When I’m coaching people in their creative process, one of the most important secrets I can help them with is what I call “unfoldment”.
In nature everything forms according to a mathematical relationship known as the golden mean or the Fibonacci sequence. It’s a complex principle if you get into it, but one of its simple expressions is the sequence of numbers where any number in the sequence is arrived at by adding the 2 preceding numbers…1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55,89,144 and so on. Spirals in nature expand out in this ratio.
So one of the things that I help my clients with is pointing out that nothing in nature skips any number in the sequence without losing its integrity. Naturally, each segment of a spiral expands at a rate of 1.618. You never suddenly see a segment blow out at 10 times or whatever. So, too, I explain to my clients, they are not going to go from being middle managers in government departments to being world famous inspirational speakers in one mighty leap, say.
There is no limitation in time, but resources that need to be gathered and competencies that need to be developed to create an end result must be built stage by incremental stage.
There is no limitation in time, but resources that need to be gathered and competencies that need to be developed to create an end result must be built stage by incremental stage. The guy that wrote the book on creating, Robert Fritz, alludes to this process when he talks about create and assimilate, create and assimilate, create and assimilate…
A nightmarish illustration of this unfoldment principle gone wrong is Donald Trump’s presidency, where his prior development in life enabled him to become president of the United States, but it is plainly evident in a non-partisan way to see that there were some serious competencies and resources missing to enable Trump functionally serve as president and maintain his political supremacy. Usually those chief executive qualities are developed serving in a preceding step such as a governor or senator, but he skipped out on that penultimate political building block, and look what happened.
One hit wonders in any field are also examples of ignorance of structural growth. It’s great and proper to have big dreams, but a conscious appreciation of the golden mean in life helps us to be chilled about where we are, which in itself is a creative imperative. And it also helps us get conscious about developing the next phase of our growth even as we assimilate what we have accomplished so far. Some grounding in reality helps magic go a long way.
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