“Chaos isn’t a pit; it’s a ladder. Many who try to climb it fail. They never get to try again. The fall breaks them. And some, when given a chance to climb, they refuse. They cling to the realm or gods or love. Illusions. Only the ladder is real. The climb is all there is.”
– Petyr “Littlefinger” Baelish, The Game of Thrones
It might seem a bit odd to use a feudal quote to evoke inspiration, motivation, and dare I say, empowerment. But, here we are.
My intention is to engage with your ancestral desire for challenge as a creative force for survival and your current need for a more evolved sense of meaning, understanding and growth.
In today’s world, to “survive,” we get to create a space in which we are open, ready and driven to be innovative.
So, let’s get real. Most people have a relationship with change that’s far from amicable. Many fear any form of variation, transition or adjustment to how they are accustomed to experiencing things. This explains the volatile reactions to the massive shakedown we are all undergoing.
Yet, we all grow bored of sameness and frustrated with the lack of advancement. Perhaps it is a shift in our relationship and a retelling of the story we have chosen based on what we “think” change means for us that will offer what we truly want from life, which is diverse experience and growth.
Stop for a moment and consider, what is your relationship with change? How is this impacting the story you are telling about what is happening right now in your life? How is it affecting the way in which you are navigating your current circumstances and what you see in the world?
If you find yourself experiencing fear based on uncertainty of the future, where can you shift this focus on challenge and what you cannot control to an awareness of opportunities to learn, heal and grow and ways to innovate and do things differently to support your current needs? Where can you find the resources and guidance to help you do this?
As Steve Jobs once put it, “Innovation is the ability to see change as an opportunity, not as a threat.”
Where can you lean in with a spirit of innovation and creativity? What value does this approach offer?
Think, for a moment, of an artist’s studio. It’s messy, seemingly disorganized and very, very chaotic. But what comes from this space is brilliant, fresh and new. It’s awe-inspiring, inventive and beautiful.
Creation comes from chaos.
When creating something we have never seen or entering a place we have never been, we are naturally uncertain. Certainty comes from knowing. For us, this usually develops from having experienced something before. But this thing, here, in front of all of us, this is brand new. Where we are striving for certainty in our outside world, we might want to, instead, seek trust and faith in our ability to successfully learn, navigate and embrace the unknown. As history has shown us, it always leads to exiting and innovative places.
Former President Barack Obama put it this way: “We did not come here to fear the future; we came here to shape it.”
How are your thoughts, ideas, actions and outcomes TODAY shaping your future and impacting the future of others?
We cannot be afraid to think, feel and act with hope and enthusiasm right now just because we “don’t know” what’s going to happen. Hitting pause and sitting in wait for too long causes inertia, and this leads to decay.
Even if what we are thinking is, at first, “old” thinking, we need to allow for movement and flow.
It’s like priming the pump. The first draw of water you get is murky, muddy and not worth drinking. With consistent effort, faith and determination, you eventually get to the cool, clear and clean water that’s perfectly usable.
As author, speaker and top-rated professor at Wharton School of Business, Adam Grant, says, “The first ideas you think of are usually the most conventional. If you want to be innovative, you need to keep asking questions and invite variety.”
Diverse thinking is also a key ingredient, like change, for innovation. When we think “differently” and aren’t afraid to engage in conversation, this leads to ground-breaking discoveries and understanding. The key is to embrace and allow for the various perspectives to find a place in the dialogue, even if it is uncomfortable. This can feel chaotic and revolutionary at times, but again, this is where we help to lay the foundation for growth and innovation.
What’s “conventional” these days is simply not going to work. We can see this everywhere we turn. Old systems falling apart. Past ways of doing things not working.
We are not only experiencing change because we need it for betterment, healing and advancement; we are experiencing it because, whether we know it or not, we created this change because we WANT it. We want the new, innovative opportunities. For so long, we have been limping along, business as usual, feeling more and more busy and less and less engaged, connected and alive. Creativity is our life-blood, and we’ve needed to get our hearts pumping for a while.
So, let’s begin to look at this time as climbing that ladder– taking this thing we have all collectively built into our visionary studio and making something innovative, inspiring and masterful out of it. After all, this creative opportunity is what we came for, and we are in the perfect environment to make something truly amazing out of it.