Drawing from their diverse knowledge base, they are better able to create abstract models and apply their knowledge to situations that have never before been encountered. Specialists, on the other hand, tend to fall into the same thought patterns and resort to the same problem-solving tools. In any case, when you find yourself feeling stuck, taking time to transition creates fertile ground to do the deep work of defining your intrinsic values and trajectory.
Fertile Confusion is a state in which you refrain from seeking easy solutions or reverting to old patterns long enough to advance a new, complex endeavor. The confusion arises with the desire to keep things safe and the soulful push to shake things up out of integrity. Meaningful, creative work and existential transitions call upon this fertile confusion often.
It demands that you step outside of your comfort zone to experiment with new ideas and possibilities, but more importantly, to simply pause and think. We get caught up in the day-to-day stress of reaching our short-term goals instead of focusing on the long-term ones. When you next find yourself in between projects, campaigns, books, jobs or whatever it may be, try these practices to cultivate a sense of purpose and plot out your next step:. View the fertile confusion you face as a quest, an opportunity to grow, rather than a difficult decision to make.
It is your chance to redefine yourself and your work. Check in with your values and question if the path you're on aligns with them. You can get easily discouraged in these times of transition because there is no one else to guide, applaud, or redirect you, so establishing checkpoints beforehand can help give you encouragement to continue on your journey. Convert your uncertainty into an experiment.
Rather than worry about the possible results, test your hypotheses. Are you unsure if your new product idea will sell? Create a prototype and find out. Are you unsure if you want to stick with a topic of influence? Develop a talk and start testing it in front of low-stakes audiences.
Allow yourself the time to really explore, create, design, invent without judgment. If your hypothesis fails, then adjust the variables and try again.
We learn by doing, and our uncertainty leads our mind down treacherous paths. Approach your work like a scientist and the way will become clearer with each step.
While only you can determine the course to take, you cannot create and grow in isolation. We are social beings and we need our creative pack as support and sounding board when embarking on a new project or enterprise.
Find the right collaborators, confidantes, or mentors to help you do three things: Get perspective on your vision. Help you build the skill set or craft set necessary. To find meaning in our work and purpose in our direction, we need to break out of our habits — be it through sabbatical or a deep dive retreat — to look inward. If we can learn to accept Fertile Confusion that arises during such transition periods, we can emerge with renewed confidence , clearer vision, and a reinvigorated mission.
Rather than request permission, you can define your own goals and standards. How range, not just specialization, preps us for success. Back Psychology Today. Back Find Counselling. Back Get Help. Back Magazine. Subscribe Issue Archive. Back Today. The Power of Rituals to Heal Grief. The Positives of Dyslexia. A single from his album There Goes the Neighborhood , the track peaked at No.
I often receive emails that go something like this: “Henri, I'm confused about my direction in life. I don't know where to start, or what my passion. "A Life of Illusion" is a song by the American singer-songwriter and multi- instrumentalist Joe Walsh, which became a hit and one of his most recognizable songs.
Walsh recorded a version of the song with his first solo band, Joe Walsh and Barnstorm. Written with Barnstorm cohort Kenny Passarelli, they laid down an initial version but never released the tune.
Instrumentally, the drums, bass, and trumpet mix rock with Latin flair, the rhythm guitar complementing the beat. After dropping that bombshell, Walsh executes one of his typically rocking guitar solos, quite reminiscent of his work with the Eagles. Instead, should we just accept that life constantly changes and may throw obstacles our way Ignoring or avoiding chance and randomness, Walsh apparently argues, is an illusion by which we are frequently deceived.
April 2, by Kit O'Toole. Share this:. About Latest Posts. Kit O'Toole.