- TWIL (This Week I Learned)
This week I learned about the wilderness. The idea, I suppose, of the wilderness of “non-conformity” as if it’s a thing to strive for and not a temporary situation we sometimes find ourselves in as we work through something, as we struggle to either change ourselves, change our environment, or find a new environment.
The vignettes that shaped me this week included learning about a couple instances of people behaving badly and finding out, as happens sometimes, that instead of learning a lesson from the consequences of their behaviour, they were rewarded. It happens sometimes, folks.
And then I did (and will continue to do) a few silly videos on Instagram in order to be included in a group
<= Yes! I am writing that as if it were an initiation into a secret club. I am not making this up — I am relying on what I know about social media and our attention spans in relation to such to propel me to continue :) I am making a series of five “Reels” that should copy the style of this “secret group” (actually not a secret group but a lovely young therapist from Brooklyn who is dedicated to helping other, more awkward therapists/coaches excel at Instagram) The challenge for me is not only the silliness of it but also realizing how I want to show up publicly — what is
my message, actually?
And it has propelled me into the wilderness of sorts. Being in the wilderness ought to be a temporary and necessary struggle we find ourselves in sometimes, where we feel alone, and like we don’t belong. We make our way out by adapting: we change ourselves, we change our environment, or we leave and find a new environment.
“Our work on adaptive intelligence is based on the notion that intelligence is and always has been primarily about adaptation to the environment, broadly defined. To persist in a notion of intelligence that has proven worse than useless in solving, much less even addressing, societal problems is negligent. It is an ostrich-like act of scientists sticking their heads in the sand. We currently have three projects on measuring adaptive intelligence. These projects involve presenting students with real-world problems and asking them to define the problems, figure out ways of addressing these problems, and proposing possible solutions.”
We don’t stay in the Wilderness. We struggle, learn a bit about ourselves, and return to community. We adapt to community, the community adapts to us a bit.
I may be wrong — I may be projecting a bit and if so, please excuse me. But it feels a bit like the current zeitgeist is a bit wild, a bit wilderness-y.
I agree with Robert Sternberg that intelligence “has been primarily about adaptation to the environment, broadly defined.”
So — If you find yourself in a wilderness, this prompt is for you:
- Who do you believe you authentically are – your core virtues and values (Check this resource out if you want to learn more about your core virtues, values, and character)
- How do you need to behave in order to become self-actualized and prized as a contributing family and community member
So — and this is why wilderness time, though temporary, dangerous, and uncomfortable, is important. Returning to a still dysfunctional community where you show up (if you so choose) self-actualized, prized, and contributing…is challenging.
Obviously, if we all did our work, we would suddenly find ourselves in a functional community, and I think it’s no secret that this is my dream. But it does start with us.
So — How will you show up this week? Implement one small change to allow yourself to show up in a dysfunctional community self-actualized, prized, and contributing.
5. Level-UP / Go Deeper
If anyone is interested in getting together for (fun, lighthearted, but deep) evenings where we practice wholehearted conversation, let me know. I got the idea to use The Book of Questions to host small occasions to converse as I used to do with my kids when they were younger. Message me if this sounds at all interesting and I will further explain and keep you informed :)