Regenerative Capacity: What It Is, Why It Is Critical, And Why You Care

Equity must be a central feature of regeneration.  And, equity work can be done in such a way that is degenerative. Diversity, inclusion, equitable involvement, and valuation are crucial to regenerative capacity, and regenerative approaches are key to equity, at the individual, inter-personal, organizational and larger systemic levels.

Regenerative capacity is the capacity to generate again.  To generate the resources needed for one’s system, from within one’s system.  High regenerative capacity means that the system generates all of the resources it needs for its own sustenance, from within the system.  Low regenerative capacity means that the system depends on external sources for its sustenance.

Regenerative capacity invokes capacity (the nouns we have), with which we can generate (the verbs we have), again and again, (from the potential we have) as we grow and learn.  While the capacity to work depends on our nouns, generative capacity depends on our verbs and nouns, and regenerative capacity depends on our potential, verbs, and nouns.  Regenerative capacity is qualitatively different than generative capacity or capacity alone, in that it requires continuous alignment of our potential, verbs, and nouns, as we evolve over time.  This continuous alignment of potential, verbs, and nouns requires full engagement of all of those people who are responsible for the potential, verbs, and nouns.  This full engagement requires equitable participation in the continuous alignment.

Why is equitable participation critical for the continuous alignment of potential, verbs, and nouns in regenerative capacity?  Let’s first clarify what equitable participation means, and then what happens when equitable participation is weak, medium, or strong.  Equitable participation requires inclusion, diversity, and equitable involvement.

Inclusion is having relational access structures to resources, being part of the set of relationships with structures of access to the definition of desired impacts in the community, to determining who is to be impacted by specific efforts, to the factors that are used to decide these impacts and what is learned along the way.  This is to be included, from the Latin for being made a part of.

Diversity considers the requisite voices, those who have the required unique contributions needed to serve the group’s deeper shared purpose.  Diversity considers the processes for how these unique voices make their contributions to the group, honoring what they each bring.  Diversity in the contributions needed, in determining what is of value to the community and how the value is to be generated and received.  This is diversity, from the Latin for turning different ways.

Equity is treating everyone equally, in how they are invited for and engaged with their unique contributions.  This is equity, from the Latin for being equal, treated fairly.

Through ISC’s global research in 125 countries and over two decades of experience in social change systems, we find that the degree of equitable participation determines the degree of regenerative capacity, and that these are both fundamentally determined by the strength of the system’s agreements field.

The system’s agreements field is a whole, a whole that one experiences as a unity, a whole that includes the system’s deeper shared purpose, how it engages people in that purpose, in their unique contributions, in the creative energy their connection and service releases into the system, in the agreements of structures and processes that work with the potential, development, and outcomes in that engaged creative energy, in the ways that the system’s structure transforms that creative energy into the energy of products and services that other stakeholders value and desire, in the resilience of the systems in its capacity to generate access to the resources it needs for this purpose.  These are the dimensions of an agreements field, in how it engages and transforms energy into an energy that it transfers to others.  These dimensions and their levels within a specific system reflect the choices the people in the system make, either unconsciously accepting someone else’s agreements or consciously choosing their own agreements.

The strength of the system’s agreements field directly determines the degree of equitable participation it is capable of, and the level of regenerative capacity it can manifest.  A weak agreements field is degenerative, destroying or extracting value.  A strong agreements field is regenerative, creating and regenerating value.  This is why the strength of the agreements field is so critical to equitable participation and regenerative capacity, it shows where the choice points are.

The following table highlights the difference in low, moderate, and high agreements field strength for the harmonic generated from the synergy of the unique contributions, the basis of the economic power, the leadership’s focus, what is valued in the culture, the forms of equity, and what people understand by regeneration.

