habit zero #112

the challenge


Let me start with a confession. Sometimes I think of a Prism or a Seed, and I know they have great value even before I try them myself. And when I eventually do try them, it often starts with the words: “What was I thinking?!” Not because they don’t have value, but because I don’t know how to approach them. At first.

The Prism we will play with today is one of those Prisms. I knew it had to work, but when I first played with it, I wasn’t sure I was up to the challenge.

Perspective Shift is a Flow Prism which means you have to perform several steps to play with it so it might take some time to complete. The first step is to capture an Insight inspired by the Seed we are playing with: the Cubism Seed.

The next step is to write a short story inspired by the Insight you captured. If at this point you are thinking to yourself “Hey, I’m not a writer!”, Don’t worry. The point of this exercise is not to create a literary artwork — it is just to experiment with translating your imagination to a written text. It shouldn’t be long (in fact it could be an ultra-short story), but make sure it is not just a description of the Insight, but a real story.

The last step of the challenge is where we chance perspectives: after your short story is complete, look again at the Insight and write the same story from a different perspective.

OK! Ready to give it a try? Let the assignment sink in for a couple of minutes and start looking around you for a visual Insight wherever you go. Then, make some time during the day to go somewhere quiet and think of the story. Trust me, it will change your day for the best!

my insight


First thing first. The moment I read the title of the Seed I had a flashback to an Insight I had captured a few years ago. I was walking on the street when I saw a red dice on the black asphalt. Needless to say, I just had to record that.

Back then, I didn’t have an Insight Journal, but thanks to Google Photos it was easy to retrieve as I remembered approximately when and where the photo was taken.

Great! So I had an Insight which was a perfect Cubism. Now, the associations started to flow. One of the first things I thought of was, naturally, gambling.

Before I share with you the two stories, you should know I am by no means a fiction writer. You might find the following text not worthy of the title “story.” It’s probably too short to be seriously considered as a story anyway, and that’s before I can even consider its quality. But this is all beside the point. I had a vision — something I imagined following the visual Insight — and the idea of this exercise was to try to articulate it in writing.

And, after that disclaimer… here it is: one Insight, one story, two perspectives:

He was dreaming less and working more. He was arguing all the time although he didn’t have anyone to argue with. He ate what he found in his fridge, but didn’t remember buying any of this stuff.

He kept moving from one cube to another. From the cube he worked in to the cube where he lived. From the bedroom to the bathroom. They all felt the same. Except for the small apartment where he met her.

He went there three nights a week with a small amount of money which was a small fortune for him. He didn’t even remember where he got it from. Did it matter?

She was always standing there, silent. Sometimes he thought she traveled in time and lost her way. Nobody approached her, and she apparently didn’t come to play. But this didn’t seem to bother anyone. It didn’t bother him.

She kept staring at him without any sign she wants more than that. By the time he lost his money, she was already gone together with his hope. He always managed to miss the moment she left, but he knew she will be there next time he plays.

She was dreaming more and working less. She couldn’t get him out of her head. She knew this was not professional of her.

She knew his routine. It was her job to know, but for her it was more than that. She was worried about him. She felt responsible for him. It was her doing after all, but she didn’t have any choice, did she?

She stared at him, and he partly tried to avoid her gaze. He rolled the dice and closed his eyes. She heard his words although his lips were not moving. Maybe just once. Perhaps she can make him smile. Would that change anything? Would that make him stop?

She closed her eyes too so she could have time to think. She had her orders. She was there to make sure the rules are kept — not broken.

When she opened her eyes, she was no longer there. She didn’t have to wait for the dice to decide on which side to fall. She knew he had lost again. It was her job to make sure the house will always win.



That was quite an unusual experience for me. I write daily, but there’s a huge difference between writing a blog post or an article and trying to capture a subtle idea as a story.

I think I will need more time to be able to reflect on this experience, maybe after I’ll try it again. And I will. So for the reflection today, I’d like to share a behind-the-scenes anecdote.

When I left home this morning, I saw this on the street.

I didn’t have time to examine it too carefully or even to think what the purpose of this object was? Did someone decorate their home with this “instruction list”? But it was so strange, I took its photo, and while I did that, some of the words just stuck with me.

I already knew I had to write a story for today’s assignment. This Insight had nothing to do with Cubism, but I was enchanted. I knew some of these magical words would find their way into the story. And they did. In fact, they helped me frame the spirit of the story and the mood of the two characters.

mental notes


  • Any creation is made of independent fragments glued together by the imagination of its creator.

now it is your turn… be creative!



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