The whole and its parts

The whole & its parts

What or Why

When something went wrong, people have learned to search for the cause. They ask themselves what went wrong. They might even do so with a serious interest in learning how to do things differently the next time.

Most often, however, the question people ask themselves is a different one. They ask themselves why it didn’t work out as they expected it to.

In their quest to find an answer they try to name all the events that led to the current situation. Usually, these events correspond to the decisions they have been subject to as well as how they reacted to them seeking to have an impact. It’s the list of the events where they felt subject to someone else’s power.

Once people are sucked into such a sequence, they find themselves following external circumstances. They attend to the what of the tasks as they appear. The decisions are taken as-is. It is the content they are reacting to.

It’s a story that is unfolding, not one they would be writing themselves.

What rarely happens in such a situation is to take a moment to stop for an instant or two. That is for long enough to become able to sense how they feel in that situation. Is it a position where they feel present with their own power or is it one where they feel triggered?

When triggered, it’s a story they believe to know, one they recognize and thus rarely question.

That’s until that story ends and is replaced by the question “why?”

Recognizing a story doesn’t serve us. It makes us blind. What’s more interesting is to search for what can be added to or taken away from the story we know.


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