Part of learning and doing well is recognizing patterns for what they are. Consumer behaviors, client reactions, and warning signs leading to outcomes are repeating patterns. These are not the only examples. There is an unending list of patterns that one sees, can anticipate, and is available to one’s use. I have been reminded recently of the following patterns in my response to patterns.
Denial and ignorance are often used to avoid responding to a pattern my heart and mind can see. Even though everything within me is telling me to take note and act, I rationalize that I am not seeing what I am see and even if I see it, it is not what it seems. Even the blatantly obvious, with the note of what happened before (thinking of the Psalmist observation of the outcome of the pattern when “They came to a bad end at Endor, nothing but dung for the garden,” (Psalm 83.10) is denied and avoided.
Even when one acknowledges the pattern, there are no automatic next steps. In order to have a next step, one must muster the courage to be intentional and then one must execute the intentional action. Unless there is an intentional outcome it is as if one has denied and ignored.
There is a hidden reminder buried within the reflection. Yesterday’s pattern does not need to dictate today’s action. We can learn. We can do better than we did. We can take a different course.
The reminders lead me to three disciplines I hope to follow.
Take time to observe. Listening, watching, and letting one sense’s record life’s events is an integral part of living life to the full.
Take time to reflect. Carving out time, more than just the start and or the end of the day, is a healthy way to stay focused.
Muster the courage to accept help from others. This includes feedback that one may not want to hear. It also includes more time on a subject than one may want to spend.
Be intentional and act on observations, reflections, and resolve.