- Thoughts for inspired living

June 24, 2009

Open Book Test

Filed under: John Morgan's Blog — John Morgan @ 10:03 am

There is a giant upside to open book tests – all the answers are there.

The downside is if you haven’t studied how to best access the material, your search is somewhat scattered and time consuming and the answers take longer to come.

Life seems to be an open book test. Many of the answers are multiple choice or true or false and that causes us to guess correctly more often than if we had to give an essay answer to each question.

But, for the most part, we are guessing about life until we consult it first-hand. Then the answers come to us much more quickly without furtive searching.

All the questions have answers, they just may not be in the section of the book we’re looking in, and even if they are, they may not be in the form we were looking for.

When we go looking for a pre-determined, one size fits all answer, we may run into an imposter with a fake nose and glasses and select it. When the test results come back, that answer has a big red line through it. It didn’t work, but that doesn’t prevent us from selecting it again and again in the future.

We could use a bit of test prep if we want to get better answers. It takes the guess work and pedantic thinking out of the process.

Step one to better test scores is to know the answer is available. This mindset paves the way for better results. “It can’t be done” is just not a workable mindset in an open book test.

Step two is to know that every section of the book may contain the answer, not just a few preferred pages or chapters. Too often the answer may lie in a footnote or the appendix or the table of contents that we consistently skip over.

Step three is the action step. Let someone more qualified than your intellect do the searching. Think of it as the difference between your intellect having access to an old set of encyclopedias and the part of you that knows how to search more quickly having access to Google. No contest!

The key to activating the part of you that knows how to search is twofold:

  1. Wonder
  2. Trust

Socrates told us, “Wisdom begins in wonder.”

Following his sage observation, we can take the pressure off of ourselves of having to know the answer and allow ourselves the freedom to wonder. Wonder is the speediest search engine on earth. Once we set the wonder search in motion, it’s time to set our thinking aside. Once you wonder, it’s time to trust that the wisdom is forthcoming. It’s the same type of trust you give to Mother Nature to produce a plant from a seed you planted.

You needn’t dig the seed up every day to see if it’s sprouting roots. That delays the process and often thwarts fruition. The same is true with thinking. Thinking our way to the answer is the slowest process on earth. It lacks the sophistication of wonder and trust.

Every day is an opportunity to use wonder and trust because every day is an open book test.

I wonder if you see the wisdom in this testing procedure. I trust that you do.

All the best,


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