Today I am responding to the WordPress Daily Prompt: Be the Change
What change, big or small, would you like your blog to make in the world?
Life is full of uncertainty. Try as we might, we can’t control it. Faced with the inevitability of change, we human beings come up with all kinds of strategies to try to create some kind of meaning or order out of the chaos. Thats natural, and necessary up to a point. However it seems that very the strategies that we employ to cope with life can very easily become self imposed limits with no real logic or substance behind them.
These strategies can take the form of should’s and oughts, beliefs about ourselves and what we can and can’t do, and ideas about life and the way life is and how we should handle it. There are millions of books and blogs offering us tools to find our way through the maze of uncertainty and get a grip on life, but how do we choose between them? How do we avoid getting stuck with a limited skillset for living?
The trouble starts when we take tools or strategies that work well for a specific situation, and try to turn them into rules, inherent goods, or something we should always do.
As an example, lets take the saying “Never Give Up!”. This saying is a great motivator in situations that require persistence. The lesson of this saying is to not allow obstacles to unnecessarily obstruct your progress towards an important goal. However persistence is not always the most appropriate response to every situation. The risk with taking “Never Give Up” as a lifelong commitment is that you might be tempted to persist in situations where acceptance and letting go are the most productive strategy.
Persisting when it would be better to let go can be painful, destructive and a waste of precious time. The need for people to take out restraining orders against ex-lovers who won’t let go would be an all too common example of the consequences of inappropriate persistence. There’s nothing wrong with using “Never Give Up” as a motivator, as long as you are aware that that is what you are doing…using a tool that can be put down at any moment if its becomes clear that it is the wrong tool for the task at hand.
Its great to have a lot of tips and tricks in your toolkit for living. But like any good tradesperson, the first step is to assess the situation. Ask what is really happening right here and right now? What is required? What is going to be of help in this situation? Taking the time to really understand the context in which you are operating, and the complexities at work gives greater flexibility and openness in the face of change and uncertainty.
I hope that in a small way, my blog will encourage others to challenge limiting beliefs and approach life in an open and flexible way.