Disruption is quite a buzzword.
For many, it’s almost a mantra, something to seek to grow, innovate and stay ahead.
The word itself comes from the Latin disrumpere, meaning “break apart, split, shatter, break to pieces.”
A disruption is then a disturbance which interrupts an event, activity, or process. Something that alters your balance and forces you to find a new one.
Everyday life is full of disruptions. Some are very small, others are bigger, but they all alter the course of your life.
You can try to predict them. But if you can predict them, they are not really disruptions, are they?
What you can do is to prepare yourself, so when something knocks you off your balance, you know how to find a new one.
And if you fall – because let us be honest, we all sometimes fall – then have the compassion to acknowledge your humanness so you can learn how to improve your balance.
We took Perla, our family dog, out for a walk.
It was a year since the last time we took her out. We have a garden where she can play and run undisturbed, and we don’t have woods or parks at walking distance. But once in a while during the summer, we take the car and bring her to the river.
So, we decided it was time for a small summer trip and some jumps in the water.
So we took the leash, and she immediately understood what was going to happen.
You should have seen her. If joy could have any form or shape, that would be Perla at that moment.
I barely had the time to open the car, and she was already there, waiting to go.
That enthusiasm towards life.
The joy in her eyes.
I want to feel that.
There is something so pure and magical in her look.
How would life look like if I could be a bit more like her sometimes?
“Dogs have boundless enthusiasm but no sense of shame. I should have a dog as a life coach.”Moby
There are many “have to” in my typical day.
I’m quite sure it is the same for many.
I have to do this or that.
I have to be there.
I have to finish this.
I have to leave.
I have to write something.
I have to go.
Even now, just writing these few examples, I was holding my breath.
Most of the time, I’m not aware of all of these “have to”, but I just came back from two days free from them where my senses woke up.
Two days in the mountains, with my best friend, doing only what we wanted in the moment.
Sure, we had a plan, sort of.
But it was only useful to set the stage in advance.
Since the moment we left for our weekend out, we only followed our intuition.
It is so powerful.
Time almost disappears.
Now I need more of this in my average day.
Plan in advance to set the stage and then follow my intuition.
For almost two decades, I worked in the digital industry. Over the years, I observe the same pattern in many products or services.
It starts with a smart and simple solution. Sure, usually it’s not perfect, a bit rough on the edges and with some small bugs, but it works.
So people love it and use it, and the product gets traction. Users ask for improvements and new features, and the software begins to grow. The developers add new layers of code. Maybe they are even new developers, hired to keep up with the success of the solution. Every now and then, someone wants to leave a footprint on the product, so new pieces are added. Even if they weren’t asked for.
All works fine until, all of a sudden it doesn’t. It may be because a new competitor enters the arena disrupting the game. Or something turns the industry upside down. Or maybe it’s just a nasty bug that compromises the whole product. Whatever the reason, a radical change to the core of the product would be needed. The problem is that there are so many layers that nobody knows what to do. They all worried that even the slightest change, would crumble everything.
Some stick to what they have until they slowly become irrelevant. Others rebuild everything from scratch because it’s easier than changing what is.
My feeling is that something similar happens to people. While we climb the ladder of success, moving forward in our career, we add layers over layers. Success and failures, experiences, knowledge, skills. We keep adding following a linear path. Until something disrupts our journey to the top, or maybe we get to that top, and we discover that our core is covered by so many layers, we can barely remember who we are.
I guess it happened to me at least once or twice. Likely for me, I always found people who helped me clear out all those layers and see what wanted to emerge from my core.
This too shall pass.
It’s a Persian proverb coming from a Sufi fable. Just four words yet so much power.
These days are, at least for me, a reminder that impermanence is part of life and nature. So many things that we believed immutable have been turned upside down. All of a sudden, some habits have become old, and we left them behind while new ways are emerging.
This is quite normal in nature. The old plants die to leave space for the new ones.
The idea that sooner or later, everything comes to an end, may sound sad. But when we accept that impermanence is part of the perfection of life, it is liberating. At least that is how it worked for me.
It doesn’t avoid the pain that comes with any ending, but it transforms it in fuel to move forward instead of suffering that holds you back.
This too shall pass.