My son, Taylor, loves structure and order more than most in my circle of family, friends, and clients. He likes people, places, and things that make sense to him. He values consistency and predictability. For instance, he has little tolerance for professors who give unclear assignments and coaches that deliver non specific feedback during practice or performance. He has a math mind, I’ve concluded, and it’s a mind oriented more toward calculus than statistics – there are answers to problems, we simply have to calculate, sometimes quite a lot, to find them.
I tend to be more comfortable in chaos. I enjoy not knowing the exact route we’re going to take on our bike ride (adventure) and get a thrill out of discovering white roads (ones with no name) and seeing where they take us. This is how we ended up at the top of a mountain in France back in 2009 with no way down but reversing course. You see, we went off course, so to speak and even our garmin couldn’t help us. A couple elderly French women greeted us as if they hadn’t seen outsiders for decades. We dead ended in their remote village, they kindly refilled our water bottles, and away we went back down the white road that had led us to new discoveries.
Taylor has been embracing the chaos of BTL team practices and finding that he loves not knowing where it’s going until we get there. I love the structure he’s bringing to our AAR (after action reviews) and how his ordering mind is helping mine. You see, friend, too much order leads to boredom, stagnation, decline, and slow death. Too much chaos leads to instability, insecurity, and quick death.
You and I are designed to have one foot in each, so to speak. Order in chaos, I guess you could call it.
We need stability, good homes, warm fireplaces, trusted friends, meaningful work and accomplishment (the kind that helps us stand up straight with our shoulders back). And, we need to have one foot in the unknown, so to speak. We need to stretch ourselves outside what is known, try new things, make new friends, explore enemy territory, climb new mountains, and create new meaning in new ways. I’m currently reading 12 Rules For Life, By Jordan Peterson (Thanks Rogue) and he and I agree that excellence is found at the ever moving intersection of order and chaos. The elite, remember, take up residence, not in victimhood but in that really cool little village located just this side of chaos. The elite residence? Order in chaos.
What do you need, friend? More order? More chaos? What about your team? Who is helping you to lean against your tendency? Who illuminates your blind spots? What are you doing to challenge your habitual questions, behaviors, beliefs? Where are you taking up residence? Victimhood? Order in chaos? Somewhere else? What do you think? Tell me more, friend. Tell me more…