Reality or not
I’ve had several discussions over the past few days about our maps of the world or in Senge’s term: mental models. We each have ways of living in the world that allow us to navigate successfully. Red lights mean “Stop.” A classroom should be arranged in rows of tables with chairs facing forward.
The world we live in is the one that we construct. Not everyone uses the same construction. You may construct travel plans by getting recommendations from friends. While someone else may search for online trip reviews to seek out the best travel options.
We each use our own models and maps to deconstruct and reconstruct our world all the time. At work and home we constantly adjust to changing relationships and environments. We eliminate what isn’t working and construct an “alternative” reality.
The challenge for each of us is not that we construct reality using mental maps and models. The challenge is to be aware of them. Here are some questions to jumpstart making your models visible:
- What do I assume when I interact with people? Am I on guard or assuming they want the best for the situation?
- What are the assumptions behind my business strategy for this year? Am I operating from a sense of abundant possibility or scarcity?
- How can I be more aware of my assumptions about how things work?
In case you’re wondering about the “reality” of the photo – it was taken on the Interstate by a passenger in a moving car, holding the shutter open to capture the lights of oncoming traffic – zoom.