Timesaving with Social Clarity

9 What is Character Renovation?

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[1] Character renovation aims to get your character ready for business. It is a slow-burn personal transformation based on documented long-term self-development plans. This chapter presents a true-story example below.

[2] If you do not renovate and control your character, it will evolve naturally, but not according to your desires. However, don’t try it at home. Not by yourself. Your self-biased thoughts won’t let you.

[3] Thumoslang is a systematic approach to character renovation. It’s not systematic if self-serving biases are in the way.

  • Systematic; that means, self-serving bias eliminated.

[4] Alec Mustafayev (pictured) is the first person who grew up with Thumoslang since high school. He’s the Chief Editor of Life in 184 Words, also known as Thumoslang on the Run (OTR). It’s the first book written to teach Thumoslang; watch the video [Alec Mustafayev – Chief Editor of Thumoslang on the Run | Bongo1PVD History | S1E45 | @Ri4CTV](v=Ixg0ww96wMA).

[5] Alec understands the importance of every chapter; they include OTR’s Chapter 29, Your Business-of-the-Self, and OTR’s Chapter 33, Your Bongo as Your Secondmind.

  • Business-of-the-self; that means, the five departments of one’s life.
  • Bongo; that means, a wealth-building friend group.
  • Secondmind; that means, a bongo sibling.

[6] To create your business-of-the-self, you need a secondmind, “an independent mind, someone interested in your future,” said the author. “If you don’t have anybody caring about your future, your future is based on your self-serving biases. Without checks and balances, self-biased thoughts are enemy number one against any business-of-the-self.” OTR’s Chapter 33, Your Bongo as Your Secondmind, explains further.

[7] According to OTR’s Chapter 11, the Most Important Thing in Life, your ideals are your ideal self, what you truly want to become. “Everything else is secondary,” said Steve Jobs. They are all the milestones most meaningful for your life.

[8] What’s the biggest story for your life? Close your eyes; silently answer the question, then open your eyes.

[9] You might have answered a different question. The question is not; what’s the biggest story of, in, or about your life? To understand the difference, see Chapter 3, The Biggest Story for Your Life, of the booklet, Start Your Story Here – Your Ideals and Vision in Writing.

[10] What’s the biggest story for your life? The question makes sense to those who speak Thumoslang. Consider the following Thumoslang thumbnail definition.

  • Life; that means, reputation after death.

[11] The original question means; what story will most influence your reputation after you die? OTR’s Chapter 12, A Closer Look at Life and Death, offers an in-depth discussion on the above thumbnail definition of life.

[12] Not too many understand their ideals better than Alec. He wanted to finish writing his novel, The Dog’s Day, before next year.

[13] “Alec kept telling himself that every year,” others around him would conclude. He rejects all offers, including those from Nickantony Quach, his secondmind, to help him with the project because he assumes he would lose control of his creative process. He got stuck in a catch-22 situation. He does not want help, but his work can hardly move along without any.

[14] Alec got stuck until the first Monday of June 2022, when he had a breakthrough. He took part in the weekly bongo drive downtown with Nickantony Quach (pictured, right) and Norman Baker (left), his secondminds. The three are members of the same bongo.

[15] OTR explains that a secondmind is a member of your bongo, a wealth-building friend group. That’s why secondminds are also known as bongo siblings. If you’re a bongo member, all other members in the same bongo are your bongo siblings. Members, departments, and products are their entities of interest.

  • Bongo drive; that means, questioning entities of interest.

[16] In a bongo drive, members can only ask questions about their entities of interest. They may not work on any project during a bongo drive. OTR’s Chapter 7 explains further. Thinking together is the idea; consider the following Thumoslang thumbnail definition.

  • Collaboration; that means, joint intellectual effort.

[17] “Knowing your ideals is not enough,” Nick began the breakthrough meeting with an idea. “You must also know whether you’re on track toward them.”

[18] Alec and his bongo siblings spent the first half of their meeting addressing the following question. “How do I know if I’m on track toward my ideal self?” After ninety minutes, they came up with the concept of a navi.

  • Belonging; that means, secure relations.
  • Meaning; that means, description of importance.
  • Purpose; that means, value to others.
  • Navi; that means, belonging, meaning, and purpose.

[19] A navi is a set of three things: belonging, meaning, and purpose. If you do not have one of these, you do not have a navi. You cannot have a good life without it. You might be on track toward your ideals when you have a navi. Otherwise, without it, there is no hope. You have a navi as soon as you have a sense of belonging, hold up your meaning, and express your purpose.

[20] Surprisingly, you must not have a relationship to have a sense of belonging. You can have secure relations without having relationships. If you don’t remember the Thumoslang thumbnail definitions for relation and relationship, review OTR’s Chapter 9, New Subject in School.

  • Relation; that means, purposeful involvement.
  • Relationship; that means, ongoing relations.

[21] Nick, Alec, and Norman spent most of their meeting’s second half on the following question. How could Alec apply the new knowledge to his catch-22 situation in fiction? None of them expected a conclusive result. The video [Defining Edification and Purpose as the Third Element of Navi | Bongo1PVD History | S1E44 | @Ri4CTV](v=a7T7lQwnN-Y) captured the last 20 minutes.

