Staying With the Question When We’re Lost In the Space Between Potential Futures …*

Staying With the Question When We’re Lost In the Space Between Potential Futures ...* | rethinked.org

When we’re lost in the space between potential futures, it seems, we can’t help but torment ourselves with impossible questions. Our ruminations tend to focus on what we are missing, what we may or may not get, or what we fear giving up.

These days those sentiments go by the popular acronym FOMO, “Fear of Missing Out.” Back then we called it escapism. Most of us make sense of it as either cue or cowardice — either a healthy reminder to look beyond our current horizon, or a neurotic fear of commitment because there may be something better elsewhere.

Once we reduce those feelings to a binary choice, however, we become too focused on yearning and too little on learning. The preoccupation with picking the right future — whether to follow or forget the temptation to make a change — obscures the question of what the temptation may be trying to teach us.

It is often when we yearn for an answer that we stand to learn the most from staying with the question. It is neither resolution nor fulfillment that we long for in those moments, I suspect. It is desire. (We remain suspended because desire feeds on distance and possibility). If we can’t figure out which option is better then it may be worth examining what those options mean to us.” – Gianpiero Petriglieri

Source: Getting Stuck Can Help You Grow via Harvard Business Review, published February 6, 2013.

I absolutely love this quote from Associate Professor of Organisational Behaviour at INSEAD, Gianpiero Petriglieri. “It is often when we yearn for an answer that we stand to learn the most from staying with the question.” Of course this is much easier said than done. We are fragile beings after all and it is in our nature to seek comfort and avoid uncertainty. How might we learn to stay with the question? Seems a worthy question around which to organize one’s life.

question & rethink …

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