Allowing vs Pushing

Why is it that we sometimes push things so much in life?  There are times we need to move projects forward, businesses forward, drive and motivate the team, however this is different to pushing something to happen. Understanding when to push and when to allow. 
Let’s look at the story of the man and the butterfly cocoon as an example. 

A man found a cocoon of a butterfly. One day a small opening appeared. He sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to squeeze its body through the tiny hole. Then it stopped, as if it couldn’t go further.

So the man decided to help the butterfly. He took a pair of scissors and snipped off the remaining bits of cocoon. The butterfly emerged easily but it had a swollen body and shrivelled wings.

The man continued to watch it, expecting that any minute the wings would enlarge and expand enough to support the body, neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around. It was never able to fly.

What the man in his kindness and haste did not understand: The restricting cocoon and the struggle required by the butterfly to get through the opening was a way of forcing the fluid from the body into the wings so that it would be ready for flight once that was achieved.
Sometimes struggles are exactly what we need in our lives. Going through life with no obstacles would cripple us. We will not be as strong as we could have been, and we wouldn’t  fly.

Being the victor and not the victim is highly important in enabling us to take control of our struggles and see the learnings. Enabling us to move forward being the better versions of ourselves.  Our struggles are where the biggest learnings lie. How can we learn to become stronger if we haven’t been through those struggles?  

Reframing the struggles and taking control of them will empower us. Tweak the lens enough to see it as a positive. What lesson do I need to learn in this problem, struggle or issue? Enabling it to help us learn and grow. 

When we look at our business there is a fine line in ‘allowing’ and ‘driving’ things forward, we do need to have goals, visions, passion a plan. We can’t just sit back and wait for things to happen, but we also need to allow life to also happen without pushing against it too much. 

I have learnt that sometimes if I’m pushing too hard and the door doesn’t naturally open, maybe that particular door is not meant to open at that specific time. I have learnt to sit and reflect on it, and check the environment is right? what is the reason that we cannot move forward with this project or piece of work. It might be timing, it might not be the right project, it might just need tweaking but there will be a reason for it. 

What is It that we need to learn here? Think of a past problem or struggle that you have had? What was the learning in it for you? Did you need to tweak or adapt something to enable it to work for you? Or did it naturally fade away? Did something better come along as a result?

Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like – Lao Tzu 

The man in the butterfly story was only trying to do his best for the butterfly, however part of that butterfly’s journey was to struggle through that cocoon to make it strong and robust enabling it to fly and sore through life. Remembering sometimes that our struggles can be our friend. Tweaking the lens.

All the best 

Picture by Bankim Desai

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