From Balance to Harmony to overcome dilemmas

Whereas at first sight the title of this post might not be associated with my main themes of Curiosity and Creativity, it secretly is about that. You’ll see. Bear with me. I do have a point :-) There have been many inspirations for snippets in this post, but in the end it is the aggregate of at least 10 years of mental bubbles interacting, i.e. bubbling. If you recognise some elements, that’s most likely because we live on the same Planet.

Why Balance may not be all it’s cracked up to be

In this era of overwhelming complexity, the usual tip that I receive and I have a strong suspicion you do too, to deal with the complexity, is to “Find a balance”. I have always disliked that term, for one because it implies a status quo, or static situation, or in very negative terms a MAD-situation (Mutually Assured Destruction, a stalemate that allegedly brings you to not destroying each other. Yeeah, sure, if that’s what you want to bet on?)

Beyond Balance

The word “mix” is a bit better but also not very exciting. My preferred term to signify the general attitude on how to deal with all the seeming and potential contradictions that we find on our paths, is therefore another one: Harmony.

Now some of you may think they recognise the hipster-cheerleader-buzz book Art of not Giving a F***? In fact, I think it’s the (much) more subtle: Art of Turning seeming contradictions into new Pathways, or even making them irrelevant. As you may observe by the end of this post, when you master this Art it will be hard to deny that you are mastering Creativity. To Live, that is. And making the link to Creativity is how my writing becomes full circle, or as I call it: spiral. Because this new step brings us to a better place than before, not the same. More about that in another post.

From Battle, i.e., balancing the extremes

Now more concrete. Below I share a list of dilemmas and seeming contradictions that I regularly encounter, and that are usually formulated as stated here. I am sure you recognise some of them in your own life. These are common, and seemingly maddening dilemmas for which we usually choose to “sit on the middle”, “find the balance”, do “a little of this and a little of that”:

  • Taking a rest vs Being Dynamic: rest does not bring you anywhere but being in constant motion is tiring physically and mentally

And so on, and so on. It might actually be interesting if you take this list and run with it to add potential dilemmas that you think are relevant and interesting. Not that I want to impose, but, well… just do it…

… to Harmony, new pathways that make contradictions irrelevant

Ok, so these every-day dilemmas are probably recognisable. As is, I for now assume, the practical ‘solution’ to do a bit more of one or the other depending on the situation. Basically, when making that choice, the painstaking question is simplified to one dimension, with two extremes. Apparently, because that is how life works. One dimension, with two extremes…

Now, what I propose is to abandon that one-dimensional choice-space. I’m no expert but many of these issues are not solved by Yin-Yanging the bastards. It’s what I use the term Harmony for: respecting the complexity that we face and actually adding dimensions to the choice-space, that help to reframe the dilemma or make it irrelevant altogether. Let me give you some examples:

  • Taking a rest ‘vs’ Being Dynamic: sometimes you sleep and other times awake, aren’t you? You need both. Do what suits you, your body will tell you when you have had enough of one.

Overarching patterns

It should not be too difficult to derive some overarching patterns from these examples. Looking from where I am sitting, such a pattern would be dominated by explicitly acknowledging elements that are abundantly present if we only want to seem them, and use them: Rhythm, Co-existence, Inquisitiveness, Tilting to get a different Perspective.

And now I’m getting on too familiar ground, so time to stop. I just hope that the concept of thinking in terms of Harmony to put dilemmas in a new light and to work around them strikes a chord. Feel more than invited to apply it, and if you think you have interesting examples to share, by all means.

As most other posts, a previous less developed version of this one was published on The New ABC site

Chief Curiosity at The New ABC. Always Be Curious and forget “the box” altogether.