The 1st Step in Your Transformation

Nigredo - The Old Rule


The Alchemical Transformation (AT) framework is 3 Simple Steps that are so easy to understand you'll get the basics in 10 mins, maybe over coffee in the morning. The AT framework IS the set of ideas that will give you an edge in Turning Ideas Into Gold.

1.) Nigredo – Destroy Something <- You Are Here
2.) Albedo – Create Something
3.) Rubedo – Standardize Something

Nigredo is the 1st step and the one we'll explore in more detail here. The framework is simple, but don't mistake the power in each step. As you start to get the AT framework under your fingers, you'll begin to see everything through this lens. That's when the value of Synaptic Alchemy will become crystal clear.

1.) Nigredo – Destroy Something
It may sound harsh, but it happens all the time. Think of it as an Old Rule that people still do but really is no longer worth doing. Once the car came out, using the horse and buggy to get to work didn't really make any sense. Or think about Amazon. Before Amazon the old rule was that you had to drive to a book store, rummage around the place, and hope you'd find the book you were looking for. That's the Old Rule: “Books have to be sold in book stores.”

It is hard to see old rules, old ways of doing things, old ways of thinking in the present moment. An easy way to get yourself in the mindset is if you think of pain points. Things that cause frustration or make you bristle. As you think about points of frustration, you'll start to get a handle on the Nigredo, destroy something, mindset.

Some things are so in your face that they are transparent and easy to pick out as a frustration. Something as simple as traffic. Right? Who doesn't hate traffic?

But traffic is too big an issue. Why do you hate traffic? That's a good question to ask and helps us dive deeper into Nigredo. Does it waste time? So is it the waste of time that is really the issue? Digging in, brainstorming and trying to understand the smallest element that is frustrating is a key exercise in strengthening your Nigredo Old Rule Identification muscle.

Maybe It's Just Me
I tend to bristle at inefficiencies. Call it my pet peeve. When I see something that could be done; better, faster, cheaper, but it's not; ooooooh does that get me frustrated. Small things like long lines at checkout counters when there are a bunch of closed checkout stations.


These are definitely points of frustration that I use in my Nigredo exercise.

Your Exercise
Nigredo has three parts to it:

* The old What
* The real Why
* The Alternate Reality

These are the muscle groups that you'll be building as you dive deeper into Synaptic Alchemy. We explore these three parts in detail in the foundation course.

For now, start to build your Nigredo muscle by cataloging the annoyances in your life, the life of those in your inner circles, and then the lives of those that you interact with (whether they are colleagues or customers).

Store this catalog somewhere you can refer back to it. Online in a Google doc, or maybe in an application like Evernote, or wherever you can find it. We'll go back and use these in the next steps.

Not Your Father's Alchemy
Synaptic Alchemy (SA) is designed to bring a simple but power framework to light and give you a simple but power way of looking at the world. SA is first and foremost a mindset.

It is a different mindset from the traditional ways of looking at innovation and ideation. By transforming the foundation of the old masters, the alchemists, you'll find a new way of thinking intentionally towards success.

What's Next
Now it is your turn. Do the exercise. Write 3-5 things you find this week that annoy you. By actually doing the exercise you'll have a foundation for the 2nd step in Synaptic Alchemy: Albedo – Create Something.

Synaptic Alchemy Book

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