  Low AF Strength Moderate AF Strength High AF Strength
Harmonic remains unexpressed in counterspace (E3=0.0) expresses E3<1.0 in experience expresses E3=1.0 in experience
Economic-power basis resource power network power tangibilization power
Leadership focus (political lens) “the book” – one voice, of the founder processes of voice inclusion, to the best we can, for now (2-3 primary relationships) what I/you/we want and commit to for us
Cultural lens Value extraction Value creation Value regeneration
Social lens Coordination in value-exchange gesture Cooperation Collaboration
Equity form “hard,” difficult, at best, lacking AF to engage and transform works sometimes, in pockets “normal” part of who we are
“Regeneration” = embedded resource-extraction structures EFA explicit processes of resource co-generation transparent resource-regeneration structures EFABCD

When a system is able to generate a sustainable net positive flow of resources in the system, meaning that more is flowing in than is flowing out, the system is more resilient in its regenerative impact.  This net positive flow requires equitable participation.  The key inflow, whether it is revenues or other required resources, is determined by the value perceived from those who receive the value generated by the system, which requires a clear and continuous relationship with them to understand what they value.  This is the degree of impact of the system.  The key outflow, in some form of costs, is determined by the responsible ownership of the people who make up the system.  As the system grows and ages, unattended costs tend to rise, unless people are creative and responsible in the ways they work with the outflows, continuously learning how to improve the value generated from resources more efficiently.  Responsible ownership of all stakeholders within the system requires authentic participation, access, transparency, and communication.  Finally, the ability to maintain a net positive surplus of inflows less outflows requires resilience, the ability to shift with changes in the context over time.  This resilience requires that the existing elders and powerholders work closely with the emerging and rising leaders, all four generations, building on what has been learned, is happening today, is emerging soon, and will live on in the distant future.  These three ingredients of net positive flow—the inflows, the outflows, the ability to continue to generate a surplus—highlight the critical nature of equitable participation.

The weak agreements field is a system of embedded resource-extraction structures.  As examples, in the USA, we have the 2008 too-big-to-fail banking bail out.  In Europe, we have the residual artifacts of global colonialism.  In Africa, we have traditional aid examples from the IMF and the World Bank.

The moderate strength agreements field is a system of explicit processes of resource co-generation.  In the USA, we have town meeting in New England.  In Europe, we have the BUILDUPON initiative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from the building stock by 50% in the next 25 years, across all member states of the European Union.  In Africa, we have the Bokaap initiative to generate its own electricity, food, and water, creating independence from the national grid.

The strong agreements field is a system of regeneration as transparent resource-generation structures.  In the USA, we see RE-AMP and EAN VT, where states have taken on sovereignty of their own energy future, moving towards 90% self-generation by 2050.  In Europe, Renovate Europe has integrated the legal structures to support “nearly net zero” building standards for the whole EU, drastically reducing energy consumption.  In Africa, the SHIRE Alliance in Ethiopia developed local innovation ecosystems for the self-generation of electricity, run and maintained by the local community.

Regenerative capacity is the capacity of a system, of a group of people, to generate its own life-sustaining energy, a key proxy of its resilience.  Equity is a critical part of that equation.  A system’s regenerative capacity is reflective of the strength of its agreements field, which means that it is a matter of choice.  A choice of inclusion, diversity, and equity.  Your choice.

A hat tip to my colleague Curtis Ogden for inspiring this reflective exploration of regenerative capacity.

We Know The Energy Is There, Why Aren’t We Manifesting It? — 3 Keys to Unlock Impact

When you engage with a group, you feel the excitement about its potential. When you connect with a group’s purpose, you experience the energy it can bring into the world.  You know these are real–you experience them directly.  You know how that experience feels, inside of you.  It is probably what connects you to the group in the first place, to the purpose they aspire to, to the impact they can have in the world.

And you also experience that the group is not manifesting everything that you know, somewhere within yourself, it is possible for them to manifest.  In our group, we care, we try.  Why isn’t it happening to the level that we know it could?  ISC’s research finds these questions living in most groups, in most places where people come together to do something in the world.

What’s happening?  My colleagues and I have been working with these questions over the past 30 years, evolving our understanding of what is happening and how to deal with it.  Over the past 5 years, we have been deepening our understanding into the energy field of a set of agreements, which we call an agreements field.  We find that this energy field of agreements ranges from weak fields to strong fields.  This agreements field is a multi-dimensional energy field.

We have found that you can unlock the full energy of the agreements field with 3 keys.  Each key is uniquely configured, and you need to use all 3 to unlock the deeper potential energy residing within the agreements field.  The 3 keys unlock the flow of energy through the agreements field: (1) engaging the energy; (2) transforming it; and (3) transferring it.  Our global field research finds that people who use these 3 keys simultaneously unlock far more of the energy already within their agreements field.  Said another way, we find that most groups either (a) don’t use any of the 3 keys, leaving almost all of the available energy untapped, or (b) they use only 1 of the keys and only partially, unlocking a little more energies than others, but still far, far less than they could.  It does not seem to be a matter of being smarter, richer, or more experienced: it seems to be more a matter of consciously choosing your agreements.

