When I was in elementary school - Berry Hill, Syosset (hi Mrs. Geary) - we had a playground in the school yard. Swings, parallel bars, slide and a seesaw were part of the lunchtime fun. I loved the thrill of the swing, the whoosh of speed in the back 'n' forth and the brief moment to see above my kid-sized line of vision. In the seesaw, I had the same opportunity with a slightly different challenge. The up-bound seat provided a rare, high up view. Once the other rider pushed off with their feet, I prepared my Keds for their landing where the ground-side view was safe and familiar and represented a bit of a rest.
When we make choices or decisions, we often reach inside our minds, going through a catalog of past experience and knowledge to make the best possible ones. We look to our memory: 'How have I handled this before? What happened the last time something like this happened? Remember so-and-so who told me X about this very situation?' This is like having your sneakers touch ground, solid territory, where they've been before and where they know the path can be found.
Another place we look for our decisions and conclusions is in our imagination or creativity. Sometimes referred to as 'out of the box' thinking, it's that opportunity to try on a new 'what if' paradigm and open ourselves up to a fresh perspective on what otherwise might be familiar territory.
Our memory is a great tool to find relevance in the 'somehow-connected' assortment of past lessons from which we make new choices. It can be comforting and empowering to know we've already dealt with or have meaningful wisdom to handle what, initially, may have appeared to be something new. It can also limit the possible range of success we enjoy as the only possibilities are those within our knowledge, our past experience.
Reaching into our imagination, either on our own or with the help of a brain-storming group, trusted advisors outside our business affiliation or a coach who seeks the source behind the sympton can add an array of possibilities that may never have been explored before. And, this form of forward-looking problem-solving adds to our collection of wisdom and experience so that, when asked by the next solution seeker, we'll be able to add something new to their future memory banks.
Whoosh - slide going up? Or slide coming down?