“Daddy, it’s the weekend?! You’re not supposed to be working?!” – A friend of mine quoting his little boy.
This friend has a full-time job and he has a start-up he’s working on. Therefore, his time commitments don’t quite fit the normal patterns that his son expects. Isn’t that how we are as kids? We construct a paradigm for the world based on the patterns we watch on a regular basis. We construct a story and that story usually has predictability.
We ask ‘why’ when something breaks stride with the story:
- Dad, you don’t normally work on the weekend. Why are you working on the weekend?
This process seems to be essential throughout our lives in order to be oriented to something and not feel lost. Essentially, life has to make sense. But what happens when it’s more than a family member working at a time when they don’t normally work? What happens when the unknown becomes a known unknown?
Why do humans exist and where do they come from? Is there a God? Will this business that I love ever produce a stable income? And a litany of other questions that don’t have definitive answers. Without definitive answers, one has to acknowledge that our stories, while useful, are at best, incomplete constructs about life.
Depending on the context this can be very troubling because what we once held as reliable and predictable paradigms to live life by, are now shaky and have wholes in them. It would be like perpetual motion sickness… unless you learn how to work with the motion.
In my time as a Character Development Coach I have tried to emphasize the ‘Development’ piece. I have tried to remind myself that I’m in the process and I hope you’re in the process. I think a large portion of that process of development is allowing our paradigms and views of reality to expand. Our stories have to make room for those times in life when there is new information that lies outside of the patterns we have observed up until that moment.
In doing so, I believe we are more likely to find the courage to face the unknown. The courage to allow for and appreciate a multitude of religious beliefs. The courage to embrace the unique nature of those that don’t fit gender norms. The courage to embrace significant lifestyle changes. The courage to let daddy work on the weekend. The courage to build a business so you don’t have to work on the weekend.