, I explain how Definite Thinker is also Great.
The mindset of a Definite Thinker is never to go far, their goal is to go fast. The known parameters, will make you go fast, but when you need to find a solution to a problem that exists specifically to you, then you shall need to go slow, and carefully find solutions. That’s not what they do, they do everything to gain speed. They have the courage to sacrifice everything to move towards their goal at the fastest speed. Though they never travel as far as Indefinite Thinkers Infinite Player.
“A Solution that raises another Problem is Not a Solution”
The other and seemingly better solution was to store the values on the computer itself. Well if someone says it in 2019 then it’s fine, but that was 1984, in 1984, when a big cost for storage, and you spend a lot for just 128k memory. The decision would make computer a bit slow, and would increase the cost to a large extent, making it irrelevant solution.
A Definite Thinker will find the solution for his problem, and it’s just hard work and Definite Thinking, irrespective of Finite or Infinite Game, a Definite Thinker will find the solution. The only problem with Definite Thinker, is that the solution is not bound to connect the maximum number of dots. It is sure possibility that it can lead to birth of another problem.
While some people may argue that this solution was only valid for squares, and it cannot calculate cubes, and other powers of a number, while it is totally true, but remember we are not making a calculator, we are having the intent, to be able to get rounded edges, and draw geometric figures, for which in most cases the only thing we need is squares, and therefore this was a good solution.
It is not that Definite Thinking is wrong, it’s just that Definite Thinking will make you a decent solution, but not the best solution. An indefinite thinker, tries to find the solution, that is the best, a solution, that just “works”, is not what they work for, they want “the best” solution for their problem.
Being a Finite or Infinite player, or being definite or Indefinite Thinker is all a matter of choice. The only thing that matters is that you can’t work as a Finite Player and wish for rewards of Infinite Players.
Indefinite Thinking is when you think without any limits without any rules, you let your mind flow into world of imagination, you are a free Creative Bird.
The goal of an Indefinite Thinker is to obviously, think indefinitely. And an Indefinite Thinker means that they should not talk about the rules. They find out every unthought possibility of improving and being better in the mission or reaching closer to their goal.
Well how do you think indefinitely? It’s indefinite and therefore there is no definite way of doing it. There is just one rule, think about everything that is limitless.
If you have to improve your product if your product is food, you can add competitive price, better taste, etc. everyone does it, doing this will get you customers but this is just definite thinking, indefinite thinking will find something else. They will get, a new thing, for eg. A new wonderful dish. They will improve their existing dishes and price them competitively but they will get things that no one else does.
The beauty is that if your new product is good, and constantly keep getting good products, others will see you and say “oh what a good idea, we didn’t think of it” and the result it that they copy you, they do your new product just because it was successful.
Over the period of time, they start to play catchup, and you slowly become leader. Just challenge the status quo, just think of things that no one else does.
Indefinite Thinking Makes Us Leader
There is a tremendous majority of the world that plays our well known finite game. And many of such players are really happy. They are really successful yet they are finite players.
So you can surely be a finite player, moreover finite game is easy. And being a Definite Thinker makes everything butter. Everything is very well defined and safe when you are a Finite Player and a Definite Thinker.
Also there is absolutely nothing wrong in it. Being a Finite Player is totally acceptable, as long as your goals are finite, and once achieved you shall not hop onto the next goal. The finite game is super common, super popular, and people intentionally are part of it. In Fact a majority works that we do in our day to day lives are the result of finite game and Definite Thinking
In a finite game, the game is over as soon as the goal is achieved. Therefore if your goal is to get one promotion, then your game will be over as soon as you achieve it.
Problem comes when a Finite Player dreams like an Infinite Player. After one promotion in office, a Finite Player become greedy and sets goal for next promotion. The constantly changing goals of a player are the reason why the Finite Game works. Everything works, and everyone is happy if a Finite Player sets Finite Goals, and leaves the race as soon as he achieves his goal.
Similarly a Definite Thinker is good, until you want to do what has already been achieved. You try to learn from others and use their experience and techniques to reach there level. And again I shall say, it is totally perfect and it’s 0erfectly fine if this is why you want to work.
Problem comes, in fact problem is born when you want to get ahead of them. When you follow someone, and try to follow their footsteps, then irrespective of what type of goal you have, you will be like them. But you shall never overtake them, or surpass them.
