Games worth playing and openings for action
In taking on big commitments, games worth playing, there will always be failures. Dealing with them effectively requires a special sort of environment, a way of being, in which what we have taken on creates an opening for action—like a “being toward” something.
When things occur for us as a failure, it’s an interpretation, not a fact. (The idea that we can alter how circumstances occur for us is a central precept of transformation.) “The world is out there, but descriptions of the world are not. The world does not speak. Only we do.”* When we know that, a word shaping world becomes a very real thing.
Possibility is not real at its origin—it’s something we create as real, and then stand for as a reality. The conditions and circumstances will never be perfect. But in standing for a possibility, having the kind of courage that comes from a bold commitment to make what we set out to do happen, life is seen and related to differently—it becomes about redefining ourselves and reality at large.
When setbacks, missteps, and failures occur, instead of getting stuck in a downward spiral (which can sometimes be the worst kind of stuck), we course-correct, discover, and create magic along the way—improvisational flexibility becomes an essential art. Failures become a platform, a ladder, a means to fulfill the game we’ve taken on, and what it gives birth to, and what it attracts, what we can make happen, has the power to reshape the course of events.
*Richard Rorty, Contingency, Irony and Solidarity, 1989
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