Disruption, balance, and equilibrium

This week I head into super-blogging mode at the HRD event held by the CIPD. I need to get those muscles going, so make an offering today.

We all amble and fumble through life wanting to achieve certain things. Sometimes we have a clear idea of what these things are, and sometimes we don’t. It’s a proven methodology to set goals that are SMART and how it can help focus the mind. What had also been proven is the need to balance your goals so that you don’t push yourself beyond your capabilities, abilities, or competence. I may have a desire to fly a fighter jet, and I could set a clear goal to get there, but I am keenly aware I may never be able to do this. The best I may have to accept is being a passenger.

Through positive psychology, I advocate carrying out daily and regular activities that enable you to be your best. Through concerted and disciplined efforts, we can increase our well-being and lasting sense of happiness. I think that’s important, and is available to everyone. I want people to thrive, and this is why I do the work I do. People at work have no less opportunity for living a vibrant life, than those who have money to spare and the time to reflect on such things.

For some of us, we even think about our own self-awareness. That is, I understand how to take on information about how I am acting, and how this impacts others. With this understanding I am able to moderate my behaviour (if I choose to), and effect change. This is what it means to be self-aware. Not all of us have the capacity for this, and even few of us see this as a thing to do.

It’s one of the hardest things to help people understand on courses or workshops. There are good ways to help make things happen, or you can beat the drum to the same beat you always have. If you want to change, it means disruption. Something in you needs to be disrupted. The status quo isn’t acceptable. I’m not talking about organisational change or commercial imperatives. I’m talking about the person reading this. The person listening. The person hearing. Something in you needs to be upset. Whatever balance you think you had needs to be disrupted. It needs to be disrupted because you have a desire to be different, but are not sure what this looks like.

One of the absolutes in life is uncertainty. We have no idea what tomorrow holds – in many cases we don’t even know what happened yesterday. That uncertainty causes us to experience happiness and sadness in equal measure, as we choose to see it. That uncertainty, counter-intuitively, provides us with balance.

This balance we have in our lives, everything hinges on this. I choose to work the hours I do. My contract may stipulate it, but I choose to be part of a company where I can work the hours suitable for me. I choose to exert my efforts to the capacity I want to. Whether I am engaged or not is irrelevant. If I want to be productive, I will be. I choose to spend time with family as I see best. No one can influence that but me. I choose to socialise in ways important to me. Regardless of others expectations or desires, I do this my way.

When we are confronted with something that causes us to be disrupted, that balance is thrown off. Our equilibrium needs to be re-calibrated. This is why I do the work I do – and why I connect so keenly with others through the likes of Twitter and this blog. We are expert at causing that equilibrium to be disrupted so you review that balance. I design solutions and interventions that help to regain that balance for a period of time. Key to this, though, is that this balance is only ever temporary. Because, as humans, life is never stable. That uncertainty is always rearing its head.

Call it flow, call it balance, call it life – it amounts to the same thing. I have this sense of life based on what I choose to do.

What do you choose to do?

Published by

Sukh Pabial

I'm an occupational psychologist by profession and am passionate about all things learning and development, creating holistic learning solutions and using positive psychology in the workforce.

4 thoughts on “Disruption, balance, and equilibrium”

  1. I don’t think I’m clear here what you’re saying actually.

    I don’t think workshops are the place in which to provoke disruptions – is that what you mean?

    Not sure either that I agree that disruption “needs” to happen; As I’m writing, I’m calm, but life around me is so disrupted. Looking calm but full of interruption, disruption, eruption, ruptions. It’s life.

    I’m not sure people come to work to be disrupted by others.
    Overall I’m not sure.

    1. Meg, in honesty I think I lost my way with today’s writing. It’s not clear what I’m trying to say, and reading it back even I’m lost.

      Thanks for calling me on it.

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