Tuesday, January 28, 2014

What's the Problem?

Philosopher/Teacher Jack Bolen once said, "Good is sometimes the enemy of the better." There can be nothing more true in my experience. I have a tendency to stop paddling when I am in calm water.  But when I'm not paddling, even in calm water, there is a current pushing me in its direction. Sometimes that is not the direction I want to go. When I am not working to make a good life better, I can unconsciously drift out of that good life.
When things are going well why "fix it when it ain't broke?" Why change it when it still works. It's okay, meets my needs it's good. When it stops working then l change it.
Fixing things only when they break is crisis management. Life is a continuum not a series of stops and starts. The nature of life is to keep moving forward. Like a bicycle, when it stops is falls over.  It is the momentum itself that keeps it moving. How ever you visualize it, pedaling a bike or paddling a canoe there is a constant force of effort needing to be continually delivered to life so we can keep moving toward the better. The manifestation of a problem is the quickest way to get motivated to find the "Better". So settling for good and trying to coast in that experience is "enemy of the better". 
It would seem then that problems are creativity's best friend. Most inventions come out of an attempt to solve a problem. Our creativity is hard wired to create better, building toward the best. Why would we ever settle for good when there is better and ultimately the Best.
The Best is good striving for better but even the best is not a flat path. Once I settle into what I think is the best it becomes the good and more energy needs to be spent on finding better again. 
Another metaphor would be an airplane. When an airplane reaches its altitude it can cut back on the power it needs to reach that height but the pilot does not turn off the engines. The pilot merely cuts back a little on the throttle.  If there are no problems and the engines are stopped things seem to be okay for a while.  The plane continues to glide but slowly looses altitude and if no more power is applied it will eventually hit the ground.  The higher the altitude when the engines stop the longer before you hit the ground but it is just a matter of time if no other power is applied. Crisis management,  "not fixing it till it is broken", would be like waiting till the plane is about to crash before the pilot turns the engines back on.  It is obvious that if a pilot wants to maintain a continuous altitude there must be energy that continues to push the plane forward.
So if there is a problem in my life right now it is just an opportunity to look at the map again and get back on track.  If there isn't a problem that is causing issues right now, it does not mean that I can turn off the engine and coast.  I need to keep working at that good to make it better.
At least that is the way I see it. Learned Philosopher/Teachers might believe other wise.
As you were,

No comments: