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Basics Overview

Here is a summary of the concepts and definitions of the ProxThink Basics, with links to pages with related key points, questions and examples. The Quick list below is fast. The Complete list provides more detail.

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Essence of ProxThink
The ProxThink framework mainly consists of three integrated parts: the Basics, the ProxPatterns and the Growth Model. The Basics help us describe and discuss situations. The ProxPatterns are especially helpful for creativity, innovation and problem-solving. The Growth Model boosts collaboration and encourages growth for people who share a proximity. The Basics, the ProxPatterns and the Growth Model build on the Underlying Concept that being is about relating, and they help carry out the Core Idea, which is a basic strategy for situations.

Basics
The Basics include a Foundation, a few Terms and some Tools.

Foundation
The Underlying Concept, which is that being is about relating, is used in the Core Idea. The Core Idea a basic strategy for situations.

Underlying Concept
Being is about relating.

Core Idea
In a situation, change elements, relationships and the proximity to better relate to each other.

Terms
Four terms are very basic: Situation, Element, Relationship and Proximity.

Situation
A situation is whatever you are dealing with or considering.

Element
Loosely, an element can be anything. Any person, place, thing, idea, feeling, time, group, relationship, situation, proximity, etc. More accurately, an element relates to other elements.

Relationship
A relationship is any kind of association or connection between elements.

Proximity
The proximity consists of elements related or potentially related to a situation, in physical, mental and other ways.

Tools
The Tools include ProxSet and ProxPattern, which work with the Terms to help with the Core Idea. The interactive ProxThink Hints, which are built with the ProxPatterns, are also tools. So, restating the Core Idea: In a situation, change elements, relationships and the proximity to better relate to each other, aided by the following tools:

ProxSet
A ProxSet is a group of elements and relationships related to and created from a proximity, considered as a set.

ProxPattern
A single ProxPattern describes ways elements can or do relate in the proximity. The ProxThink ProxPatterns are an integrated group of related patterns for relating to situations. The ProxPatterns can help a variety of situations and people, ranging from simple objects and daily concerns, to social situations, to business situations, to community situations, to creative situations in the arts and design, to theoretical situations, to physical situations in engineering and science. The ProxPatterns apply to static and to dynamic (changing) situations. The ProxThink ProxPatterns can help carry out the Core Idea, and are organized into three groups: Combo, Limits and Pure.

Quick | Complete

Complete

Essence of ProxThink
The ProxThink framework mainly consists of three integrated parts: the Basics, the ProxPatterns and the Growth Model. The Basics help us describe and discuss situations. The ProxPatterns are especially helpful for creativity, innovation and problem-solving. The Growth Model boosts collaboration and encourages growth for people who share a proximity. The Basics, the ProxPatterns and the Growth Model build on the Underlying Concept that being is about relating, and they help carry out the Core Idea, which is a basic strategy for situations.

Basics
The Basics include a Foundation, a few Terms and some Tools. The Foundation includes an Underlying Concept and a Core Idea. The Underlying Concept, which is that being is about relating, is used in the Core Idea. The Core Idea a basic strategy for situations. We can talk about practically anything in basic ways with just four Terms, which are: Situation, Element, Relationship and Proximity. The Tools include ProxSet and ProxPattern, which work with the Terms to help with the Core Idea. ProxSets provide focus. A single ProxPattern describes ways elements can or do relate in the proximity of a situation, and the ProxThink ProxPatterns are an integrated group of related patterns for relating to situations. The interactive ProxThink Hints, which are built with the ProxPatterns, are also considered tools.

Foundation
ProxThink is founded on an Underlying Concept that being is about relating. The Core Idea takes this idea of relating, and uses the four main Terms to state a basic strategy for situations.

Underlying Concept
Being is about relating. We do not only have relationships with people. We relate to people, ideas, times, places, feelings, and objects, etc. Even if we are not personally part of relationships, we can still understand people, ideas, times, places, feelings, and objects in terms of relationships.