We have developed a tool and process for assessing how well a group unlocks the impact potential already residing in its agreements field.  We call this the Strategic SCAN, as it lets us diagnose the group’s Systems understanding, Collaborative Capacity, Added value, and Network Readiness (SCAN).  With it you can assess how weak or strong your agreements field is, and what keys are needed to unlock more of its energy.

The potentially infinite energy available through human creativity and manifestation is available to you in every agreements field.  The question seems to be in whether you know how to unlock that potential.  The groups we have found that do unlock far more of that potential get far better results from the massive amount of energy they unlock.  These groups are not better endowed: they are consciously choosing to use these 3 keys, simultaneously.  It is a choice.  Your choice.

3 Keys to Unlocking Impact

Everyone talks about impact.  Social impact.  The impact they have on others.  What is impact, and how does it work?  Impact is the energy received.  “A strong effect on someone.”  In physics, impact is the force that is applied when an object comes into contact with another object.  Impact then is the shift of energy from one object to another.  Impact requires energy coming in, a transformation of that energy, and that energy being released to or received by another (depending on your vantage-point).  Most people seems to minimize their impact–the energy they engage, transform, and transmit to another–by keeping these required energy forms locked away.

When people are disengaged, they do not connect to the energy, the creativity available within themselves.  When our agreements are weak, we transform and scale very little of the creativity and energy engaged.  When we don’t actively know or engage the people we intend to impact, we transfer very little of the energy that we transformed.  Along the way, of all the energy and creativity that was available, little was engaged, less was transformed, and even less was transferred.  Not very efficient or effective.  Why do we do this?  Is it hard to do otherwise, to engage, transform, and transfer high energy?

3 keys can unlock this energy.  Over the past two dozen years, my colleagues and our networks of colleagues around the globe have found very straightforward, intuitively-obvious and seldom-used-in-coherent-ways tools for unlocking this energy for far greater impact.  We have found it in groups around the world, and we have learned how to see it, understand it, and develop it.  We found that the doors–the floodgates for this energy flow–have specific keyholes, requiring specific keys.  That’s part of the problem–the wrong key cannot open the door.  And, the doors all need to be opened together, with the right keys.  What are the 3 keys?  One key for unlocking the energy of engagement.  A second key for unlocking the energy of transformation.  A third key for unlocking the door to the energy of transfer, of impact.

1 — Key to Energy of Engagement.  This key has three prongs.  A prong of purpose.  A prong of unique contribution.  A prong of trust.  This key is the quest, “To what purpose do we invite your specific contribution, in a vibrant space of trust?

2  — Key to Energy of Transformation.  This key has three prongs.  A prong of tangibilization.  A prong of leverage.  A prong of resilience.  This key faces the inquiry of, “How do we integrate and leverage this energy engaged efficiently with resilience into impactful products and services, into relevant forms of energy?

3 — Key to Energy of Transfer.  This key has three prongs.  A prong of acceptance.  A prong of intention.  A prong of inclusion.  This key addresses the exploration, “Do the intended recipients want this transformed energy, and can they receive it?

Imagine the impact when not unlocked.  When these 3 doors–to energy engaged, transformed, and transferred–remain closed.  Not engaged, not transformed, not wanted or received.  You have probably experienced many situations like this, or at least on this end of the continuum.

In combination, these 3 keys unlock far greater impact, engaging and transforming purposeful energy that others want and are ready to receive.  Those who are engaging, transforming, and receiving the energy resonate with it.

Where have we seen this work?  The people of Vermont have taken on a radical shift, from complete dependence on external sources of energy for electricity, heating, and transportation to complete autonomy in their energy future.  Through a state-wide process over the past 10 years, people from many different vantage points (utilities, businesses, local and national government, communities, networks) have come together, each bringing their unique gifts to shift their whole energy system.  You can see what is happening in this work in Vermont by clicking here.  The people of THORLO work towards the preventive foot health of everyone, bringing more life to your everyday interactions.  Through decades of work on their culture, structures, and processes, they have found ways of interacting with each other and with their communities to bring greater creativity and vitality to everything they do.  You can see them tell their story by clicking here.  In New England town meetings, the people of each town meet annually to discuss and decide on their budget, together.  Their local governance structures bring the information needed to decide,  the people are informed, and come together to decide.  This model has existed for centuries.  You can see more about town meetings, as they are evolving and still practiced through New England, by clicking here.  Three examples, from civil society, business, and government, of how people use all 3 keys simultaneously to unlock the purposeful energy of impact.

