I remember as a kid we were inspired by a “Voice Over” style of TV show where the Narrator seems to be watching the same story unfold from the benefit of a different view. Unheard by the characters, the Narrator is free to make observations without impact or consequence on the story .
So my close friends and I thought this was cool and begun narrating every aspect of our stories in the third person…
“ Donald is such a cool guy” said Don, to which Richard replied;
“He would be a radical, way cool guy if he made Richard, a grill cheese sandwich, try”
Ya …the language of youth is often peppered with a vernacular incomprehensible to the traditional interpretation.
Or put more succinctly:
Ya … we had a heavy nerd quotient.
I was thinking of this bizarre ritual the other day, when considering how sometimes we see stuff happening in our very own lives, that looks like it is appearing on a screen before us.
Sometimes it feels like witnessing our lives in the third person .
And it just may be from that very perspective, is a place from where some of my best work comes.
In that place I become surgeon like.
I am not drawn down the rabbit hole of my emotional judgement surrounding any given experience .
Consider an event that evokes an emotional response for example.
The third person view allows one the opportunity to reflect on, not only the sensation of the pain experience itself but also where and perhaps even why the pain exists.
It affords the “Watcher/Narrator” the view to identify the underlying perceived threat that is at the source of the pain at the surface, and therein really provides the opportunity to grow or heal.
But, just like the TV show of my youth, growth and healing only happen when the noise of Narrator’s negative observations are muted to the main character.
Another bonus of taking the third person view with me when I go into an emotionally charged experience, is that from the seat of the Narrator, the observed me can first express himself freely, albeit silently, without the threat of manifesting any negative consequences in the world directly in front of me.
Wait … what?
Only our actions – Reactions– to any given circumstance- are our ways to manifest our thoughts into the real world.
Imagine this scene: It’s Wednesday afternoon there are people around a boardroom table, you pitch an idea, for some as yet, unclear reason someone laughs, you feel the flush in your cheeks that usually signals “ someone’s about to be ripped a new one”
From the snipers view, the Narrator intercedes and gently places a question in the your mind:
“ Why is that guy across the table making your blood boil in beneath your suit… I mean what magical power over you does he possess?” The Narrator questions above unfurling scene in the boardroom.
If I. can manage to be aware and consider that question, from the grassy knoll view, for a moment, I will have necessarily lifted my finger from the hair trigger emotion precisely prior to manifesting my own possible misinterpretation of the laughter.
For the possibility of manifesting our minds misinterpretations into real actions in the world around us, occurs only when emotion lures all our available resources to the scene … will, strength, power, and focus to rally us into action.
Action which is all too often summoned to the scene to combat some romanticized transgression which almost certainly lurks in the past or awaits in the future,
By assuming the less Trumpian position of “a fly on the wall” and viewing the experience from the third person, one actually has the power of viewing and considering all the players and options and thus really being the “best deal maker ever!”
Conversely when we allow emotion to draw us further into an issue we are succumbing to the beauty of a painting by Monet.
Because we cannot help but see our own emotion in the most poignant or gripping color schemes all with the soundtrack of our most heart touching musicians.
Where we are the artist.
By nature … our very own nature… we are seduced deeper into the story our emotions want to tell us, using our very selves as the illustrator and narrator.
And the story will without question occur in one of two places ..the past or the Future
It is incredibly hard to resist our own emotions as once drawn in slightly we become further engaged in the problem and slip further down the rabbit hole of emotion into a completely self absorbed view.
This is not to say that “pain does not appear in life” or that “life’s challenges should never make us emotional.”
The idea is that the less time we spend in problems and pain, the more time we can spend in other parts of life that we perceive as joyous.
However this is not advocating rushing through problems with a stopwatch.
Problems are really opportunities to learn and there is no way to sustainably accelerate the passage of time in any one persons life, so why set the KPI solely on problem processing time.
For example ineffective conflict resolution does not address the conflict it focuses on the damage caused.
So here we find ourselves … doing our best work from the seat of detached observation while simultaneously we are seduced into life’s distractions by the very best temptress our minds can create
As stated earlier the Key Performance Indicator should not be problem solution time alone .
But rather considering solution time as a function of growth experienced, would yield a better measuring stick.
The slowest thing about problem solving is our resistance to acknowledging the problem and that can only come from the third person view.
The weird and quirky view of freedom through the perspective of youth.
And so he started his day …