For many of us the beginning of the year means resolutions and plans: we are ‘here’ and we want to be ‘there’. There are goals to achieve, habits to make (or break!), territories to explore and new skills to learn or enhance. Whatever the context, we all want to find the right the path – ideally the most direct route with the least difficulty and fewest obstacles.
The ‘start with the end in mind’ approach says that taking time at the outset to distil as much clarity as possible on where ‘there’ is, is critical for galvanising yourself/your team/your organisation around a common goal. But what about the ‘here’? Impatient to get ‘there’, we’re not terribly keen to hang around ‘here’ and that matters because a major inhibitor to reaching our desired destination is resistance to it – to our ‘here’.
The phrase ‘it is as it is’ is perhaps overused but that doesn’t mean it isn’t true. In fact, it contains the secret to how much dissatisfaction we feel, how much stress we experience and ultimately all of our suffering. Simply put, suffering, in whatever form that might take for us, occurs as a result of a reality gap in the moment – when the reality we have is not the one we want but we remain attached to what we want and in resistance to what we have.
Experience says that some people will find this explanation enlightening (‘I’d never quite seen it like that’) and others will see it as a statement of the outright obvious (‘dur, something awful has just happened and of course I’d rather that it hadn’t and yes, you can bet I’m resistant to the way things are playing out right now’). Either way, seeing that it is in fact true is the first step in being able to change things for the better. All we ever have is the current moment and if our experience of it is compromised by our resistance – by our thinking that it should be otherwise, then we will suffer.
At a personal level, the suffering we will experience may manifest as stress, anger, sadness, frustration, etc. When this is multiplied in a team setting then it manifests and causes dysfunction, confusion, conflict and it lowers morale and productivity. When extrapolated to an organisational level, the potential to compromise success is huge.
If you’re thinking this means that you have to accept situations that are less than ideal or even distinctly unpleasant, then you do and you don’t. Confused? Well, it’s all about timing and what it means is that your current situation – the ‘what you’ve got now’ is what you’ve got. Contrary to the way we’ve often been conditioned to think, getting what you want in the future is not contingent on resisting what you have now. We might not like it, but the more negative thinking we have about it, the harder our path out is going to be.
The saying goes ‘resistance is futile’ and it turns to be right. If you want to find an easier way to get to ‘there’ – your desired destination – then discovering how to reduce resistance to the ‘here’ is crucial. You can start by examining your thinking in the now – and if you need help to get beyond it, we at The Vibrant Company would be delighted to show you the way…
We love to have vibrant conversations so if this blog post has made you curious, get in touch.
Enjoyed this blog post? Please share it!