Keeping a slow hunch alive poses challenges on multiple scales. For starters, you have to preserve the hunch in your own memory, in the dense network of your neurons. Most slow hunches pass in and out of our memory too quickly, precisely because they possess a certain murkiness. You get a feeling that there's an interesting avenue to explore, a problem that might lead you to a solution, but then you get distracted by more pressing matters and the hunch disappears. So part of the secret of hunch cultivation is simple: write everything down.
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If you've got no responsibility and don't have to generate a certain amount of cash each month, and can live on a shoestring, and are ambitious enough, then you might have a chance. You can be dedicated but that is no guarantee that you'll make it. I rely on a hunch, a little luck, and some cunning.
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Sometimes I think my whole professional life has been based on this hunch I had, early on, that many people feel just as muddled as I do, and might be happy to tag along with me on this search for clarity, for precision. I love that aspect of writing. Nothing makes me happier than to hear a reader say: that's just what I've always felt, but you said it clearly.
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If people in their 20s had more death awareness, would that in fact temper their ambition or drive? My hunch is yes. It would certainly do something for those who are most ruthless, who tend to make others most miserable. Some sort of greater awareness of their own finiteness and what their time on earth really is, and what they really want to do with their lives, could help improve them.
Irvin D. Yalom
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Anyway, I think Florence and I noticed each other before the local train screeched to a halt at the 110th Street station, because as I boarded it felt as though we were supposed to step into the same car, and hold onto the same moist metal bar. My wishful hunch now seems confirmed by the way she's reading her Time magazine article next to me.
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In England, rain was thin and cold, and made you hunch up inside your coat, walking home from the bus stop. In Jamaica, it was wide and thick and invited you to step into it, and see how wet you could get, and be thrilled that it was warmer than the sea and warmer than your skin; it was abandon.
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Over the years, there certainly have been plenty of ideas that I've had and given up on, but for this one, the only thing that was standing in its way was me doing it - I just had to write it... And then if it didn't happen, it didn't happen. But I didn't want it to be for lack of effort on my part, so I had hunch that it would be a good story and that we would work well together. And it certainly worked out that way.
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If you deny yourself access to the child within because you're too serious, you also block your connection to the divine Light and your feminine self. Every creator who's any good uses their feminine side to create with.. Whether a scientist working on a hunch, a painter working on the interplay of colors, or a musician dealing with the juxtaposition of notes and chords.
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Now as he watched Katie toying with a ring that wasn't there, he felt his old investigative instincts kick in. There'd been a husband, he thought; her husband was the missing element. Either she was still married or she wasn't, but he had an undeniable hunch that Katie was still afraid of him.
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We are betrayed by our maps of salience. They plot our narratives, identify our enemies and then coat them in distorting layer of loathing and dread. We feel that hunch - withdraw - and then conduct a post factum search for evidence that justifies it. We are motivated to fight our foes because we are emotional about them, but emotion is the territorial scent-mark of irrationality.
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The only time I have a good hunch the audience is going to be there is when I make the sequel to 'Jurassic Park' or I make another Indiana Jones movie. I know I've got a good shot at getting an audience on opening night. Everything else that is striking out into new territory is a crap shoot.
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When we seek daily spiritual guidance, we are guided toward the next step forward for our art. Sometimes the step is very small. Sometimes the step is, "Wait. Not now." Sometimes the step is, "Work on something else for a while." When we are open to Divine Guidance, we will receive it. It will come to us as the hunch, the inkling, the itch. It will come to us as timely conversations with others. It will come to us in many ways-but it will come.
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When we seek daily spiritual guidance, we are guided toward the next step forward for our art. Sometimes the step is very small. Sometimes the step is, "Wait. Not now." Sometimes the step is, "Work on something else for a while." When we are open to Divine Guidance, we will receive it. It will come to us as the hunch, the inkling, the itch. It will come to us as timely conversations with others. It will come to us in many ways--but it will come.
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One of the first things we teach medical students is to listen to the patient by taking a careful medical history. Ninety percent of the time, you can arrive at an uncannily accurate diagnosis by paying close attention, using physical examination and sophisticated lab test to confirm your hunch (and to increase the bill to the insurance company).
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When a scientist doesn't know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of uncertainty-some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.
Richard P. Feynman
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The fact that slang is apt and forceful makes its use irresistibly tempting. Coarse or profane slang is beside the mark, but "flivver," "taxi," the "movies," "deadly" (meaning dull), "feeling fit," "feeling blue," "grafter," a "fake," "grouch," "hunch" and "right o!" are typical of words that it would make our spoken language stilted to exclude.