This is because to be ahead of someone, you need to be better than them. And in order to be better than them, you need to solve problems/improve your self, to a level better than them.
In order to solve problems, you need to be an Indefinite Thinker. Only an Indefinite Thinker has the capability to solve problems, and find worthy yet undiscovered opportunities.
The reason this creation exists is to help you realize what game you have played till now, and then make you realize why we can be successful by Finite Game but if we want to change the world, if we need to be remembered by posterity, and if we need to move the human race forward then we need to Be an Indefinite Thinker Infinite Player.
Indefinite Thinking Explains Reality Distortion Field
Indefinite Thinking is wonderfully amazing thing. But just theory doesn’t work, we need some practical examples, and some stories to show how it actually works. The existence of this concept goes way back to start of existence of human. This wonderful idea, had been buried deep under our mind, before this creation.
But then, we need examples of Indefinite Thinking. Indefinite Thinking is not very common, yet we all experience it many a times. One of the people who have mastered the art of Indefinite Thinking, was Steve Jobs.
Steve Jobs has an amazing art of convincing people towards something. In front of him, the reality was malleable. His this art got coined with the term “Reality Distortion Field” . This term was coined back in the 1980s which about 30 years before this creation came out. Reality Distortion Field, is not a concept, it’s just some stories where people experienced impossible made possible. It doesn’t explain how to make Reality Distortion Field for ourselves.
Reality Distortion Field is basically the Indefinite Thinking used by Steve Jobs. I found it apt to mention his own stories so that we can understand Indefinite Thinking with these examples.
He could find amazing possibilities to bring a turnaround in unfavorable situations. The art of Reality Distortion Field can be very well explained by Indefinite Thinking
There are many examples that prove that Steve Jobs had a talent of convincing and persuading people for a task. The term Reality Distortion Field was coined by Bud Tribble. The term was taken from a Star Trek episode, where Aliens use it to create their own world.
Steve Jobs was not at all awful, on paper he may seem to be awful, but it was the way of speaking that could make him feel awesome in fact inspiring here is a Reality Distortion Field example to prove it. I will tell you the classic office condition where your employee refuses to be able to a task and you have to get it done. How would Steve Jobs get it done?
Many times people call Steve Jobs awful, but this is his secret to success, in simple words, he was an Indefinite Thinker. Imagine a situation, where you are the project manager. You have one engineer working on boot time (time taken for machine switching on). The engineer claims that he cannot shave off a single millisecond from the load time. According to him, he has put all his efforts, and it’s the best time possible. How would an Indefinite Thinker find the solution for same
But Steve Jobs asking to shave the time at any cost may make him feel like he is awful, in this beautiful example Reality Distortion Field, it didn’t really make him feel awful, rather it was inspiring and motivational.
Steve Jobs in 1984 was working on Macintosh computers. Engineers working on Macintosh were asked to reduce 10 seconds from boot time. Disagreeing with it, engineers refused to be able to reduce even a millisecond from it. Steve Jobs, using Reality Distortion Field addressed engineers to say, ‘would you reduce it’s time if someone’s life depended on it.’
Indefinite Thinking was coming into play. Steve Jobs was presenting a really different perspective of the world. Steve Jobs gave the logic too. He stated that the Macintosh Computers would be bought by millions of people. Every person would turn on their PC once a day, and in each of these process every person wastes 10 seconds extra, then the total time wasted would amount to the lives of many people.
His point was thousands of people would daily waste 10 seconds more booting the Computer. The sum time amounting to many lives. A few weeks later the same team, came up with rewritten code and reduce the time by 28 seconds. Now That’s Amazing
The Term Reality Distortion Field is often used to talk about Steve Jobs’ presentation skills. Most people describe it as a fancy name for Pretending or lying, while I call it a real gold. Indefinite Thinking explains Reality Distortion Field really explains it well.
The above story shows that simple play of words at the right time can be really powerful. It’s an example of Indefinite Thinking because rather than conventional bossy scolding and threatening of offices, the case here had a customer perspective shift and it indeed read very motivating.
In Indefinite Thinking, we find the missing piece of the puzzle. We change the perspective, we find the undiscovered possibilities and utilize them.
It doesn’t really mean pretending it can be a better-called mind game. When you without saying something make people fell in a particular way it is called Reality Distortion Field. The most common story about Reality Distortion Field include the following:
When Steve jobs was working at NextStep. He had a meet Jonathan Rosenberg, who was at Google and many others come up to see his newly designed software.
