The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

A quest to feel good

Leon had decided that he had no control over his boss’s decision to prolong his contract. He shared his new objective and started explaining how helpful this acceptance had been. At first sight, it seems evident. And one can safely admit that whatever his boss would decide, would be entirely up to him.

However, there is an element Leon didn’t seem to pay attention to. It was his relationship with his boss and his task. Both allow for insight into his influence. Relationships are based on reciprocal influence. All those involved form an environment for the individual. One he impacts just like he is impacted by the environment he finds himself in. And much of this influence is based on what he has control of: his actions.

Taking in the notion that he has no control over his boss’s decision, Leon was unconsciously also trying to release himself from the pressure this upcoming decision had started to build up. Without noticing it, he had assumed that his objective was to make sure his boss would decide in his favor. And from this perspective, it was indeed wise to let go of his first objective and “decide” that he had no control over that decision.

But, at the same time, he was also letting go of his ability to influence the decision. He had shifted the objective to one that wasn’t related to his task nor within the relationship. His new objective was aimed at getting the most possible out of the relationship.

Here again, his unconscious might have played a role. Focusing on what he could take out of the relationship, he saw himself become a better version of himself. Which meant that he was hoping that this would lead to the outcome he was still seeking.

And he was right with at least one aspect. The pressure he was experiencing was making it hard for him to think and develop the ideas he needed to be able to choose his actions. But his approach had taken away his ability to decide how to exercise his influence within the given relationships. By focusing on himself he had stepped out of the relationship. Thus, letting go of the constraints such a relationship has, and consequently of the interdependence it provides.

The challenge of such a situation is that there is no clear answer or guarantee that the chosen path will work. The only thing one can do is focus on what it is that is within one’s control. It starts with learning what it is that is within one’s control. That is also where action can be aligned with one’s objective.




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