This book is a self-reflection exercise designed to help listeners overcome challenging problems through the use of specific problem solving techniques.
In the introduction we learn about decision-making strategies that work in situations of uncertainty and we learn scenario planning - a technique invented in the 1960s for the US Dept. of Defense, later adapted for use in the private sector.
Each of the seven practical cases listed comprehend a short explanation of the context, a stated objective and a story. Each story is summarized and at the end of the chapter there is a guided self-reflection questionnaire to help the listener adapt the story to a specific problem they want to solve, followed by an exercise.
For example, the seventh story - "Pick a Musical Instrument or Let the Instrument Pick You" - is the inspiration for the title of this book. The story is the journey of a young musician trying to find a way to express himself through music. The problem on hand is to pick one instrument over another, so either a guitar or a bass. The story presents two powerful instruments for self-discovery: the experiential approach and futuring. In the experiential approach, the musician is presented with each instrument, one at a time, and after each interaction, the observer records how the musician felt. Futuring involves presenting the musician with different situations using videos and then asking the musician which person they identify with in each case. It is important to note as adults, we have the added responsibility to exhibit positive behaviors - we must share our experience so that hopefully those who come after us will learn from our mistakes. The goal of the seventh story is to help us conduct a similar exercise, making better choices, and more enlightened decisions.
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