Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Forcing vs. Unfolding

We’ve all been there. A situation that was meticulously mapped out is not happening according to plan. To be more specific, it’s not happening according to our desired and intended plan. What do we usually tend to do about this disconnect between desire and reality? Well….if you’re like the majority of people in our culture, your natural tendency is to force the plan. You will work harder and faster and engage others to work harder and faster – attempting to force an outcome that isn’t quite happening the way you imagined. What usually winds up occurring, in spite of our frenzied physical, emotional and intellectual efforts to control the outcome? Frequently, the result is a static/ worse situation, coupled with interpersonal conflict and mental, emotional and physical exhaustion.

I am proposing a radical and counter-intuitive approach to forcing an outcome – doing nothing! Please understand that I am not suggesting completely withdrawing from the world, engaging in a marathon viewing of old sit-coms or eating mass quantities of ice-cream, junk food or chocolate. What I am advocating for is a strategy of temporarily stepping away from our natural tendency to force a situation and allowing the situation to organically unfold. This approach can feel quite foreign and challenging initially, especially when every cell of your body is screaming for you to take action. Through engaging in the discipline of stepping back and allowing a situation to unfold, much of the situational drama that impedes forward momentum will play out and elegantly resolve itself. Through this allowing strategy, you ultimately wind up avoiding much of the physical, mental and emotional exhaustion that results from forcing a situation that truly needs to unfold and organically resolve itself. An added bonus is that the resolution is often much better than anything that you would have imagined.

Where in your professional or personal life could you potentially benefit from the unexpected gifts of allowing a situation to organically unfold?


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