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Sources and Methods

Monday June 1, 2020

Since I started listening to the new podcast series, Wind of Change (iTunes link), I’ve been really fascinated by the idea of sources and methods.

Do you protect yours?

Of course you do. I mean, if you’re a really hardcore contingency person, you definitely do.

I’m the same way, at least some of the time. So I started thinking about context. When to share a source. When to share a method.

This thought led me to a recent blog post but there’s much more than that:

  • What are my sources?
  • How do I qualify a source? It’s mostly intuitive for me, but should it be?
  • Some of my methods are definitely homebrew-good. They’re “oh god go get a patent” good.
  • Some of yours are, too.
  • What I hear from INTJs is that a lot of you are in this box.
  • Also a lot of you get tangled up in contingencies. Like, your attorney wouldn’t sign an NDA because you were afraid he’d steal your idea.

So there’s some funny stuff with this sources and methods lens.

It’s not the only lens, thank god. There are a lot of reasons why you absolutely should not protect all your sources and methods. Or your un-sources and un-methods. Your destinations and perceptions. A lot of INTJs protect those, as a way of making sure that the conceptualized destination is still there when all the work is done, for example.

So some nuance is called for. I spoke to some of the nuance in that last blog post. But what if…

  • What if teaching and sharing is also learning, for you?
  • What if sharing and appreciating is also fun, for you?
  • What if appreciating and publicly thanking also feels good, for you?
  • What if giving away that precious gold also grows your business or reputation?
  • What if sharing more also heals your relationships more?

This is why some focus on “what TO DEFINITELY share” is worth our time and experimentation. It’s easy to get stuck in “what NOT to share,” meanwhile there’s a whole world out there in which the pie really is expanding, and information is simply multiplying. Low risk, easy gain.

And then there’s the fact that everything I just wrote is easy to idealize, as an INTJ. So we need to give a little attention to the shadow of this all. The never reveal part. The others need to pay a high price for this part.

I’ll tell you what: A lot of INTJs don’t go here easily. We are not made for protecting and setting boundaries around proprietary information unless it concerns our personal vulnerability.

Part of this is a natural result of treating information as neverending, and kind of throwaway stuff in the first place. So that carries over into personally-created information. You made it. And for some reason, you don’t value it as much as others do! Weird.

But it’s still important. Standing up for your info. Standing up for yourself.

Man, that’s a whole other topic.

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