Living in complexity

I love Esthel Perel work on love and relationships, but recently she’s been talking also about work relationships. Yesterday I listened WorkLife and their conversation really made me pause and reflect.

No black and white: most of us grow up learning that there’s a right and wrong way of things. If we do the wrong way, we are bad. The older we get, the more we realize that 99% of time, it’s not that simple. Life is more complex and it’s not necessarily a bad thing, it just is. I am still learning to absorb the concept because it makes things more complicated, obviously. Everything takes longer to figure out, and no easy solution to get over with it. My rational self know this is the case, but when something hard happens, I just want quick solution to get over with it. What I am learning slowly is to pause and actually go through the complexity and layers of the issue, so I can get a full (or near full) picture and make an informed decision. Often time, when I rush to act, I’d regret later for acting impulsively. Still learning.

Autonomy vs. loyalty: they discussed what we seek in other people is a reflection of how we grow up. It made me realize that I’ve grown up to value more autonomy than loyalty. My parents didn’t need me to prove them I’m loyal to them, I’m their only child. I was forced to be independent and figure things myself as they were busy making a life when we immigrated to Argentina bare handed. This experience makes me to prefer to solve things myself first before asking for help. But I realized that not everyone was brought us this way and their first instinct might be different.

Conversation vs. debate: when we engage a talk with someone, a peer for instance, we maturely tend to want to win the talk, turning the conversation to a debate, as to prove we are superior. At least I have this tendency which is really not good. A conversation is two or more people sharing their points of view, listen to others, absorb what they need, and respect different opinions. I need to remind to ask myself when starting a talk to decide whether I want to make it a conversation or debate.

Power: what is to have power over someone? Esthel introduced a concept that I thought was insightful. Power is not related to hierarchy, power is not just influence, to have power over someone or something could be indirect influence toward a middle person/thing to achieve the ultimate outcome. Exercising power over subordinates are “easy”, having power to determine/influence the ultimate outcome is hard. It’s an art.

When I listen to a podcast or read a book that makes me reflect beyond the time I am listening/reading, it makes me so happy. It makes me feel young as I keep learning and keep having AHA moments! πŸ™‚

Working from home is getting easier, actually I am appreciating it more once my perspective shifted. It’s back to the mist of the pandemic when we were forced to be at home 24/7. I am grateful to be there when the girls wanted to show me something fun they did in class, I am grateful to give ideas to the girls for their assignments. I am grateful to take lunch break with them. While I’m less productive at work, especially for creative thinking, I enjoy it. I think I’ll choose this way even when office reopens next week on days that I’m mostly in meetings and not have to do creative thinking.

I took a walk with Sofia after dinner. Her thinking is more mature so we talked about more complex issues. We talked about what’s a debate, and why it’s important to do research and listen to different opinions to form our own opinion so you can defend it. I’m amazed that her school is teaching them to do “research”. Honestly, I didn’t know what is research until I was in grad school. And now at 2nd grade, they are being asked to do research on a subject (at their choice) by forming questions first, and then read materials to find their answers. OMG! πŸ˜†

One thought on “Living in complexity

  1. I also really have been enjoying learning about many different topics lately. I think when I was in my 20’s I just didn’t have this kind of thing on my radar as much. Granted, my boys were babies and maybe I just didn’t have the mental bandwidth. But I think my 30’s have definitely been a decade more focused on self growth, improvement, thinking more deeply, etc. I really enjoy it! I like the comment above about the conversation vs. debate. That’s good to keep in mind. I think we are all guilty of that… πŸ™‚

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