Jonathan in the creation How Google Works gives this Reality Distortion Field example, where during the presentation they knew many things were wrong but couldn’t express how they were wrong. After meeting confused as they went back to car parking they realized Steve waiting for them, to express more thoughts. Finally, they had to agree with him, even though no one approved it. That was the beauty of Reality Distortion Field.
This was a simplified version of the story narrated in the creation, “How Google Works”, by Jonnathan Rosenberg, it’s a must read creation, and it talks about great work life of employees at Google.
Another miss conception about this whole idea of Reality Distortion Field is that it can be used anywhere without the other person getting to know that he is in the field. This only happens when Reality Distortion Field is applied completely. We have already said that it is not manipulation. When you lie or tell wrong facts then you shall remember that person standing next to you is not a fool. Sometimes you have to be brutally honest to earn respect.
Indefinite Thinking has also taught us that more often than not, the solution does not need to be a really complicated one. Even simple solutions can do the trick. Life of Steve Jobs has taught me this very well. Sometimes a bruta level of honesty and straight forward talk can improve the things and make life easy.
After he returned to Apple in 1997, Jobs summoned Apple’s top employees to the auditorium, and, wearing shorts and sneakers, got up on stage and asked everyone to tell him “what’s wrong with this place.” At that time, Apple was directionless, it was in a cash crunch, and they didn’t have an idea what to do. The motive of talking to employees was to set the vision clear.
In the auditorium, After some murmurings and bland responses, Steve Jobs realizes that the place has got a bit nervous, and he broke the silence, and spoke with honesty, “It’s the products! So what’s wrong with the products?” There was no response, “The products suck! There’s no sex in them anymore!” That’s how you make people understand loopholes. By lying you shall not only lose respect, but also that makes the road more clearly.
He made it crystal clear that Apple did not have good products, and Apple needs them for succeeding.
iPod: Thinking Differently
The thing is he didn’t say a word about the importance of the work, he always presented it as a cause. When he launched the iPod he didn’t say 1GB storage, he said 1000 songs in your pocket. Now that feels good.
Standing in front of his employees, Jobs told them, “we want developers to write small, efficient code, not Microsoft code.” His logic was that would optimize all over the place. The limit would become Apple’s advantage by forcing developers to do more with less headroom.
The staff seemed to like the logic — Jobs’ reality distortion field at work — but Shelton wasn’t convinced. “I was the only person who wasn’t accepting it because I knew how operating systems grow, how software grows.” Jobs thought developers would make their apps smaller, “but it wasn’t going to go that way,” Shelton says. Software code only ever balloons in size.
With Reality Distortion Field you can even change memories of people when we say who developed the GUI? You would say Apple or you may say, Steve Jobs. But that is not true. I will explain it in a minute. First let’s understand the idea, Steve Jobs basically when heard a new idea from someone which seemed to be good. He would put all his heart and soul to develop it and the result would be that he would talk and interact with so many people in developing it that naturally, people would think it was his idea. If you are confused, then no problem now read that story about GUI and then read this again.
Story is that Actually Steve Jobs, had allowed Xerox had allowed buying some shares of Apple at $10 per share, in return to which Steve Jobs got access to Xerox Palo Alto Research Center wherein 1980’s they developed up revolutionary idea of GUI, Internet, and Mouse, Steve got enlightened and got to develop it.
Xerox had got a lot of scientists dedicated to developing new technology. Their development took place at a place far of which was known as Palo Alto Research Center or PARC in short. They developed a communication system similar to the internet, they developed a navigation system similar to a mouse, and the third idea blinded Steve Jobs. This third idea was the idea of Graphic User Interface. They have developed it to a great extent. But Xerox wanted to remain in making photocopy machines and as a result, they didn’t get much support. Steve Jobs put his heart and soul in development.
He put around a year to work it up so that the graphic user interface could ship with the very first Macintosh in 1984.
Whenever required make an instinctive decision, Steve was very good at it. Whenever possible try to find out what is right and do it, but if everything seems right then do as Steve Jobs said, “Follow Your Heart And intuition because they somehow know exactly what you want to be.” Most of the times it gets things right and in case it goes wrong most of the time you would be able to go back to it.