While few people see and use these 3 keys, everyone has them.  They are right there, and there are many examples, in all walks of life, of how to use them, and how to measure them.  You have them.  You can use them, if you so choose.

If You Had the Time, Could You? — Recommended Readings

Barbour, Julian. The End of Time: The Next Revolution in Physics. New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.

Carroll, Sean. From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time. New York: Dutton, 2016.

Skow, Bradford. Objective Becoming. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press, 2015.

If I had the time, I would…  How would you complete the sentence?  Why does it seem like time can go by very slowly, at times, and sometimes it can go by very quickly?  How do we get lost in time?  How can we have such different experiences, and often different from others having the same experience, with this thing we call time?  What is it?

The short answer is that nobody knows.  What time is and why it exists have perplexed people for as long as people have asked questions.  We know that we can measure it.  Until we can’t, because it is relative to the observer, as Einstein taught.  At least we know it exists.  Until we don’t, as physicists have taught us.  So, what do we experience, why do we experience it, and is this experience useful?  Or does this experience mislead us?  In these recommended readings, two physicists and a philosopher explore these questions.

MIT philosophy professor Bradford Skow guides us through frameworks that describe our experience of time with the block universe and moving spotlight theories.  These theories provide possible ways of understanding, robustly, what it means to experience the passage of time.  Is time moving, or are we moving?  Is there one time or branching time?  Why does time seem to speed up or slow down?  Professor Skow invites us to explore the rigor of the underlying philosophical claims that these frameworks bring to these questions about our experience.

Physicist Julian Barbour invites us to explore time as a series or set of “nows,” where “time is nothing but change…change is the measure of time, not time the measure of change” (p2).  How can we understand our experience of time, if “time does not exist at all, and..motion itself is pure illusion” (p4)?  Building on Einstein and Mach, Barbour suggests that “The proper way to think about motion [change in space over time] is that the universe as a whole moves from one ‘place’ to another ‘place’, where ‘place’ means a relative arrangement, or configuration, of the complete universe…the universe…does not move in absolute space, it moves from one configuration to another…History is the passage of the universe through a unique sequence of states” (p69).

Cal Tech professor of physics Sean Carroll provides a relatively user-friendly exploration of the physics of the arrow of time, through an understanding of entropy, Einstein’s special and general relativity, quantum theory, and black holes.

For me these readings have opened up my awareness to what I am experiencing when I think it is time.  Seeing choice points, choices that otherwise I tend to lose in time.

Is It A Mission or A Mess-ion?

When most groups start up, they begin by defining what they intend to do in the world.  They use this defining exercise to bring others into their doing, whether these are people doing the work, people funding the work, or people impacted by the doing.  Many of these groups call this their mission.

Is it a mission or a “mess-ion”?  Saying that one is trying to achieve some impact for someone by doing something in a particular way is a form of a mission statement.  The statement might seem to be clear.  The who, what, and how.  The more fundamental question is whether this statement brings coherence to a group of people, in service to the impact.  This coherence, over time, requires a deeper set of agreements about what is being achieved, one’s connection to that purpose, one’s unique contribution to that purpose, the relationship one experiences in expressing one’s creative forces with others towards that purpose, and the efficient effectiveness of the group’s processes, structures, strategic focus, and invitation to include those being impacted by the work.  It requires a strong agreements field.  A field of agreements that clearly invites and connects people to a deeper shared purpose, to which they uniquely contribute in a trusting environment.  That is a mission.

That is not what most groups have.  Most groups have a mess-ion statement.  A mess is a set of interrelated problems that are treated as separate, unrelated issues, according to systems theorist Russel Ackoff.  A mess-ion provides misguided clarity for the direction of a weak agreements field—low engagement, transformation, and release of energy.  It might seem to be clear, but its just a jumble of wires going in every direction.  No coherence.  With a mess-ion there is no deeper shared purpose, no harmonic from combining unique contributions, no engagement and trust in the experience, no use of the engaged energy.  Little energy comes in and less goes out.

