The unfamiliar decision

characters change when they live through a story*
(Don Miller)

By reinforcing the separation of people from their problems problem solving often functions as a way of maintaining the status quo rather than enabling fundamental change […] where problems often arise from unquestioned assumptions and deeply habitual ways of acting.**
(Senge, Scharmer, Jaworski, Flowers)

It’s hard to see all the implications or the results of a decision at the time of making it. We have to live through it to see exactly what is what.

Something else then comes into play in a really helpful way. The human capacity to change our mind about something.

Seth Godin writes about how hard it is to say, “I was wrong.” But we can flip this:

The alternative is, “based on new information, I can make a new decision.”

We can make a new decision on what’s happening to our environment, based on new data and new science. We can make a new decision on corporate governance or on a recent political referendum.^

Everyone of us has the ability to receive new information and to change our mind. It allows our imaginations more space in which to posit possibilities no one had seen at the beginning.

Wallace Stevens remarks on the human imagination:

If it merely reconstructed the experience or repeated for us our sensations in the face of it, it would be a memory. What it really does is to use it as material with which it does whatever it wills. This is the typical function of the imagination which always makes use of the familiar to produce the unfamiliar.^^

(*From Donald Miller’s Scary Close.)
(**>>>, from Peter Senge, Otto Scharmer, Joseph Jaworski, Betty Sue Flowers’ Presence.)
(^From Seth Godin’s blog: I was wrong.)
(^^From Wallace Stevens’ The Necessary Angel.)

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