We’re pretty used to being clear about what we want, what our vision is—clear enough that if it showed up, we’d recognize it.
But what if we can’t get to that straightaway?
That’s where “creative tension” comes in.
Creative tension is what Peter Senge (author of “The Fifth Discipline”) calls the gap between our vision and our current reality, which may not wholly fit with what we want.
Part of the practise of “personal mastery” is being able to sit with both a vision in mind, and a clear view of our current reality (and the emotions that go with it), and accepting the difference between them, and just being cool with it.
Now here’s the good bit…
If we hold this creative tension diligently, accepting the gap between where we are and where we want to be, and not stressing about it even as we work away to move toward our vision, it’s funny how our environment starts to rearrange itself in such a way as to close the gap. Things show up that help us move toward our vision; people get that we’re on a journey and support us; they accept that things are changing.
How does this work?
Well, we could go metaphysical about it and say that we manifest the change we want, but even at a prosaic level, somehow we just give off clear signals about what we’re looking for that others respond to, and, at the same time, we’re ready to recognize opportunity when it appears. They key is calmness. Nothing flows without the calmness.
Being OK with the creative tension of a gap between where we are and where we’d like to be not only helps us get there, but sets us free from stress in the meantime.
Pretty cool, I think.
And part of being an inspirational leader.
What’s your experience of this?
(With grateful thanks to Peter Senge and Robert Hanig for my own learning here.)
Interesting, was experiencing this yesterday. A good night sleep and new has a calming effect. I think it is similiar to trying too hard, you just have to get in a comfortable groove to move ahead with a clear goal.
Dr David Fraser says
Thanks Lisa. Key thing, I think, is accepting the gap and living it calmly. Then the Universe or whatever gets to work.
Creed Anthony says
Wow. This makes it seem less daunting than a leap of faith. You have articulated the feeling I need to find, thanks! I know see that it is kind of like a quarterback standing in the pocket and letting things unfold in front of him. If he panics then the pocket will definitely collapse and he will fail. If he just kind of dissolves into the calm, still working, and let’s things unfold, he gets the results he wants. I follow both you and Lisa on Twitter. I figure if it hit her (she is pretty smart and diligent herself) then I need to read it to. Thanks for posting this.
Dr David Fraser says
That’s great, Anthony, thanks. It’s a big deal. I like your quarterback metaphor.