Floundering or Exploring and Experimenting?

A recent brief email exchange reminded me of the importance of the choice of words we use to describe our experience.

An acquaintance and I were describing how we were getting on with a particular process on the computer that was unfamiliar to each of us. After I had briefly written about my lack of progress, the reply was that we were “both floundering”.

For me it was the wrong word. It conveyed a sense of losing one’s footing, not finding a direction, awkward scrabbling to get a foothold. 

Unexpectedly, I realised this was not how I was feeling. I think in the past that is how I may have described the feeling and given up or gone off in a different, ‘easier’ direction. In the spirit of Edison and the creators of WD40, my description was one of exploration, experimentation and examination. It wasn’t failure but a discovery of what wasn’t working and what I needed to do to make it work. 

In his book, Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill describes many qualities needed to achieve our goals. Among them are desire, decision and later, persistence. That is, be clear about what you want to achieve, decide to go for it and keep going until you get there.

“Floundering” would make one’s desire fade and the decision weaken, making the image of our goal fade. Experimentation and exploration widen the scope of that desire, adds colour and depth to the decision and gives the energy to persist to a successful conclusion which would be the achievement of our goal.

 What words are you using to describe this new situation we find ourselves in now? What are you thinking about it.? It is new and very challenging for sure, but consider what can we can gain from it. 

Above all there is a sense of coming together. In spite of “social distancing” there is more connection between neighbours that ever before as people reach out to each other through the internet and written messages put through the door offering support, encouragement and laughter. We seem to be discovering aspects of ourselves we didn’t realise we had. Courage and determination are two above all others, I think.

If you can, this weekend, when we are being blessed by warm sunshine at last, consider how your situation could be reframed to allow something different to come in that may, even in some small way, enhance this situation rather than make it grimmer than ever before.

Remember Einstein’s observation that a solution to a problem is never found at the level of the problem. It can only be found if the problem is approached from a higher point of view.

Be well. Be kind to yourself and others. Wendy

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