Everywhere I look I see evidence of thinking stuck in tramlines.
Going round and round in circles. Failing to break out of existing patterns.
We’ve almost never been in such great need of fresh thinking. But why is it not happening?
However, before we go looking ‘out there’ or pointing a finger, we need to know it starts with us.
We need to muster the courage to look at ourselves and see what’s getting us stuck. Where is my thinking just going round and round in circles?
Am I prepared to look at what prompts me to always see things in a particular way? Or to recognise the filters that affect how I hear what others might be trying to say?
Lessons from the valley
Recently, Steve took the tractor and flail mower out to clear tracks along the green paths in the valley.
It’s astonishing how it changes my perspective as I walk. Not only am I more confident in striding out, but I see more. Flora and fauna that have been obscured by the long grass.
Also, when we have heavy rain and large volumes of water are gathering in the brook, we need to periodically check the water gates for debris collecting on the mesh. If we don’t, eventually the mesh gives way because of the weight behind it. Backing up like a dam.
It’s like that in our lives. Stuff happens and we usually deal with it. But sometimes the kind of experiences we have do leave a residue that we need to recognise. And be prepared to work through.
This week I have been aware of a number of experiences, some going way back, that have unexpectedly cast their shadow. I have been going round in circles. Bumping into familiar objects as I try to navigate forward, wondering why I am here yet again.
And in thinking about these things I am reminded again of Dory’s advice in Finding Nemo – you have to go through, not over…
Courage to move beyond
It’s not only in pushing through our blockages where courage for fresh thinking is required. It’s also where we have to hold lightly those good ways of working that have served us well, in order to be open to the new.
Fresh thinking is just that. And daily we face choices about stepping out from our comfort zones. Being prepared to take risks. To embrace the unfamiliar and unknown.
But just responding as the situation, or thought, arises is hard to do. The pullback to where we feel secure and comfortable is often greater than the momentum for change. It takes an earlier decision: to choose our orientation, to set our compass, to be ready to seize the opportunity.
I’ve been particularly aware of this recently as I have been challenged by one of John O’Donohue’s Homecoming Blessings:
At the End of the Day – A Mirror of Questions
Fresh thinking requires courage. But it’s worth it.
Thanks for reading
Being prepared to write in the moment, in reality, can be challenging (and feel exposing). This week has certainly been a journey. Thanks to all those who have walked alongside – I don’t think we can do this stuff on our own!
- Monday: Going through, not over…
- Tuesday: Where is innovation?
- Wednesday: Gifts out of sight
- Thursday: Fresh thinking space
- Friday: Here we are, again…