This card invites you to recognise the limitation of overthinking and trying too hard to work things out and the wonderful opportunity that imagination and creativity offer you.
The imagination can often be viewed and judged negatively as the ‘softer sister’ of rationality and logic, less grounded and more playful. So, despite our tendency to at times negatively judge, does the imagination have a vital role to play in our working lives and development?
You may recall the saying of the dog chasing its tail. Round and around, we go without end. Similarly, there is an old myth of Sisyphus, who was forced by Hades to roll an immense boulder up a hill only for it to roll back when it neared the top, repeating this action to eternity. So, if and how does this metaphor and myth speak to us? Consider both and see how you respond.
I sense personally and maybe for each and all of us that this metaphor and myth are closer to home and have meaning in our lives, more than we might imagine.
Our rationality and the way we think are often perceived as ‘King’ in that one of the greatest gifts of mankind is that we can ‘work things out’. We are great problem solvers. But is there an edge to this so-called gift? I believe that if you study any gift, you will discover equally an edge and limitation. Try this for yourself.
Eckart Tolle in his work speaks about the greatest hindrance to mankind being our tendency to over-think. In other words – we think that we can work everything out – but is this true? If it were true, then coaching, counseling, and psychotherapy may not have a place or relevance. What such professions may point towards is that we may at times face important problems, and need the presence of another person to help us to problem solve and find a resolution.
Often clients will come to coaching feeling stuck – “I have this problem and yet no matter how much I try, I can’t seem to work it out”. What does this experience point towards in our life? What are your thoughts?
It seems that logic and rationality can only get us so far. Whereas we may judge thinking – our rationality and logic to be ‘King,’ it also appears to have its own edge and limitation.
Consider your own life and the problems that you have faced. How much has your rationality and logic helped? How has it hindered?
It seems rationality and logic can take us so far and no further. I like to think of this with another metaphor – that there appears to be a ‘cul de sac’ to our thinking. If we overthink and try too hard to work things out – rather than moving forward and getting to the answer – we tend to find ourselves stuck and unable to move. Recall times when you have had a problem and find yourself ruminating – trying hard to work it out and going round and round in circles in your mind attempting to do so. This often happens at night when we despite all efforts, cannot a way forward.
Overthinking rather than providing the answer appears to be the problem.
So how can we find our answers and resolutions when rationality and logic lead us to a dead end? Consider this question for yourself and see how you respond from your own experience.
Let me ask you a few questions to bring this dilemma to life.
Consider a problem that you face right now. Bring this issue to mind. Reflect on how you have tried to solve it so far.
Now I am going to gift you a magic wand, and when you tap this magic wand it will give you whatever you have wished for. “ting….” That’s the sound of the spell being cast – tapping of the magic wand – “ting”.
With your magic wand, I invite you to step into the experience of having what you most desire. So “ting” imagine you are now experiencing what you have most wished for and desired.
What indicates that you have found your answer – what do you experience on your arrival?
Describe this in detail. then reflect upon what you are learning from the imaginary experience of having what you seek most.
What if any action will you take as a result?
And where are you now? You may recall the starship enterprise and the long-running series Star Trek. I used to marvel at their transporter system, whereby individuals could be ‘beamed down’ to any place in any new world. The imagination is a remarkable transporter system – rather than trying to work things out it offers you the rare chance to take a leap of faith and to be able to enter the experience of what you most seek. This inner transporter system bypasses rationality and logic to get you directly to where you ideally wish to be. What previously felt impossible suddenly becomes real and quite plausible.
To end, let me share the image that is associated with these words. This was a very special moment. Suddenly out of the blue, whilst observing the northern lights, I suddenly heard a meteor falling to earth. A shooting star is low and seemingly entering our atmosphere. With an instant of attentiveness, I managed to capture the whole event on film even though it was no more than a split second. When we are fully attentive, what we may deem to be rationally improbable and quite impossible can sometimes be more than plausible, it can happen.
Never forget you have a magic wand, and you can work your own magic especially when you find yourself stuck and unable to work it out. There is a set of vital inner tools – a set of 4 – including the magic wand, whose nature and use you can explore in much more detail if you so wish. Go to U tube and search “Essential Inner Instruments – introduction of a 4 part course”, and you will find an introductory trailer offering deeper insight into these vital inner tools of our trade, through one of the ‘Positive Psychology Online Courses’.
We don’t have to chase our tails.
We don’t have to keep pushing that boulder up the hill time and again.
You can instead work your own magic.
May you approach your problem-solving, less in your head and more with a wand in your hand.
May you discover how the imagination can serve and offer you a new and previously un-foreseen resolution?
May you discover the joy of transporting yourself to where you most wish to be, learning and making meaning from such experiences.