Tension

There’s a space between what we’re doing now and what we’ll be doing next. Some of that gap we can measure in time, like the timing between two notes on a musical score.

Then there’s a more complex, nuanced version. The quality of what is happening in that space. The energy. The things that affect the nature of that change.

The combination of these two qualities – time, and nature- create a tension, an energy, between one beat and the next.

That tension cannot be measured, only sensed. To sense it, we need make space for it.

That tension is increasing. For any given time period, the change energy is increasing. The difference between 2020 and 2021 is likely to very different to that between 2018 and 2019.

The issues we are seeing are not isolated from each other. They will combine and morph into new forms in a similar way to viruses adapting to defeat antibiotics.

We need to pay attention to this liminal space in which these issues combine. If we pay attention only to the symptoms, we’ll miss the cause and if do that we are far more likely to be disadvantaged than energised.

Whatever time you put aside for reflection and research, double it.

The fourth addiction

I mentioned in yesterday’s blog Nicholas Taleb’s observation that the three greatest addictions are heroin, carbohydrates and a regular monthly salary.

On reflection, I think there’s a fourth.

Solutions

Most of the people I talk to in most organisations are busy. Too busy seeking efficiency at what they do to notice what’s going around them.

When an issue arises, they want a fast, reliable solution, preferably proven elsewhere.

I term it the “flu plus” syndrome. Something to take that masks a deeper underlying challenge so we can carry on regardless- at least until the underlying issue manifests in a more serious way.

We are all subject to it. Just because I write about it doesn’t mean I’m immune to it( just a little more embarrassed at my stupidity these days.

Most of the issues we have to address can be sourced back to a few common but complex causes. For us, stress, purpose, ego etc, and for the businesses we are in culture, leadership, purpose.

There are no “solutions” to any of these. They are systemic and often “wicked” morphing in response to whatever solution we try to apply.

Wicked problems require hand to hand combat. Curiosity, vulnerability, determination and an anchoring in purpose. It’s hard work, and there better be a good reason for facing the pain.

On the other hand, it’s energising. We discover things about ourself and the problem. We grow.

Other people’s solutions leave us stunted.

Solutions are easy, but come at a price.

Growth

Generally speaking, it seems that most of the posts we see on business or personal growth fall into two categories; therapeutic, or instructional.

The therapeutic works on the basis that we’re somehow not good enough, that we’re flawed, failing and need help.

The instructional works on the basis that we’re insufficiently trained; that we need to be taught, by those who are better than us.

Both have their place, up to a point, but only if we believe the purpose of our life is to fulfil others requirements of us.

If, on the other hand the purpose of our lives is to use the unique gifts we have been given, the unique perspectives we hold, the intent we have for our lives to use them to leave the world a better place than we find it, then they don’t.

Our lives have an expiration date. Between now and then, we have a choice to make.