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[Philosophers] are not honest enough in their work, although they make a lot of virtuous noise when the problem of truthfulness is touched even remotely. They all pose as if they had discovered and reached their real opinions through the self-development of a cold, pure, divinely unconcerned dialectic...; while at bottom it is an assumption, a hunch, indeed a kind of "inspiration" most often a desire of the heart that has been filtered and made abstract that they defend with reasons they have sought after the fact.
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When one contemplates the streak of insanity running through human history, it appears highly probable that homo sapiens is a biological freak, the result of some remarkable mistake in the evolutionary process. The ancient doctrine of original sin, variants of which occur independently in the mythologies of diverse cultures, could be a reflection of man's awareness of his own inadequacy, of the intuitive hunch that somewhere along the line of his ascent something has gone wrong.
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I don't know what your Company is feeling as of today about the work of Dr. Alice Hamilton on benzol [benzene] poisoning. I know that back in the old days some of your boys used to think that she was a plain nuisance and just picking on you for luck. But I have a hunch that as you have learned more about the subject, men like your good self have grown to realize the debt that society owes her for her crusade. I am pretty sure that she has saved the lives of a great many girls in can-making plants and I would hate to think that you didn't agree with me.
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Someone who has thought rationally and deeply about how the body works is likely to arrive at better ideas about how to be healthy than someone who has followed a hunch. Medicine presupposes a hierarchy between the confusion the layperson will be in about what is wrong with him, and the more accurate knowledge available to doctors reasoning logically. ... At the heart of Epicureanism is the thought that we are as bad at answering the question "What will make me happy?" as "What will make me healthy?" ... Our souls do not spell out their troubles.
Alain de Botton
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These changes-the more rapid pulse, the deeper breathing, the increase of sugar in the blood, the secretion from the adrenal glands-were very diverse and seemed unrelated. Then, one wakeful night, after a considerable collection of these changes had been disclosed, the idea flashed through my mind that they could be nicely integrated if conceived as bodily preparations for supreme effort in flight or in fighting. Further investigation added to the collection and confirmed the general scheme suggested by the hunch.
Walter Bradford Cannon
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If there is anything in writing that comes easy for me it's making up metaphors. They just appear. I can't move two lines without all kinds of images. Then the problem is how to make the best of them. In its geological character, language is almost invariably metaphorical. That's how meanings tend to change. Words become metaphors for other things, then slowly disappear into the new image. I have a hunch, too, that the core of creativity is located in metaphor, in model making, really. A novel is a large metaphor for the world.
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I SEE thee better in the dark, I do not need a light. The love of thee a prism be Excelling violet. I see thee better for the years That hunch themselves between, The miner's lamp sufficient be To nullify the mine. And in the grave I see thee best"" Its little panels be A-glow, all ruddy with the light I held so high for thee! What need of day to those whose dark Hath so surpassing sun, It seem it be continually At the meridian?
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We cannot afford to be idle. To act on a bad idea is better than to not act at all. Because the worth of the idea never becomes apparent until you do it. Sometimes this idea can be the smallest thing in the world, a little flame that you hunch over and cup with your hand, and pray will not be extinguished by all the storm that howls about it. If you could hold onto that flame, great things could construct around it, that are massive and powerful and world changing, all held up by the tiniest of ideas.
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Mosca said nothing. The word 'damsel' rankled with her. She suddenly thought of the clawed girl from the night before, jumping the filch on an icy street. Much the same age and build as Beamabeth, and far more beleaguered. What made a girl a 'damsel in distress'? Were they not allowed claws? Mosca had a hunch that if all damsels had claws they would spend a lot less time 'in distress'.
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All of our days are numbered; we cannot afford to be idle. To act on a bad idea is better than to not act at all because the worth of the idea never becomes apparent until you do it. Sometimes this idea can be the smallest thing in the world, a little flame that you hunch over and cup with your hand and pray will not be extinguished by all the storm that howls about it. If you can hold on to that flame great things can be constructed around it that are massive and powerful and world changing - all held up by the tinniest of ideas.
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Having spent time around "sinners" and also around purported saints, I have a hunch why Jesus spent so much time with the former group: I think he preferred their company. Because the sinners were honest about themselves and had no pretense, Jesus could deal with them. In contrast, the saints put on airs, judged him, and sought to catch him in a moral trap. In the end it was the saints, not the sinners, who arrested Jesus.
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The pioneer, the creator, the explorer is generally a single, lonely person rather than a group, struggling all alone with his inner conflicts, fears, defenses against arrogance and pride, even against paranoia. He has to be a courageous man, not afraid to stick his neck out, not afraid even to make mistakes, well aware that he is, as Polanyi has stressed, a kind of gambler who comes to tentative conclusions in the absence of facts and then spends some years trying to figure out if his hunch was correct. If he has any sense at all, he is of course scared of his own ideas, of his temerity, and is well aware that he is affirming what he cannot prove.
