What’s that in your hand? (the recyclers)

You may think there is something else you need when you already have enough to begin.

The very thing you love is the place to look more closely.  Hugh Macleod says it simply:

‘The more you love, the harder you work.’*

Love not only provides you with what you need but also to take it further for the benefit of others, providing you with the sensitivity to find your way through the thing that stands in your way.  As Richard Sennett sees this, how instead of cursing something, to treat it as something to love:

‘when something takes longer than you expect, stop fighting it […] The identification a good craftsman practices is selective, that of findings the most forgiving element in a difficult situation’.**

It is your love for something that will take you through the pain and hurt that will surely come when pursuing the things that matter most to you.

Who’d have thought that love is such a crucial element of making more of what is already in your hand?

Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, in writing of the flow we seek to find for our lives points to this being where we are most alive, that is, most imaginative and creative as a species:

‘In fact, according to some views of evolution, complex life forms depend for their existence on a capacity to extract energy out of entropy – to recycle waste into structured order. […] all life on earth is ultimately made possible by dissipative structures that capture chaos and shape it into a more complex order.’^

This, we might argue, is one of the most critical challenges for our species today.  We may even see the development of a new hominid species – to take the waste we make and turn it into something hopeful instead of simply living with it.  Stephen Pyne writes of how are relationship with fire is different for us to those who went before us, instead of tending fire, making fire :

‘If tinder were nearby, the toolmaker became a fire maker.  Home erectus would maintain but probably not until Homo sapiens could humanity make it.’^^

Roz and Ben Zander write about the human capacity of turning around what spirals down, transforming it:

‘It is about restructuring meanings, creating visions, and establishing environments where possibility is spoken – where the buoyant force of possibility overcomes the pull of the downward spiral‘*^

When it comes to what is in your hand – the thing that allows you to recycle the chaos, what Richard Sennett calls ambiguity and the Zander’s the downward spiral – Warren Berger provides us with some helpful questions:

‘What do you want to say?  Why does it need to be said?  What if you could say it in a way that has never been done?  How might you do that?’^*

Csikszentmihalyi offers three practices of people who are able to cope with chaos and transform it into something more hopeful.  They are unselfconsciously self-assured, which I interpret as having humility, a true sense of Self (who they are and what they can do); they focus their attention on the world, which I translate as looking out or have gratitude for what is around them); and they are open to the discovery of new solutions, that is, they initiate (or are faithful for making something new out of what their humility and gratitude brings to them – the practice of letting go and letting come).^

One thing more I will add is that we were never meant to do this alone.  You need to join with others.  It’s a critical step and if you’re not prepared to do this, you may never really appreciate what you have in our hand:

‘It’s time to show up.  Find your people and get your show on the road.’⁺

(*From gapingvoid’s blog: Love is the only driver.)
(**From Richard Sennett’s The Craftsman.)
(^From Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s Flow.)
(^^From Stephen Pyne’s Fire.)
(*^From Rosamund and Benjamin Zander’s The Art of Possibility.)
(^*From Warren Berger’s A More Beautiful Question.)
(⁺From gapingvoid’s blog: Leaders 4 Leaders.)




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