Be Yardstick of perfection demand perfection even if it is not required. A great carpenter would not put a bad piece of log in a cabinet’s back even if it is going to face the wall. Steve Jobs was the same, he made a last moment circuit redesign to just adjust a small wire. Engineers suggested to let it be as it is, but it was Steve Jobs perfection that he wanted to feel sure that even though it would never be seen by customers still he would be sure that when that night he goes to his bed, he knows that he made the thing as great as possible.
Here’s The Thing
Here’s the Thing. You have to put things in perspective. You have to give people a cause or a motive for which they work. And that’s it that perspective will change the whole thing.
The point is all examples of Reality Distortion Field are just a change of perspective. Unlike manipulation where you present something wrong, or technically you lie, but in reality distortion field is when you present a point that is not lying, but that is not really true also.
Take my favorite example, when Microsoft launched there Zune PDA, they marketed some ‘X’ GB storage. When Apple had launched there iPod they said 1000 songs in your pocket. The point is that it may or may not hold a thousand songs. But the perspective that they presented allowed them to sell like hot pancakes. They just put the things into different perspective.
This is the beauty of Reality Distortion Field, in manipulation, you lie in order to gain an edge over others. In Reality Distortion Field, you get an even greater edge, and you don’t lie, and this can be seen in all its examples. You just present a different perspective. A perspective that makes other people feel good.
Another Great example of Reality Distortion Field follows Andy Cunningham, a marketing expert was working with a photo shoot of Steve Jobs. In a hotel in New York, he arranged tables and chairs for Steve’s Photoshoot.
It was a Fortune magazine shoot, Steve Jobs wanted Michael Jackson being played in the background so that he could feel good and get energized for the shoot.
So to make Steve behave they had to play “Billie Jean” soon Steve would start to behave. As soon as the song would get over, he would start to lose control over himself and Andy had to rewind the 1980’s cassette and play it again for Steve Jobs to start working normally
The thing is that it does ensure that another person doesn’t get to know about it. In manipulation, if a person has moderate knowledge also, you can also be could in the act. But in the case of Reality Distortion Field that is not the case.
Reality Distortion Field played a really important role in the life of Steve Jobs, and it doesn’t seem that this talent is difficult to imply. All incidences were of day to day life, rather than being some real-world war or serious level of incidences. He is none of the above case used it does demoralize anybody. Rather he got unwilling things done from Others or in the case of a photo shoot with himself also. We should do the same with ourselves.
This portion very well talked about Reality Distortion Field, which is basically Applied Indefinite Thinking. I have greatly studied life of Steve Jobs and he was an amazing Indefinite Thinker. Here we had many examples of how he applied it in his life.These examples must have helped you understand it better, and you could relate many situations with your own life too.
Some other examples including a few of my own life, the above examples must have made you feel what Indefinite Thinking actually is? But because it was explained with the perspective of reality Distortion Field, I considered it appropriate to include some of !y pwm hand picked example.
So, about a monthafter starting to write this creation, I and my friend had to make some videos about some topic. Mostly some motivational videos they were, and we were not good on shooting videos too. Nevertheless I took put some time from my creation, so that we can do the recordings. I felt that taking a break from creation will refresh me for writing the remaining portion of the creation.
For which we decided let’s meet somewhere. I was supposed to be in front of the camera, and therefore I prepared my speech and wrote it in detail, they were 3-4 one minute long videos, and I assumed 3 hours would be sufficient.
So when I reached his home, he and I took a taxi to a City park, because we decided it would be good to shoot with trees in the background. When we reached there, we found a good location too… We already had wasted 25mins reaching there, and so I Wanted to start shooting as early as possible.
But then due to some community event there was a lot of noise, and it seemed impossible to record audio. We needed to go somewhere else, but the money we had left with was just sufficient to go back home. We began walking and wandering around to see if we can find a good location. We found some restaurants nearby, and few were of decently good ambience.
I tried to apply whatever I had preached you, so I decided to play as an indefinite thinker. I cleared my sweat, and with hugh confidence went into one of the hotel. I had my friend come behind me with a camera and a tripod. I had a selfie stick in my hand.
I entered the hotel and called for the manager. My friend is a vlogger, so he showed his YouTube account to him. He was impressed and had no doubt about us. My friend presented us as if we were vlogging and wanted to review the restaurant.
The manager thought that if we talked good about his restaurant, his sales would increase. As a result he let us sit in the hotel and make videos. In fact he served us burgers just because he wanted better reviews. We for some time shot the review of restaurant just to please him, and the rest of the time we shot our own videos.