Core Idea
In a situation, change one or several of the elements, and/or one or several of the relationships and/or the proximity to better relate to each other. For your situation, the word "each" in the phrase "to better relate to each other" refers to 1) the elements, 2) the relationships and 3) the proximity. So one, two or three, or some combination, may change. A more compact way to express the Core Idea is the Quick way above: In a situation, change elements, relationships and the proximity to better relate to each other.

Terms
We can talk about practically anything in basic ways with just four Terms, which are: Situation, Element, Relationship and Proximity.

Situation
A situation is whatever you are dealing with or considering. It might be a problem, challenge, opportunity, place, time, state of affairs, combination of circumstances, you or something related to you, etc.

Element
Loosely, an element can be anything. More accurately, an element relates to other elements. An element is whatever you are considering for the moment to be both separate from, and in relation to, other elements. Examples: Just a few examples of elements are objects (like a chair, car or building), a person, people, ideas, concepts, information, feelings, moods, locations, situations, times, processes, descriptions, groups, relationships, and the proximity, as well as both groupings of, and parts or aspects of, the preceding examples. Note: An element may be described with one or more words.

Relationship
A relationship is any kind of association or connection between elements. Relationship is more than just similarity. We often understand how elements are related by considering both similarities and differences. Elements can be associated or connected in many different and similar ways.

Proximity
Most simply, the proximity consists of elements and relationships. Perhaps more usefully, the proximity consists of elements related or potentially related to a situation, in physical, mental and other ways. The ways in which elements may be related include physical, mental, emotional, temporal, logical, intuitive, historical, social, and any others. Proximate elements may be known or unknown. Proximate elements may actually be close, like along dimensions of space or time. Or, proximate elements may seem close in some way, such as mentally, emotionally, logically, etc. So whether such elements are actually close, or only seem close, it makes sense to consider them since they make a difference in how we relate to our situation. The proximity is usually not completely fixed or given, so we can often choose some elements and relationships.

Tools
The Tools include ProxSet and ProxPattern, which work with the Terms to help with the Core Idea. ProxSets provide focus. A single ProxPattern describes ways elements can or do relate in the proximity of a situation, and the ProxThink ProxPatterns are an integrated group of related patterns for relating to situations. The interactive ProxThink Hints, which are built with the ProxPatterns, are also considered tools. So, restating the Core Idea: In a situation, change elements, relationships and the proximity to better relate to each other, aided by the following tools.

ProxSet
A ProxSet is a group of elements and relationships related to a proximity, considered as a set. ProxSet is short for Proximity Set. We create ProxSets from a proximity.

ProxPattern
A single ProxPattern describes ways elements can or do relate in the proximity of a situation. Together, the ProxThink ProxPatterns are an integrated group of related patterns for relating to situations. As such, they are valuable in relationship with each other. If one ProxPattern doesn't apply in a situation, another one probably does. Further, they often work together and play off each other.

ProxPatterns Section of Site
The ProxThink ProxPatterns are a separate section of the site. They are patterns common to many proximities and situations. The patterns are organized into three groups: Combo, Limits and Pure. We use PPs as a shorthand for ProxPatterns.

ProxPatterns - Why, Where and When?
The ProxThink ProxPatterns can help a variety of situations and people, ranging from simple objects and daily concerns, to social situations, to business situations, to community situations, to creative situations in the arts and design, to theoretical situations, to physical situations in engineering and science. The ProxPatterns apply to static and to dynamic (changing) situations.

Why Use ProxPatterns
The ProxThink ProxPatterns can help carry out the Core Idea. They can be used with ProxSets. When ProxPatterns are used together, ProxPatterns help us relate to situations in more productive, effective, adaptive, creative, playful and enjoyable ways. ProxPatterns help those qualities emerge in situations as well. ProxPatterns can suggest ways to change or adapt elements and relationships in a proximity or ProxSet. ProxPatterns can be used to evaluate or check relationships in a proximity or ProxSet. ProxPatterns provide clues about ways to start and how to progress, as well as provide options and help us deal with change. ProxPatterns allow for contradictions and complexity, yet can prevent situations from collapsing into chaos. ProxPatterns can help increase viable alternatives. ProxPatterns are simple enough for daily use, and powerful enough for some of our toughest situations.

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