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In my own life, as winters turn into spring, I find it not only hard to cope with mud but also hard to credit the small harbingers of larger life to come, hard to hope until the outcome is secure. Spring teaches me to look more carefully for the green stems of possibility; for the intuitive hunch that may turn into a larger insight, for the glance or touch that may thaw a frozen relationship, for the stranger's act of kindness that makes the world seem hospitable again.
Parker J. Palmer
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Bugle" Black beetles know where the most recent bones bake in the heat, tendons and meat long gone, bleached white, and if you give them cheap wine - drizzle a few red drops on a flat stone- they will lead you to a barren gulch surrounded by sages and nettles, dirt burnt to powdery sand and sharp thorns. Hunch above the skeleton, bow your head, start reciting verses you learned as a child, there, under the sun with rocks and brush, bare locust tree a telling reliquary of dust to dust, all so brutally hot. You must pull ribs from that rotting body, words that matter: love me, love me not.
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When did you star here?" I ask her. "Three days ago. Sir. Aspirant. Um -" She wrings her hands. "Veturius is fine." She walks carefully, gingerly - the Commandant must have whipped her recently. And yet she doesn't hunch or shuffle like the others slaves. The straigh-backed grace with which she moves tells her story better than words. She'd been a freewoman before this - I'd bet my scims on it. And she has no idea how pretty she is - or what kind of problems her beauty will cause for her at a place like Blackcliff. The wind pulls at her hair again, and I catch her scent - like fruit and sugar. "Can I give you some advice?" Her head flies up like a scared animal's. At least she's wary. "Right now you... " Will grab the attention of every male in a square mile. "Stand out, " I finish. "It's hot, but you should wear a hood or a cloak - something to help you blend in." She nods, but her eyes are suspicious. She wraps her arms around herself and drops back a little. I don't speak to her again.
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The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn't know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty damn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress, we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty - some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain. Now, we scientists are used to this, and we take it for granted that it is perfectly consistent to be unsure, that it is possible to live and not know. But I don't know whether everyone realizes this is true. Our freedom to doubt was born out of a struggle against authority in the early days of science. It was a very deep and strong struggle: permit us to question - to doubt - to not be sure. I think that it is important that we do not forget this struggle and thus perhaps lose what we have gained.
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Perhaps that was just a hunch." Barbee shivered again. He knew that he himself possessed what he called the "nose for news" - an intuitive perception of human motivations and the impending events that would spring from them. It wasn't a faculty he could analyze or account for, but he knew that it wasn't unusual. Most successful reporters possessed it, he believed - even though, in an age of skepticism for everything except mechanistic materialism, they wisely denied it. That dim sense had been useful to him - on those summer field trips, before Mendrick turned him out, it had led him to more than one promising prehistoric site, simply because he somehow knew where a band of wild hunters would prefer to camp, or to dig a comrade's grave. Commonly, however, that uncontrolled faculty had been more curse than blessing. It made him too keenly aware of all that people thought and did around him, kept him troubled with an uneasy alertness. Except when he was drunk. He drank too much, and knew that many other newsmen did. That vague sensitivity, he believed; was half the reason.
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When General Genius built the first mentar [Artificial Intelligence] mind in the last half of the twenty-first century, it based its design on the only proven conscious material then known, namely, our brains. Specifically, the complex structure of our synaptic network. Scientists substituted an electrochemical substrate for our slower, messier biological one. Our brains are an evolutionary hodgepodge of newer structures built on top of more ancient ones, a jury-rigged system that has gotten us this far, despite its inefficiency, but was crying out for a top-to-bottom overhaul. Or so the General genius engineers presumed. One of their chief goals was to make minds as portable as possible, to be easily transferred, stored, and active in multiple media: electronic, chemical, photonic, you name it. Thus there didn't seem to be a need for a mentar body, only for interchangeable containers. They designed the mentar mind to be as fungible as a bank transfer. And so they eliminated our most ancient brain structures for regulating metabolic functions, and they adapted our sensory/motor networks to the control of peripherals. As it turns out, intelligence is not limited to neural networks, Merrill. Indeed, half of human intelligence resides in our bodies outside our skulls. This was intelligence the mentars never inherited from us... The genius of the irrational... We gave them only rational functions - the ability to think and feel, but no irrational functions... Have you ever been in a tight situation where you relied on your 'gut instinct'? This is the body's intelligence, not the mind's. Every living cell possesses it. The mentar substrate has no indomitable will to survive, but ours does. Likewise, mentars have no 'fire in the belly, ' but we do. They don't experience pure avarice or greed or pride. They're not very curious, or playful, or proud. They lack a sense of wonder and spirit of adventure. They have little initiative. Granted, their cognition is miraculous, but their personalities are rather pedantic. But probably their chief shortcoming is the lack of intuition. Of all the irrational faculties, intuition in the most powerful. Some say intuition transcends space-time. Have you ever heard of a mentar having a lucky hunch? They can bring incredible amounts of cognitive and computational power to bear on a seemingly intractable problem, only to see a dumb human with a lucky hunch walk away with the prize every time. Then there's luck itself. Some people have it, most don't, and no mentar does. So this makes them want our bodies... Our bodies, ape bodies, dog bodies, jellyfish bodies. They've tried them all. Every cell knows some neat tricks or survival, but the problem with cellular knowledge is that it's not at all fungible; nor are our memories. We're pretty much trapped in our containers.