In our situation the limitations were time and money. We had 3 hrs and we had money. A Definite Thinker would have probably either walked to some suitable location wasting time, or he would have changed his budget. In both cases he was at a loss.
Whereas we as Indefinite Thinkers did the magic, we used the things that were in ample, having a shot video praising a restaurant never mattered to us. And as a result, we used the things that were in ample. We connected the maximum dots, and comfortably achieved our motive.
In office, there are constant dramas of office politics. My friend used to commute to the office with the office bus. The office was quite far, and he didn’t have any vehicle of his own.
As is the nature of every boss, they love to trouble the employees. My friend faced the same. My friend was troubled by boss, in the ways you can expect. He used to call him to office just a few minutes before the Office bus left, and kept talking for long periods.
This caused him to miss his bus quite often. Not only did he reach home late but also, he had to do a taxi meaning more expenses. Messing with the boss was not a good idea, and no one dare say to his boss that he is getting late for his work (hint: it’s a criminal offense in the eyes of any boss)
He got an indefinite thought to solve the problem. The office had a 6-seater van. So he used his friends and the power of masses. Any time either he or any of his 2 friends were busy with the boss they would do this simple trick.
Boss would ask Friend 1, “please meet me in my office,” his other 2 friends see him going in. Other 2 friends, do everything as usual, just a few moments before, the bus left, they would call boss and say, “Sir, is friend 1 with you, his bus is about to leave”
Boss would reply, “Yes, some work is left so he shall come later”, the friends would reply, “so sir if too much work is there can we also work another hour?” No boss will ever refuse if there employees wants to work extra hours.
The boss, with a pleased heart says, “Yes, Of course”. The friends would reply, “So sir can we also go with him when the office van goes to drop him”, the boss absent mindedly replied, “Ya
What this meant was that they would have to work an extra hour in office and van would drop them home. But wait, the interesting part is still left. The boss used to do this meeting at time of bus for almost every employee. Everyone was informed that boss arranged a van for the people who worked late.
As a result the next time he would try to keep any employee pate, they would demand van. He can not say “No” because if he did it for one employee them every employee deserves it. While van should not be a big issue, the van adds to cost of company, the company questioned the boss for the extra fuel wasted.
As a result he couldn’t allow further vans. And as employees demanded vans, and his seniors won’t allow him to use van, it meant that he had to ensure that either the employees go on their own, or they go by the bus on time.
As people refused to go on there own because if one of them got van then everyone wanted vans, so boss had to ensure that people leave office on time. As a result, everyone’s money was saved and they all went home on time.
Again as an Indefinite Thinker, they connected the maximum number of dots, they didn’t fight with the boss, they saved money, they reached home on time, all they did was just cleverly invest one day of 3 people, and that was sufficient enough to achieve whatever they wanted.
Our minds don’t work this way. It’s very hard for a rational person to be able to think like that. Our mind loves to see observations. It doesn’t want to think and find out the facts and causes of observations. It just wants the observations. As a result when we observe the problem, we never find the solution.
We don’t have to find the solution. We have to find the reasons due to which problem exists, and then decide what all things do we have to figure out what are the limitations/constraints which need to be fulfilled, then we decide what things do we have in ample, and when we identify, the ample things, our next motive is to find what all can be invest to achieve our goals.
Like I talked about when I had to go for shooting, our limitations were time and money. And things we had in ample were, cameras, storage capacity, convincing power, and confidence.
We used the things we had in ample, and found the solution that connected a large number of dots.
Improving Decision Making: Game Theory
Life comes with many situations where you see many options and have to decide. Situations where the decision can change your life in an irreversible manner.
Over the period of time, I have realized that in Indefinite Thinking, you need to have creative selection too. Many a times when you hunt the missing dot to make the picture look better, you will land up in traps too.
In the journey to make the picture better and better, you shall see how sometimes when you try to find the scope for improving, you will make mistakes, you will make changes that have a negative impact rather than a positive impact. Be courageous, and face them all.
This portion will give you tips for better decision making but never worry, and never be afraid to make wrong decisions. These wrong decisions will make you gain a lot of experience in your life.
Indefinite Thinking, needs you to select the right dots, connecting wrong dots worsens the picture. No doubt, experimenting is necessary. Experimentation and iteration will ultimately land you to the right recipe, but there is a good theory called Game Theory that very well helps you make the right decisions.
