A Christmas Carol

What makes human consciousness cool, is that we experience time in three cognitive positions. We get our present awareness: "Look! I'm typing," my mind observes, and by applying this focus on my immediate actions, I’m feeling the engagement of the muscles and tendons from my forearms through my fingers. This awareness makes me conscious of the past, and of how I acquired this skill at a part-time gig writing news copy for 11pm deadlines. Now I envision the future and you, gentle reader, and I work to create an experience that engages your interest.

Durable research in educational theory and in behavioral change makes clear our best work calls us to engage all three. One challenge is these positions are slippery. What's worse, they're prone to be inaccurate. We misperceive in three directions.

Foundational to our work at Kairos is teaching people how to hold each position -- one at a time. In order to make durable behavior change, we have to understand how we anticipate what we'll do, accurately record what we do, and correctly evaluate what we did.

Amidst all the science of this work, I'm most delighted when I find someone has beat me to what I thought had been a discovery. Often it's Aristotle. Equally likely, Jane Austen.

Today I'm sharing the joy of finding Charles Dickens modeled the pattern I thought I'd so cleverly assembled. In A Christmas Carol, the ghosts of Christmas Past, Christmas Present, and Christmas Yet To Come, arrive to help Ebenezer Scrooge hold each cognitive position one at a time, and correctly evaluate each one, in order to drive durable behavior change.

One reason for annual rituals is to call forth these spirit guides. Tell me, O mysteries of consciousness: how did I experience the winding down of 2019? How am I experiencing the closing of 2020? Inshallah, how will I experience the end of 2021?

God bless us every one.

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