You can have a mess-ion, which will not do much, or you can have a mission.  The difference is huge, in what can be invited, engaged, and transformed for a far greater impact.  The difference is a choice.  You choose.

The Power of Choice Is Everywhere in the Field of Agreements That We Are — Recommended Readings

McTaggart, Lynne. The Field: The Quest for the Secret Force of the Universe. New York: Harper, 2008.

Braden, Gregg. The Divine Matrix: Bridging Time, Space, Miracles, and Belief. New York: Hay House, 2007.

What are we made of?  What is real?  From cosmologies as varied as the physics of string theory or quantum theory, the wisdom traditions, modern psychological research, and your own experience, they all point to a reality of interpenetrating dimensions of energy, generating a field of purposeful energy.  This energy is everywhere, always.  It is a field.  An agreements field.

These two authors describe current efforts to describe this field, from physics, chemistry, biology, psychological, social, and spiritual perspectives.  These descriptions converge on the existence of the field, that humans are part of the field–made up of the field–and therefore able to work with the power of the field.  Consciously or unconsciously, we are made up of energy, which Einstein described over 100 years ago [m=E/c2], and which quantum theorists proved over the past 90 years, and we align our cognition, emotion, and volition with this energy towards a purpose, our purpose.  We can do this because it is a field, a resonant field.  We are also that field, it is us.  Knowing how to use our energy is a matter of being human, of resonating with that field.  Deciding to use it is a choice.  A choice you have to be able to see.  The agreements field makes it visible and, thus, available to you.

10 Principles for a High-impact Life

You want to have an impact.  Your efforts are your investment.  The return on your investment is the impact.  The impact is the energy transferred, the energy that you generated transferred to someone else.

There are 10 principles for a high-impact life.  These 10 principles derive from the specific way agreements fields work.

  1. Identify your higher purpose.  Why you do what you do.  Choose to continuously ask yourself what your higher purpose is, and how it is showing up in your life.  As you get older and as your life circumstances change, your understanding of and your ability to work with your higher purpose changes.  This is the life energy that is yours to work with.
  2. Connect to your higher purpose.  Everything you do can be connected to and aligned with your higher purpose.  This is a deliberate and daily practice.  Most of us forget most of the time to connect to our higher purpose.  You can teach yourself to connect more and more continuously.  You can learn to connect more and more of what you do, all day long, to your higher purpose.  This is the purposeful energy that is yours to guide.
  3. Connect the best in others with your higher purpose.  In everything you do, you need others to bring their unique contributions, combining them with your unique contributions to achieve your higher purpose.  This is the power of the mirror that invites the best in each person to contribute to the harmonic of the energy that is yours to invite.
  4. Choose the vibrancy you experience.  Every experience you have consists in a set of relationships, with yourself, with another, with a group, with nature’s creative process, and with spirit’s source of creative energy.  Sometimes you experience low vibrancy.  Sometimes you experience high vibrancy.  When you experience higher vibrancy, you experience greater trust, greater energy, and more of your own creativity comes through, with others.
  5. Consciously choose the agreements about your interactions.  The outcomes and experiences we have are driven by our interactions.  Our interactions are determined by a set of agreements.  We unconsciously accept most of these agreements.  We consciously choose some of them.  We can choose to see and make conscious the agreements we want.  Agreements that engage healthier interactions, leading to better experiences and outcomes.  This is the power of the chooser, the alignment of intention, attention, emotion, and volition.
  6. Strategically leverage your actions.  You can simply do something.  Or you can do things in a way that is much more efficient, getting far more output for the same input.  You can also work with the underlying dynamics of a system to get far greater outcomes from your actions.  And, you can coordinate the work of others with you, in the influencing of multiple underlying dynamics, to shift the behavior of a whole system.  This is the dynamic energy of systems. The power of choosing the form your energies will take as they are transformed for others to receive.
  7. Connect and communicate virally. You can connect with others in ways that they can work with the purpose and level of your agreements, using the power of networks to greatly scale the number of people connecting to your higher purpose.  To connect with others, you need to understand what agreements they are able to see and work with, what they are able to grow into, the higher purpose they serve.  Knowing this, you can use this power of connection, of extension in space to others, of inviting others into contributing to a shared higher purpose.
  8. Increase the resilience of your contributions.  Your ability to continually impact the world, towards your higher purpose depends on a balance in the resources you need and the resource you have.  That determines your resilience.  You can be ever-more efficient in the resources you need to have the impact.  You can also increase your access to the resources you have through alignment of principles 1-7.  You can increase your impact resilience, the power of extending your impact over time.
  9. Define the reach of your efforts.  Your impact is the energy transferred from your efforts to others.  How you define the energy received by others defines the impact you can have.  Your impact is a function of (1) how many people you transfer to the energy too, (2) the geographies you can reach, and (3) the continuity of that reach.  Everyone everywhere everyday.  That is the greatest impact.  Is the impact continuous?  Does it reach people in all of the different cultural, social, economic, political geographies you want?  Does it reach all of the people in each of those geographies?  This is the power of system definition, the clarity of who is to be impacted and how they are impacted, the power of access to impact for those often marginalized.
  10. Align principles 1-9.  Most people tend to pay little to know attention to these 10 principles for a high-impact life.  Very few pay attention and align them.  It requires paying attention.  Attention to their deeper purpose, to their inner experience, to the outer structures they engage in, and to the impact their life has.  That is a lot of paying attention.  Is it hard?  In that it takes more attention.  Maybe.  Is it harder to have a low-impact life?  In the fatigue, boredom, and lack of purpose.  Maybe.  It is a choice.  A choice to work with each of these principles, and a choice to align them, towards a much higher impact.  To work towards strengthening the field of agreements.  This is the power of alignment, of choice.

