Wednesday, March 11, 2015

A bird's eye view for clearer decisions in troubling times


Have you ever tried to solve a tough problem by digging deeper and thinking harder? How did that work for you?

Most people find that the deeper within they dig, the more complexity they uncover. They are emotionally engaged in contradictory ways. They want incompatible things. The evidence points in different directions. With every turn, the maze becomes less familiar.

There's a better way. When you notice that digging is not helping you get clear on a decision, let go. Let your imagination carry you out of the maze so you can survey it from high, high above. Rising above a problem does not begin with taking the moral high road. It begins with moving to a perspective that is free, moving, and distant.

Imagine trying to tell a seagull what to do. You can watch them on the beach. Even other seagulls have little success in being the boss of a seagull. Now imagine watching that gull take flight. What would it feel like to simply lift yourself away from the squabbles and bumps? How would all the tension on the ground look if you were seeing it from the air?

I don't know much about the mechanics of bird flight, but I imagine that over-muscling would make it hard to glide. Instead, I think birds need enough will to stay in the air that they hold their muscles with precise tension.

What if you stopped over-muscling and used all that will power to imagine a more distant perspective, a time and space where you could see the whole of the situation. If you weren't entangled, what would you be instead?

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