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There's an old, frequently-used definition of insanity, which is "performing the same action over and over, expecting different results."... Now, I'm no doctor, but I am on TV. And in my professional opinion, George Bush is a paranoid schizophrenic... Other symptoms of paranoid schizophrenia are: Do you see things that aren't there? Such as a link between 9/11 and Iraq? Do you - do you feel things that you shouldn't be feeling, like a sense of accomplishment? Do you have trouble organizing words into a coherent sentence? Do you hear voices that aren't really there? Like, oh, I don't know, your imaginary friend, Jesus? Telling you to start a war in the Middle East. Well, guess what? There are a large number of people out there also suffering from the same delusions, because there are Republicans, there are conservatives, and then there are the Bushies. This is the 29 percent of Americans who still think he's doing "a heck of a job, Whitey." And I don't believe that it's coincidence that almost the same number of Americans - 25 percent - told a recent pollster that they believe that this year - this year, 2007 - would bring the Second Coming of Christ! I have a hunch these are the same people. Because, if you think that you're going to meet Jesus before they cancel "Ugly Betty, " then you're used to doing things by faith. And if you have so much blind faith that you think this war is winnable, you're nuts and you shouldn't be allowed near a voting booth.
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I work with a great deal of discipline, although I usually take on more than I can handle and often have to extend due dates. I have always been appalled by bohemianism because of its laziness, disorder, and moral weakness. I understand that this way of living is a response to the fact of human frailty, but it leans too far in one direction. Being a little more buttoned up doesn't mean that you'll get so brittle that you'll break. Nor does it mean that you don't understand tragedy, loss, and, most of all, human limitation. I am more than well aware of those things and I feel very strongly, but on the other hand I like to run ten miles and return to a spotless well-ordered room, and I like my shirts heavily starched. When I used to go on a long run on Sunday morning when I lived on the Upper West Side, I would pass thousands and thousands of people in restaurants eating... (I won't say this word, because I hate it so much, but it rhymes with hunch, and it's a disgusting meal that is supposed to be both breakfast and lunch). There they were-having slept for five hours while I was doing calisthenics and running-unshaven (the women too), bleary eyed, surrounded by newspapers scattered as if in a hamster cage, smoking noxious French cigarettes, and drinking Bloody Marys while they ate huge quantities of fat. They looked to me like a movie version of South American bandits. I would never want to be like that. I prefer to live like a British soldier.
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When we retire at night, we constructively review our day. Were we resentful, selfish, dishonest or afraid? Do we owe an apology? Have we kept something to ourselves which should be discussed with another person at once? Were we kind and loving toward all? What could we have done better? Were we thinking of ourselves most of the time? Or were we thinking of what we could do for others, of what we could pack into the stream of life? But we must be careful not to drift into worry, remorse or morbid reflection, for that would diminish our usefulness to others. After making our review we ask God's forgiveness and inquire what corrective measures should be taken. On awakening let us think about the twenty-four hours ahead. We consider our plans for the day. Before we begin, we ask God to direct our thinking, especially asking that it be divorced from self-pity, dishonest or self-seeking motives. Under these conditions we can employ our mental faculties with assurance, for after all God gave us brains to use. Our thought-life will be placed on a much higher plane when our thinking is cleared of wrong motives. In thinking about our day we may face indecision. We may not be able to determine which course to take. Here we ask God for inspiration, an intuitive thought or a decision. We relax and take it easy. We don't struggle. We are often surprised how the right answers come after we have tried this for a while. What used to be the hunch or the occasional inspiration gradually becomes a working part of the mind. Being still inexperienced and having just made conscious contact with God, it is not probable that we are going to be inspired at all times. We might pay for this presumption in all sorts of absurd actions and ideas. Nevertheless, we find that our thinking will, as time passes, be more and more on the plane of inspiration. We come to rely upon it. We usually conclude the period of meditation with a prayer that we be shown all through the day what our next step is to be, that we be given whatever we need to take care of such problems. We ask especially for freedom from self-will, and are careful to make no request for ourselves only. We may ask for ourselves, however, if others will be helped. We are careful never to pray for our own selfish ends. Many of us have wasted a lot of time doing that and it doesn't work. You can easily see why.