To increase the return on your investment of effort, the impact of your life, you can choose to work with and align these 10 principles of agreements fields.  Towards a high-impact life.  A choice that starts with your own purpose.

Who Controls Your Impact?

The impact of your efforts is the amount of energy transferred, from the force generated by your efforts, to something or someone else.  There are five elements in your impact.  They each influence your efforts and subsequent impact.  The question is, who is controlling these elements?  You?  Consciously? Unconsciously? Someone else?  Consciously?  Unconsciously?

The five elements are:

  1. the purpose that determines the direction and magnitude of your efforts
    • why you are doing it and the intensity with which you do it
    • Is it your purpose, that you arrived at consciously, or a purpose that you accepted unconsciously?
  2. the framing of the efforts
    • your understanding of what to do, towards that purpose
    • Is it an understanding that you have developed and tested for yourself, or a “should” that someone else placed on you?
  3. what moves you
    • your feelings about your purpose and efforts
    • Do your feelings reflect your experience of the alignment of your purpose and your efforts, or are your feelings fed by someone else’s fuel, something they persuaded you to do?
  4. outputs of your efforts
    • choices made about what specific efforts to take
    • Are you choosing your efforts consciously, or are your actions guided by someone else?
  5. outcomes
    • the results, in the past, of your efforts
    • Are you choosing how you assess the outcomes of your efforts, or are you accepting someone else’s definition of successful outcomes?

I observe three ways that people engage these five elements of impact.

  1. Most of the Time” Impact
    • Most of the time, most of us human beings seem to be accepting someone else’s definitions of all five elements–someone else is completely in control of our impact.
  2. “Some of the Time” Impact
    • Some of the time, some of us seem to be in control of some of these elements–the rest of the elements are either under the control of our own subconscious or someone else.
  3. Choice” Impact
    • Every now and then, someone shows us how to integrate all five elements, at the same time, into one choice, a choice to completely control their impact.  They choose their purpose, their understanding of how to frame their efforts towards their purpose.  They experience whether there is alignment between their purpose, their experience, and the outcomes they achieve.  They adjust the choices they make about their efforts, along the way, learning from what increases impact in any given context. And, they choose how to define success, determining how they assess what actually happened from their efforts.

It seems that we Homo lumens are designed to be able to choose the outcomes, experience, interactions, and agreements we want.  Most of us do not, most of the time, letting someone else choose for us.  And, we are completely capable of making that choice, to control our impact–the energy we transfer to another through our efforts–for ourselves and by ourselves.  It is a choice.

 

 

The Power of Continuity

Does it make a difference if you care about what you do?  If you are really passionate and committed to what you give energy, or if it is just something that you do, because there is nothing better to do?  I observe that it makes a huge difference.  When I am connected to the power of that passion and commitment, I experience far greater energy.

