Ep. 36 Organized Chaos is a Sign of Progress
The purpose of today’s Power Principle is to help us UNDERSTAND that chaos is part of organization, so that we can be more comfortable with periods of CHAOS and so that you can manage and springboard from those moments of chaos more skillfully.
Getting Your Ducks in a Row
I saw a YouTube video of a mama duck trying to stop her babies from falling down a storm drain. She worked feverishly to gather her scattered brood and nudge them to hop out of the gutter onto the step above. By the time she got the last duckling up the step, the other ducks were again scattered and she started the process over. Mrs. Duck, I can relate! I just get my kids settled into a school routine, then it’s summer break. I just get the last moving box unpacked and we move again. This cycle from chaos to order back to chaos could drive one crazy, UNTIL you understand that this cycle is an essential part of progress.
Chaos is GOOD, Necessary, and even DESIRABLE for growth.
I want to assure you that when you find yourself in periods of chaos, you’re not doing anything wrong. (As long as it’s progressive chaos. There is a difference between progressive chaos and non-progressive chaos.)
“In the beginning . . . ” the Book of Genesis illustrates this pattern of chaos to order and back again. God took unorganized matter and created the earth. His six days of toil had barely ended when Eve ate the fruit and shifted the perfectly ordered life in the Garden into chaos. No sooner do Adam and Eve figure out how to labor for their livelihood and establish a good system when Cain slays Abel and their life is thrown into chaos again.
The flood. The enslaved children of Israel, I mean the only place on Earth that really stayed organized was the city of Enoch and God didn’t want that place to get messed up, so he picked it up and put it on the top shelf so the other earth kids wouldn’t break it.
Do you get the point? From the beginning of time, we have this pattern of chaos to order to chaos to order. We are designed to bring things from order to chaos, not just once, but over and over and over again.
The important point is that this cycle isn’t meant to be repetitive, but progressive.
Without periods of chaos, our lives would be stagnant. Chaos is what jumpstarts our learning and growth.
Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs
As we move through Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs, we don’t stay indefinitely at the top of the pyramid. We don’t sit for eternity at Self-actualization. We go back to the beginning and start again, not repeating ourselves, but improving ourselves. On our next journey up Maslow’s pyramid, we upgrade each level. We improve the quality of our food, shelter, environment. We increase our sense of safety. We build deeper connective relationships. We deepen our sense of self identity and we further pursue our passions and purpose. Then will will go back to food and start all over again.
If you feel that you’re stuck in life, that you are running the hamster wheel but not moving forward, try going back to the basics. What is one way you can better fulfill your physiological needs? Can you upgrade your food and nutrition? Perhaps eat more raw vegetables, reduce sugar intake, quit smoking, take vitamins. Maybe you could get more sleep or clean out your closet and donate those old clothes that don’t fit. Something as simple as organizing the silverware drawer in your kitchen can energize you and jumpstart your progress up Maslow’s pyramid.
Now that you understand how periods of chaos are desirable and essential for our learning and growth, you will be better able to manage the chaos and used it as a springboard to move forward in life.
Good luck gathering your ducklings!