The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

Investigating errors

When performing a task, it seems normal to aim at achieving a specific result.

However, the ability to describe that result rarely is aligned with how precisely the objective can actually be named. Sometimes this is due to how much hope that person includes in her idea of the result and how much clarity there is about the result that can be achieved in the given situation.

But sometimes it is also the consequence of the fear that someone experiences when he is invited to visualize the objective he is aiming to achieve. That fear is simply the fear of failing. The more a person fears to fail, the less she may want to be precise in the described result.

Another issue is the focus on the future. Instead of allowing oneself to have a clear objective for the next action one will perform, the person stays attached to the result that she wants to achieve in a future that is further ahead. The challenge here is the willingness to step into the process and to accept that the next action may not lead to immediate or visible progress toward the long-term goal.

In all three cases, there are two ways to look at the result of the next action.

One is to evaluate the result by locating it on a scale of excellent to mediocre. Doing so happens by taking one’s gut feeling to compare the result with what one had hoped for. It usually happens when one is attached to the result one imagined.

The other is to investigate the result and look at all the known facts. And then correlate the facts with the elements of the action one observed or the circumstances one established before executing the action. This usually happens when the observation is done out of a desire to learn what it is that was missing in one’s action or preparation. In this case, the person also can add a judgment. But this isn’t necessarily of use as the action has been executed and is now an event of the past. The detail that led to achieving a different result than expected has become an opportunity to learn from it – if one chooses to do so.

In the first case, when the focus is on evaluating the result, the focus is on being happy with the result or not. Learning only happens by chance.

Whereas all choices described above are available, some are only accessible by allowing oneself a clear vision of the objective while accepting that it may not be achieved. This often is easy when one starts to learn and becomes more and more difficult the more assumptions appear that one has learned enough to be able to achieve specific results.





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