[22] “What is your purpose after the bridge?” Asked Norman at 20 seconds into the video.

[23] “That’s a good question, and I don’t have an answer: why it’s so good,” said Alec.

[18] “What is so good?” Asked Nick.

[19] “His question,” replied Alec.

[20] “You don’t look at the more significant meaning,” said Nick.

[21] “Yeah,” said Alec.

[22] “At least, you’re looking at a meaning more significant than the moment,” said Norman. “So you’re on the right path.”

[23] “I know,” said Alec. “That’s what I think. I think I got it.”

[24] “No, he’s on a path,” specified Nick.

[25] “I think I’m on a path that could lead to the right path if I understand it correctly and do the right things. But I’m not on the right path.”

[26] “You have meaning but not the purpose,” said Norman.

[27] “I have meaning,” said Alec. “That’s probably the one I have.”

[28] “So, what’s your meaning in this context?” Asked Norman.

[29] “The meaning of the story,” said Alec.

[30] “What story?” Asked Norman.

[31] “The Dog’s Day, at the moment, because that’s the focus,” said Alec.

[32] “So, is the Footbridge 184 Program helping you with The Dog’s Day?” Asked Norman.

[33] “Not directly,” said Alec.

[34] “Yes, that’s your means of survival,” said Nick.

[35] “That’s what I was saying,” said Alec. “That’s why I said not directly.”

[36] “The footbridge is his employment,” said Nick.

[37] “Otherwise, I won’t survive,” said Alec. “So indirectly, yes.”

[38] “He doesn’t want to become a videographer,” said Nick. “He does videography because he needs to generate income. He needs to generate income because he doesn’t get income from a boss. That’s his means to write the book without employment. That’s the meaning of the footbridge program.”

[39] “Yeah,” said Alec. “Nick’s exactly right.”

[40] “Is it necessary to articulate what I think the book’s meaning is?” Asked Alec. “For this discussion, should I disclose it? Will that help for now?”

[41] “Do you need to do that to feel you have enough meaning?” Asked Nick.

[42] “Well, my main concern is that I have an idea in my mind of what I think the meaning is, but I’d like a secondmind to look at it and tell me if I’ve got the right idea or not,” said Alec.

[43] “Then you should document it and give people time, not right now, to study your meaning,” said Nick three minutes and 57 seconds into the video. “Otherwise, people can only express a quick opinion. That quick opinion may be destructive to your cause because they don’t have time to think about what they have to say. So they say something to satisfy the moment.”

[44] “The point of origin is how to apply navi in his situation,” said Nick 13 minutes and six seconds into the video. Nick attempted to refocus the group after it had spent ten minutes on some digression.

[45] “So, I’m having trouble articulating it because my disclosure keeps having unintentional extra ideas that I don’t want to put in there,” said Alec at another point in the video. “Teaching is not far off, but teaching implies that I’d be some sort of authority figure.”

[46] “You have this problem because you want to tell everyone else not to mess with your project,” explained Nick. “You don’t want anyone to analyze what you do. So you never bring in a secondmind to your project until today.”

[47] “That’s true,” said Alec.

[48] “Say that again, louder,” requested Nick. “Explain louder.”

[49] “That’s true,” repeated Alec.

[50] “What is true, context, the whole thing?” Asked Nick.

[51] “I did not bring a secondmind into my project until today. I worried that a secondmind might change my projects in a way I don’t like,” said Alec, “in a way that I would be unable to contest it or change their change.”

[52] “What do you like about today’s discussion?” Asked Nick.

[53] “What do I like today?” Alec felt confused.

[54] “Why do you like secondminds participating in your project today?” Clarified Nick.

[55] “I’d say the most significant thing is that it feels like I can be assisted with it,” said Alec. “I can get the good parts of the deal of having a secondmind without having to worry too much about the negative parts I just talked about. I don’t think that’s going to be a major concern. I think bringing a secondmind is safer than I had initially thought.”


[56] “You were more right than I could ever imagine,” wrote Alec 15 minutes after the bongo-drive meeting. “I have no ‘purpose’ for my novel.”

[57] “I have the ‘meaning,’ which is why I can understand the story, but I struggle to write the actual story. I don’t know its purpose.”

[58] “I don’t know how to tell the story such that it will be valuable to others. I do not know how to make my value apparent to the reader. That has been my problem, which explains why I always have difficulty attracting followers.”

[59] “Forgive me if the following sounds like a lecture. I’ve written very little of the final draft, but I’ve already done most of the work for the writing. My writing process has three layers. Layer 1 has the entire plot summarized in a bulleted list. In contrast, Layer 2 turns the plot outline into specific events in a chapter sequence. The process uses a formula to speed up the writing, a method more commonly used by Eastern writers. That should speed up the writing, but it inexplicably doesn’t. That was until now.”

  • Purpose; that means, value to others.

[60] “My work will soon move along as I can now work out how to reveal the story’s value. I couldn’t speed up the process because I didn’t know what I lacked. Now I do!”

[61] As Alec embraces collaboration and teamwork while letting go of a one-person show’s attitude, his character is ready for business. He’s ready to create the biggest story for his life.

[62] Character renovation is hard. So is being broke or becoming rich. Choose your hard now.

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