In my last post, I spoke about reducing chaos in your life. I defined chaos as the vagaries of life, the unpredictable factors and events that happen to us.
If there is too much outside our control, we suffer. If things can easily happen to throw us off, we are vulnerable. If there is too much chaos in our lives, we don’t have the stable space to make meaningful progress.
However, if there is too little chaos, we become stuck in a rut, losing vitality and life. If everything is too tightly controlled, there is no space for magic to happen. And so the proper way is balance. We must have the calm conditions we need, but we must also have chaos under control and knowing how to deploy it and when to unleash it.
Chaos is chance, possibility, unpredictability. It is in these moments that there are great upsets – down becomes up, up becomes down, empires crumble, empires are born. These can be powerful moments disruptive moments in time.
It is chaos that offers us our big breaks. It is chaos that births opportunities. It is chaos that provides us with the chance encounters with the people and ideas that change our lives. Chaos is all around us. Chaos is how we get lucky.
So how do we use chaos? What can it do for us, and how can we cultivate the right amount of it?
Shake things up
Routines are great. They are the powerful systemic actions that combine over time towards an ultimate goal. Ruts are not. They keep us stuck doing the same thing over and over without a point. We have all the action but no spirit, no change or dynamism.
It is easy to lull ourselves into a false sense of security. We build our systems and patterns, they work well enough to keep us comfortable and soon we manoeuvre ourselves into a cosy box.
But life is dynamic, things are always changing. To build resilience, we have to introduce chaos every now and again. We have to shake things up.
Do something different, do something out of character, step outside of yourself and stretch.
Take a different route, shop at a different store, take a trip to a different country, write with your other hand, do something different.
Re-connect with the excitement, with the spirit of why you began this journey and tap into that energy.
Increase your chances of getting lucky
If you are a business person, or a professional, or a creator, you should be increasing your chances of getting lucky. You should be prolific, putting a lot of work out there, putting it in multiple places, getting in front of as many eyeballs as possible. the more randomness you expose yourself to, the higher your chances of getting lucky and hitting a big one.
It is no good being the best at what you do, if the people who need you the most don’t know who you are.
Think about what you need to happen and work on ways to increase the odds of that happening.
Use chaos to stimulate creativity
Nothing stimulates creative thinking like a good crisis. At least once the initial panic has died down.
It pushes us violently out of our comfort zones and we are forced to adapt or perish. It causes us to react, to pull from reserves we didn’t even know we had, and bring the full force of our resilience, creativity and skills to bear.
We get more creative when we are stimulated. When there is new information or experience. We can use chaos to get our juices flowing, breaking the rules and putting things together that have no business being together to jolt new thinking and ways of looking at things.
We can do this by being active problem seekers and solvers, by stretching beyond what we are presently capable of, by swinging for the fences. Using the fires of these experiences to deepen our creativity and skill.
Use chaos to destroy
Sometimes what you need is a good blow up, the option to destroy whatever isn’t working. Sometimes despite our best efforts, things just don’t work out. Mistakes are made that can’t be taken back. Or we build a thing and it just fails.
Not everything works out.
Sometimes, it’s okay to burn it all down and then start again. And a good crisis can be a great instigating event, or cover.
Use chaos to create change
In moments of chaos, there is great opportunity. The opportunity to change, to do something different, to create something new. It is the chance to reinvent yourself.
From the ashes of the old, rebuild the new. Allow chaos to open up new ideas, new ways of being, new ways of engaging and new things to strive for. And create something even better than before.