Performance Strategy II: More on Structure

As strong as an oak and as supple as a reed.

When thinking about structures, planning etc.. it’s easy to forget how important it is to maintain a high degree of flexibility in the structure we create. Look at structures that work, and you can be sure that they are all designed for or have evolved to be able to move and adapt to changing conditions. Look at sky scrapers. At their top, these structures move alot – sometimes metres, as they sway in the wind. They are designed to move with natural forces like wind, or tremours in the ground. If they were completely stiff they would buckle and break. Our bodies are similar. The skeleton, and our amazing array of muscles, nerves, and fibres are all designed to provide a strong structure with regular connections and processes. But it also is capable of movement, of absorbing different shocks, and withstanding different stresses – both physically and mentally.

So when you create your own structures, don’t forget to build in some tolerance. If a structure is too rigid, if it is incapable of adapting to changing conditions then it is going it is going to ultimately be less valuable and less supportive than if it is able to adapt to the ups and downs of life.

A lot of this comes down to mental attitude, and consciously developing mental agility. But it’s not all about the mind. The condition of our body, and especially the spine and nervous system is a fundamental part of the mix. The body’s psysiology always reflects where you are in life. How can it reflect anything else? This means you can also lead change by working with the body to develop new patterns and learn to use tension more resourcefully. There are various ways to do this. The most effective ways I’ve found include Tai Chi and Qi Gong, and Chiropractic, especially Network Care, developed by Donny Epstein.

If you are already working on mental agility, adding one of these to the mix at the right time, can really ramp up the process of transformation, because the body and mind will be working toward the same target rather than working against. In fact, if you’re well on the way mentally, odds are you are already starting to engage in activities that use the body differently, and that engage the body and mind as one. Think back to an experience where your body and mind were fully engaged. Maybe it was at a yoga class, or playing sport, swimming, or skiing, dancing or making love. When you find yourself in the zone, your body and mind are just flowing.

How have you suffered from inflexible structures – your own, or those around you?

What can you do today to support the creation of more supple and flexible structures in your life?

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