Last time we talked about our daily problems and seeing them for what they are, a disconnect between what happens and our expectations of what happens. We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we believe or want them to be. We interpret our experience to fit the mold of our mental model, beliefs, and expectations. Instead of questioning what happens we explain it to ourselves within our minds using the model we built from past experiences of coping with uncertainty instead of enjoying the uncertainty inherent in every moment. We experience problems instead of opportunity. So, how can we turn our problems into opportunity?
Work expects we give 110% like that’s even possible. Our leaders exchange effort for intelligence and expect us to work 60-70 hours a week like they do. Instead of setting a vision and empowering personnel to create it, those in power micromanage or dabble in the details. Our significant others expect us to act a certain way and wanting to continue the relationship we sacrifice ourselves instead of sharing what truly matters to us. We don’t maintain what’s important to us. We lose ourselves in what’s happening. We don’t have a mentor or guidance and attempt to find it in trying to know more, believe in something outside ourselves or getting lost in the effort of our actions to fill the needs of others. These are not just problems but dependencies to fill the gap between what happens and how we think things should be; between what others think we should be and who we are inside. We grope around in the darkness of this expanse between what is and what we believe the world is and expects of us. If we just had some bright lines to follow, we could create the world we truly want.
We all need some bright lines in our lives to guide us. Bright lines are the boundaries and constraints we place upon ourselves aligned with our own purposes and not of others. Bright lines are the expectations we have for our future. This takes reflection on what we truly want as well as understanding ourselves and how we differ from others and our environment. We need to challenge our own beliefs, assumptions and expectations. By challenging our own thinking and feeling we begin to understand ourselves for what we are, bundles of presumption. By gaining insight into ourselves and knowing our dependencies, we can begin to create some boundaries around what we value the most. We can create a center out of which we know and act. This has the effect of separating the things that create stress and anxiety out of what we choose to be central to our life. The bright lines, rules or targets we adopt for ourselves when related to what we truly want can create the space we need to find the fun and enjoy the life that unfolds around us. If things go awry as they often do given the uncertainty inherent in all situations we can fall back to our center. People will think we have good self-control or have the ability to keep our personal lives separate from our work lives. The fact is we simply know what’s truly important to us and have created some bright lines for ourself to follow when life gets difficult or the light of expectations from others dims.