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England once there lived a big And wonderfully clever pig. To everybody it was plain That Piggy had a massive brain. He worked out sums inside his head, There was no book he hadn't read. He knew what made an airplane fly, He knew how engines worked and why. He knew all this, but in the end One question drove him round the bend: He simply couldn't puzzle out What LIFE was really all about. What was the reason for his birth? Why was he placed upon this earth? His giant brain went round and round. Alas, no answer could be found. Till suddenly one wondrous night. All in a flash he saw the light. He jumped up like a ballet dancer And yelled, "By gum, I've got the answer!" "They want my bacon slice by slice "To sell at a tremendous price! "They want my tender juicy chops "To put in all the butcher's shops! "They want my pork to make a roast "And that's the part'll cost the most! "They want my sausages in strings! "They even want my chitterlings! "The butcher's shop! The carving knife! "That is the reason for my life!" Such thoughts as these are not designed To give a pig great piece of mind. Next morning, in comes Farmer Bland, A pail of pigswill in his hand, And piggy with a mighty roar, Bashes the farmer to the floor... Now comes the rather grizzly bit So let's not make too much of it, Except that you must understand That Piggy did eat Farmer Bland, He ate him up from head to toe, Chewing the pieces nice and slow. It took an hour to reach the feet, Because there was so much to eat, And when he finished, Pig, of course, Felt absolutely no remorse. Slowly he scratched his brainy head And with a little smile he said, "I had a fairly powerful hunch "That he might have me for his lunch. "And so, because I feared the worst, "I thought I'd better eat him first.
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1. Given the choice of anyone in the world, whom would you want as a dinner guest? 2. Would you like to be famous? In what way? 3. Before making a telephone call, do you ever rehearse what you are going to say? Why? 4. What would constitute a 'perfect' day for you? 5. When did you last sing to yourself? To someone else? 6. If you were able to live to the age of 90 and retain either the mind or body of a 30-year-old for the last 60 years of your life, which would you want? 7. Do you have a secret hunch about how you will die? 8. Name three things you and your partner appear to have in common. 9. For what in your life do you feel most grateful? 10. If you could change anything about the way you were raised, what would it be? 11. Take four minutes and tell your partner your life story in as much detail as possible. 12. If you could wake up tomorrow having gained any one quality or ability, what would it be? 13. If a crystal ball could tell you the truth about yourself, your life, the future or anything else, what would you want to know? 14. Is there something that you've dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven't you done it? 15. What is the greatest accomplishment of your life? 16. What do you value most in a friendship? 17. What is your most treasured memory? 18. What is your most terrible memory? 19. If you knew that in one year you would die suddenly, would you change anything about the way you are now living? Why? 20. What does friendship mean to you? 21. What roles do love and affection play in your life? 22. Alternate sharing something you consider a positive characteristic of your partner. Share a total of five items. 23. How close and warm is your family? Do you feel your childhood was happier than most other people's? 24. How do you feel about your relationship with your mother? 25. Make three true 'we' statements each. For instance, 'We are both in this room feeling... ' 26. Complete this sentence: 'I wish I had someone with whom I could share... ' 27. If you were going to become a close friend with your partner, please share what would be important for him or her to know. 28. Tell your partner what you like about them; be very honest this time, saying things that you might not say to someone you've just met. 29. Share with your partner an embarrassing moment in your life. 30. When did you last cry in front of another person? By yourself? 31. Tell your partner something that you like about them already. 32. What, if anything, is too serious to be joked about? 33. If you were to die this evening with no opportunity to communicate with anyone, what would you most regret not having told someone? Why haven't you told them yet? 34. Your house, containing everything you own, catches fire. After saving your loved ones and pets, you have time to safely make a final dash to save any one item. What would it be? Why? 35. Of all the people in your family, whose death would you find most disturbing? Why? 36. Share a personal problem and ask your partner's advice on how he or she might handle it. Also, ask your partner to reflect back to you how you seem to be feeling about the problem you have chosen.
The New York Times
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