Looking forward into 2021, we are still facing challenging times and the future remains uncertain so I thought to myself, why not ask Trep how the inhabitants of ‘PRPSINC’ handle unforeseen situations and extreme conditions, similar to what we are facing right now on planet earth.
So Trep, over the last couple of months you have given me a fantastic insight in the importance of authenticity and how to measure purpose. However, now, in these challenging times, I’m finding it hard to stay on track. The context in which I work continuously changes. Will it ever be the same, do I have to change my look on the options I have, how do I adapt, can I adapt?
Could you help me with that, how do you cope with this on planet ‘PRPSINC’?
Trep frowned and took a minute to digest this sudden question. Upon reflection, he smiled and gave me some good hints on how to look at things.
You know Henk, he said, with purpose it’s all about your unique way of seeing things and how you respond everyday to what you value most in what you stand for. Your unique way doesn’t have to be a fixed picture. It is also about flexibility in how you think about the decisions you have to make and the way you decide what’s right for you.
We believe on the planet ‘PRPSINC’ that there is no best practice, only an acceptance that there are different ways of looking at a situation. Looking at a situation from different perspectives helps you make improved and impactful decisions. Creating a broader context is an important part of the decisions we make. These decisions are of course still based on the things that are important but there is a way to challenge your decisions more deeply and wisely.
Maybe this alien way of reflection we use on my planet can be helpful.
When you are thinking about a decision you have to make, there is always a strategy behind it. These strategies evolve throughout the years and are based on your past experiences and ideas of the future. Throughout your life you are creating beliefs about how things have to be done.
We call them ‘filters’, the filters that guide the way in which we view people, events and information – “That’s the way we’ve always done it” “Don’t change what isn’t broken” How you look at the problem determines your decisions, seeing it from both sides or even more if it’s complex.
On our planet we have a special contemplation room where we can duplicate ourselves. Each duplicate contemplates the challenge from a different perspective, it’s like we are negotiating with different parts of ourselves.
In this way we create a more flexible way of thinking, can you imagine the more in depth solution we have created when we merge back into one form? That’s how we stay unique.
To give you an example of a dividing of thoughts. ‘The glass is half full or the glass is half empty’. In other words, are you focussing on the impossibilities or on the possibilities? Another filter is ‘within my control or out of my control’. When you are looking at a problem, try thinking about the things you can influence and not on what you can’t control. ‘Internally controlled or externally controlled’, are you following the advice of someone else or do you listen to your inner voice? It’s important to understand that neither of these polarities are ‘the best option’ to look at a problem. Sometimes it’s good to look at the things that are missing (glass is half empty) so you can react and anticipate, but seeing the glass as half full at the same time keeps you in a more positive state of mind.
Sometimes it’s wise to ask for help when you lack expertise (externally referenced) but it can also be smart to follow your own opinion. Looking at it from different perspectives gives you more space to decide, a broader view, and that can be very enriching.
So next time, when you think about how to fulfil your purpose by leading with your values, keep in mind through which filter you are looking at it, if there’s an opposite way of looking at it and base your decision on one or maybe both perspectives.
This is article 3 in Henk’s series with Trep. Click below to explore the full series.