Some decisions when each option seems to be equally good and it is literally impossible to decide what is right. Here comes the role of Game Theory. Game Theory Helps you decide how to choose between the 2 options. It’s difficult to imagine which option will work well and fit into the mix, and which option will ruin it all.
In the game, you need to stay ahead of your competitors, taking wrong decisions, can waste a lot of time, and if wise decisions be taken, then we shall save a lot of time, and stay ahead in the race. For taking wise decision, we need to be smart for it. Game Theory tells you about a simple mindset that you need while making decisions.
In situations where you are not sure what the result of any of your actions will be, you must use Game Theory.
Therefore almost all decisions are a part of a game. For example, in a war, the decision to be offensive or defensive, is part of the game of war where the enemy country is your competitor.
The Road Not Taken
Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;
Then took the other, as just as fair,
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,
And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black.
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.
I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference
Now let’s come to the point of how to take the decision. Payout is another important term to know in game theory, which is equal to the outcome of the decision any player takes in a game.
Now the thing that matters the most is Nash Equilibrium. Nash Equilibrium is a scenario where as a result of your decision, no one can increase there payout by taking unilateral decisions. In such a scenario, all players have their payouts dependent over your decision.
What it basically means that you put yourself in a favorable position such that your position is really powerful, the decisions of others cannot negatively impact you.
This usually occurs in games with more complex elements than two choices by two players. In simultaneous games that are repeated over time, one of these multiple equilibria is reached after some trial and error.
One of the major examples of such a situation where the maximum payoff is limited by your decision is a situation which is coined with name Prisoner’s Dilemma.
Imagine a situation where 2 suspects are jailed. In order to investigate, Police puts up 4 conditions
- If both confess, they will each receive a five-year prison sentence.
- If Prisoner 1 confesses, but Prisoner 2 does not, Prisoner 1 will get 5 years and Prisoner 2 will get 10 years.
- If Prisoner 2 confesses, but Prisoner 1 does not, Prisoner 1 will get 10 years, and Prisoner 2 will get two years.
- If neither confesses, each will serve two years in prison.
Now the Nash Equilibrium for Prisoner 1 would be the scenario where he receives the least punishment. He has the option to either confess or stay silent. The decision of 2nd Prisoner is not known to him.
The most favorable strategy is to not confess. However, neither is aware of the other’s strategy and without certainty that one will not confess, both will likely confess and receive a five-year prison sentence. The Nash equilibrium suggests that in a prisoner’s dilemma, both players will make the move that is best for them individually but worse for them collectively.
May be the luck may favor you to be fully free. But it is highly dependent on the decision of another person. If we achieve Nash Equilibrium, we will always have more layoffs than our competitors.
It is something like Russia and America controversy, where both are simply continuing the game. Here the way to succeed is by not taking a different decision, here you have to change the game, you have to bend the rules in a way that only you leverage the game.
There is another type of game also. It is called infinite game, a game with indefinite players, indefinite rules and the only objective is to continue the game forward, on and on and on…
It is something like Russia and America controversy, where both are simply continuing the game. Here the way to succeed is by not taking a different decision, here you have to change the game, you have to bend the rules in a way that only you leverage the game.
It Will be explained in the following example.”Every once in a while a revolutionary product comes that changes everything, not just the product bht the entire industry. We have been fortunate to be part of a few of them. When we launched iPod, it did not change the way we listen to music it changed the whole industry” -Steve Jobs
Steve Jobs said these words at the launch event of the iPhone. iPhone was the next big thing that changed the industry.
With the iPhone they didn’t improve the industry they changed the way we thought about phones, and changed the whole industry.
Here It was an indefinite game, the rules were not there, and the objective was just to continue game, the goal was to gain maximum market share, Apple was a new player in the game. Here Apple didn’t took a decision like infinite game where a decision gives you leverage. They didn’t take decision to add more battery, or more vibrant display, they changed the game.
They Changed the way we used them, rather than buttons there was touch screen. It was something no one thought, and it was something that changed the game, it opened a hell lot of new possibilities and new apps and web design took birth, that made Apple what it was. It is a different thing that Apple, under Tim Cook is a whole lot different.
Thanks for Reading, Warm Regards, Aditya My Latest Article 17 Secrets to Know: How I optimized My WordPress Site to Load in 927ms.