I’ve just had the pleasure of working with an extraordinary group of people considering the bigger pictures we are all part of. Four days away in a glorious quiet setting, in the countryside.
I always find it astonishing how noisy silence can be. The questions it asks of you, The things it brings into focus. The areas we notice that we just don’t understand, and happy for our ignorance to be a trigger.
I felt humbled and inspired by those in the group – some of whom had jobs of huge potential impact for our safety, sanity and survival, others in roles that didn’t really demand of them what they could offer. All of us giving space for clarity to lend a hand to our efforts.
What struck me was the difference between people’s goals and their vision. The former often very clear, the latter constantly emerging. A little like stepping stones in the mist – the ones near to us giving us clear but limited choices, our the vision for the longer term clearly affected and shaped by the ones we choose, and the destination always an aspiration.
Physics tells us that without noise we cannot detect signal. What we need are the right filters. Some of those are frameworks. I have a huge collection, from Marcus Aurelius to John Boyd, all of which help, none of which provide the answer.
The answer always emerges from the quiet, when that part of us that is always there can make its voice heard. our genius, our muse, our soul. Take your pick.
It’s never been more important. The noise factories are in full production, shouting in our ears and assailing our attention with a mix of disconcerting messages.
None of them are right for us.
Our truth, our next stepping stones are known only to us. They will take us where we need to be, if only we take the time to look for them.