just think. . .

Think about a process or project. Is it a means or an end? How do you know?

Think about a conflict in which you have recently been engaged, or by which you are being influenced. Is it a conflict about an end or about the means of achieving it?

Think about the last thing you accomplished working with someone you love. How often did knowing exactly what you wanted interfere with your ability to get it?

The trick for individuals is to decide how much to commit to the little picture: how clearly to decide what is necessary to get to a desired end. It's not hard to agree on big-picture outcomes: it's hard to agree on the next step to getting there, and the one after that. Those disagreements can blur the big-picture beyond recognition or they can polish it to a higher gleam. The difference is not in the actions you take. It's in the thinking you do when you bump into a difference.

The next time you are tempted to argue or bulldoze, stop yourself. Just think.


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