Let’s see your workings out.

I seem to remember that in school maths exams, we were encouraged to show our workings out.

Even if you could somehow immediately and effortlessly jump to the answer in your head, there was merit in jotting down how you’d got there.

Perhaps one benefit was that a kind examiner (if such an individual ever existed) might give you marks for methodology even if you’d fumbled the final answer.


I’m fairly confident that when you talk through, perhaps difficult, problems with a patient friend, you’re going through a similar process.

In explaining the situation, you’re put in a position in which you need to help the other person see where you’re coming from.

And these, in some ways, may be our emotional workings out.

However, if you know that the doodlings and noodlings on your exam paper might be scanned by the examiner, you may decide to make them relatively logical.

So in a similar way, perhaps we owe it to our gem of a friend to – whenever possible – attempt to focus our outpourings, rather than drowning them in a torrent of despair?

After all, people are more likely to be able to help you when they understand you.

In a different way, and in terms of my own workings out to do with Moodnudges, I’m going to experiment with writing closer to the publishing deadlines of Sunday, Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

For some time I’ve attempted to produce a week’s worth of posts (four of them) in one burst of work, but I think this may have kept me from being as fresh as I’d like to be.

(If you’ll pardon me for being fresh, that is.)

So this will be posted about six hours from now, hot off the keyboard.

To place things in context, I’m sitting in the library at Stanford University, listening to some delightful new tunes from a composer I’ve just discovered this afternoon.

If you like movie music, you may well enjoy Steven Gutheinz, a composer of music for film, TV, commercials, games, and the stage, who currently lives and works in Los Angeles.

Just down the road, really.

His whole new album, “Vision,” is here:

2 thoughts on “Let’s see your workings out.

  1. I have recently resorted to writing to my mother and sister to try and clarify how I see what is going wrong in our relationships. Neither of them have replied and I feel that all communication has broken down. I made sure not to sound angry, offended or upset. I tried to set things out as calmly and clearly as I could.

    I’ve tried for years not to say what was bothering me and why. Now the cat is out of the bag, I’m not sure it was worth showing them my workings out.

    1. I know this is an old post, but thought I’d let you know I read it today and I enjoyed it. I googled ‘workings out’ 🙂 I’m so used to pressing the like button on Twitter, it’s a lovely change to communicate my appreciation directly. Thank you.

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