Does it matter how much you are connected to that passion and commitment?  From not connected at all, to only connected briefly at times, to connected frequently, to connected much of the time.  I experience that how much I carry the commitment and passion with me influences how much energy I give to that commitment.  When it is high, I am a continuous ambassador for the passion.  Like with my family.

In our fieldwork right now at the Institute for Strategic Clarity, we are developing measures of this continuity power–the power of being connected to the deeper shared purpose, the love of the future for which I give my will.  In understanding the geometries of agreements fields, we are exploring how to assess continuity power as one of the key geometries.  “Continuity power” relates to (1) the gap between the desired and actual states of the deeper shared purpose, (2) the utility one has for closing the gap, and (3) the time that one is connected to that deeper shared purpose, of closing the gap.

Using the analogy of power, which is the amount of work done in a unit of time, and where work is the force applied over a distance, we see that the distance is the gap, the force applied is the utility to close the gap, and the time is the time dedicated to closing the gap.  Power = Work / time = (Force * distance) / time, or Continuity Power = Utility * gap / time.  Graphing out this function in the three dimensions shows an interesting geometry, where not all ranges of each of the three variables is possible.  We will be mapping this geometry and sharing the mapping of what we find in the world of human agreements fields over the next months.

This formulation also leads to some interesting initial insights, which we are now in the process of checking in the field.  Let’s work through the three elements: utility; gap; and time.  If the utility to close the gap is weak, maybe because of other priorities, then the work to close the gap will seem to be too great, which will lead to the need to reduce the gap.  The easiest way to reduce the gap is to lower the desired state towards the actual state.  This is a classic systems archetype, known as drifting goals.  If you do not see or connect to the deeper shared purpose, then the time connected decreases significantly, requiring much more continuity power to get the work done.  If the work to be done seems to be too much, this is probably a symptom of a low amount of time connected to the deeper shared purpose.  If it seems to be just too much work to be done to shift the system towards the desired state, then the easiest solution is to reduce either the force or the distance, the utility to change the system by closing the gap or changing the gap.

Conversely, as the time increases that you are connected to closing the gap between the desired and actual states of the deeper shared purpose, the continuity power required to get the work done decreases.  This suggests that it takes far more energy to move the system (to close the gap between the desired and actual states) when not connected to the deeper shared purpose.  It is much more efficient to move the system when connected more continuously to the deeper shared purpose.  It does seem to make a difference if you care about what you do, and how much of the time you are connected to that passion and commitment.  We will be field-testing these insights into the geometry of continuity power in the agreements fields over the next months, sharing here what we are finding.

 

Push Me Pull Me: How We Experience Higher Dimensions

Sometimes I feel the strong radiance of the sun, or a beautiful performance, or just looking at the face of my wife and kids.  I experience this radiance coming out of them, like it is pushing its way to me, and I bask in its outward rays.

I also experience an attraction in these same experiences.  A desire to be closer, more connected in the experience.  I experience this attraction as a pull, like they are pulling me towards them.

A push I get.  A pull I get.  A push and a pull at the same time?  How can that be?  Mustn’t it be coming in or going out, pushing or pulling?

When I experience something that I am part of, I feel both its radiance, its vibrancy, and I feel its attraction–the desire to engage more deeply in it.  If I think of the essence of these experiences as geometries with higher dimensions, with dimensions that include my four-dimensional experience of it in space (3D) and time (1D) and dimensions that include the experience of energy, of deeper shared purpose, of reflection, of witnessing, of the creative process, then I am experiencing many more than four dimensions in the direct experience I am having.  I know this higher-dimensional experience, and I know the experience of the simultaneous push and pull.

Now, what if I try to make sense of this experience from my “normal” 3D or 4D world?  In lower dimensions, I feel apart from the higher dimensions.  They are not “here now” with me, in my four dimensions.  They feel like something else, out there.  I can see and touch the table in front of me or the face of my child.  I experience being with them over time.  Those other dimensions are not here right now in the same way.

Feeling separate from them, I feel the push from them and the pull to them.

And, when I simply sit in the higher-dimensional experience, I feel like a part of it–no push and no pull, rather one with.  So, maybe I experience the push from something and the pull towards it when I bring only the lower dimensions of the experience into my awareness.  When I bring the higher dimensions into my awareness, I feel at one with.  Not apart, rather a part.

Hat tip to BB for sparking this insight.