Self-Guided Lesson


This is a subset of the lessons, re-ordered to make for an intense, abridged introduction to the (already abridged) philosophy.

I estimate 5 hours of reading, rereading and studying (it will take you far less than 5 to everything read once), and 5 hours to complete the exercises (these will almost certainly take the full time, because they are fast-paced and timed). The more you slowly digest the reading and/or embrace the exercises, the better you’ll do. As long as you are fully “present” for the reading and writing portions, you can expect to do well on it.

In addition to the instructions below, the readings themselves provide guidance on the activities. Feel free to let me know if you didn’t think so.


You’ll notice that the “Chapters” are very short-—approximately the number of words of 1 – 3 pages of textbook reading, for each, AND in extremely plain language (perhaps later chapters are more technical). The flipside is there is very little style and fluff. Even every example and analogy has an important, central purpose. I cannot stress enough that you should take the chapter length as motivation to re-read for mastery, before moving on. This activity will require two skills that are “between the lines”.

I’m only assigning parts of the (very short) book, so you will occasionally want to read an unassigned preceding section and/or glossary definitions (in the preface). The second is that, given the “dense” style, be careful with reading too quickly just because it is plain English. You might just have to pause to ‘translate’ ideas, and think about why or how something makes sense or is relevant for you. Doing so will make the Lessons much more approachable and beneficial.

However, if you’re still confused, email me telling me what you’ve read and considered along with what you’re stuck about and I’ll be happy to point you in the right direction!

The lessons are designed to be repeated, so when I’m evaluating it, it matters whether it is your first or second (or 9th) time doing them. Just let me know which version it is, and if you feel necessary, go ahead and share the earlier version(s)—for context. I’ll only grade the version you ask me to. The lessons are to be completed in order, and normally without seeing questions in advance. Take this as a recommendation—I won’t penalize you for reading ahead. However, if you do read ahead do not let yourself be discouraged or try to compensate for the intended structure. Two, you absolutely must stick to the time and word limits, and for each lesson, do it all in one sitting. These restrictions are in place to stop you from over-investing in the activities, or getting overwhelmed by them.

For all of the lessons below, I want you to apply them to your actual here-and-now self, not a hypothetical one. You absolutely may choose what aspect of your real life to engage and disclose, but I would rather hear about your struggles with cooking, than a made up/hypothetical struggle with a roommate. This will require some reframing of the literal tasks to fit your circumstance (this is also described in the reading). As one example, “Student in School” will talk about midterms and spring break, which you should reframe as this “make up week” and “summer break”. I’ve put a few more notes like this alongside the outline, below.

One final caveat: Reading ahead might actually be beneficial before doing any of the exercises. I say this because Part 3’s readings (its topic is “how to read”) could make Part 1 and 2’s activities and reading more meaningful/clear.

Part one

read chapters:

  1. Preface (Glossary, here, and big picture of what you’re learning and doing with this activity.
  2. Introduction
  3. Revisions (The section “Skilled Reflection” is instructions on how to read/do the Lessons, below). Turn in lessons by Tuesday, Midnight. The first you may do on your own, and the second one you should record and send a link to the recordings for me to review, along with the saved text file(s).
    • Lesson B. “Define yourself.” You can skip “Self-future”, since it might be difficult to follow without more context. The last exercise, “Self-now” is one you might want to do twice, or at least note that the time-frame allotted will ask you to move very quickly, and its understandable if the first time through it is a bit rough.
    • Lesson E. “Self-Testing”. This is a general-purpose study technique, based on research from exam 1, so hopefully you’ll find it directly helpful. I want you to record your work on this one. The timing is important, and as mentioned above, totally expected (and intended) that it does not result in a polished product. The doing under specific rules is precisely the merit of the activity.

Part two.

Read chapters:

  1. SELF
  2. Pri.
  3. BET.

These first three chapters are meant to give you the conceptual framework that the next two are based on. The conceptual framework is what you will use to “translate” your current life experiences, that are relevant. Pay particular attention to this last chapter, BET, and the section at the end called CHUD and DOUBT. What’s between the lines here, is that “Doubt”, beyond its literal meaning, is the term for any / all psychologically atypical or maladaptive experiences. This will be helpful to keep in mind when doing the relevant exercises. Part Two: Turn in Lessons by Wednesday, midnight: C. Student in School D. DOUBT. For this lesson you may want to take its literal framing, or adapt it to be more relevant to yourself as described above and in the “Revisions” chapter. You may choose one of these to be the recorded one, and it’s up to you.

Part 3

Read these parts of Chapter 6: 6.3 Roles –pay special attention to “How to Read” and “Read PITCH” 6.4 Line number 1 and 2, which describe an activity regarding “100 dollars”. Turn in this final activity, by Thursday, midnight: Read Chapter 7 WORDS and Chapter 9 Communication, and play the “100 dollars” game on Chapter 7 and 9. Imagine assigning 100 dollars to the most important numbered lines in Chapter 7 and/or Chapter 9. That is, find the lines that you think are most valuable for yourself (according to rules and definitions in Roles), and then decide how much it is “worth” out of 100 total points. You can make fractions. Pick at least 10 unique lines from at least 4 different sections, but no more than 50 total lines. No time limit for this. For each line that you pick, write a short sentence (up to 10 words) helping me understand your decision, however you think is necessary.

For example, if I was a risky better and trusted my judgment well, I might say

  • $30 for Chapter 7-line 4. So many bad arguments assume people say what they mean.
  • $20 for Chapter 7-line 7. I never regret thinking twice about defining my GOALs.
  • And then split 50 among at least 8 other items in different sections.

None of part 3 needs to be recorded, just share the text file.