Visionmakers believe that Challenges, the first condition of uncertainty, are necessary if one is to grow into their full potential. Without a Challenge we are prey for the status quo which seeks to seduce us into a state of lethargy. Lethargic people are mostly unconscious. They never notice that their life is being sucked out of them just to feed the voracious appetite of stasis.
Visionmakers recognize Challenge as a chance to escape the gravity field of convention and cross into the future where one is no longer restricted and restrained by conventions of the past. This crossing, however, is demanding. One must be ready for the tests of heart, intellect and will that are unleashed by the atmosphere of creative tension, the atmosphere that accompanies Challenges and uncertainty.
As outlined in my post of December 9, 2008 entitled The Initiatory Nature of a Challenge, there are four essential functions that Challenges play in transformation:
• Challenges call forward our personal powers – including gifts, talents, character qualities, skills, aptitudes, knowledge, resourcefulness and creativity;
• They help us develop new personal powers;
• They teach "right application" of these resources;
• They expose that which requires change or strengthening in our nature.
Pretty efficient vehicle for empowerment! How we respond in the creative tension of a Challenge can often tell us more about who we really are than years of contemplation.
Many of us retired from the field of Challenges years go, preferring security and safety on the sidelines. Or, we chose certain predictable and controllable "challenges" like professional advancement to avoid other real Challenges, like emotional maturation through relationship.
Real Challenges are never predictable or controllable. They are tests of the heart, intellect and will and always carry problems, difficulties, tests and provocation. Challenges are a summons to our excellence.
Our response to challenge depends on our readiness. We must be willing to see Challenges as the inevitable encounter with the unfolding future and forget about shoring up our hiding place within the status quo. No matter how many defenses we erect, Challenge will be there waiting for us just on the other side of the false barricade we have erected, laying siege to our artifices.
Ultimately, Challenges faced and overcome provide a sense of being fully alive, engaged and well matched for the journey of meaning that we have been born to make. To a Visionmaker, a journey without Challenge is dull, boring and tedious. That is not a description of Visionmaking; it is a description of the status quo.
Welcome the first condition of Uncertainty into your life. Challenges are opportunities to leave who you think you are in the furrow to claim who you are destined to be.
© Patrick O’Neill 2009. All rights reserved.