We, humans, navigate the world using schemas, conceptualisations, and abstractions that help us simplify the world, so we don’t get overwhelmed by its complexity, but that allows us to map the world around us well enough to predict cause-and-effect relationships. What we mustn’t do is mistake the map for the territory.
At a very high abstract level, we often see the following pattern at work…
- Order – safe space. the world we are familiar with
- Chaos – is all the unknown territory that surrounds the safe space we inhabit. It’s all the complexity we’re shielded from
- Chaos interrupts order – inevitably order is invaded by chaos.
- How to respond – the question is how we respond to the interruption.
Whenever things don’t work out as planned, the car breaks down, the relationship goes down the pan, the business we put so much effort into fails, all these are examples of chaos invading order.
We live our lives on a knife edge, and as the saying goes, it’s not what happens to you, it’s how you deal with it.
We have seen so many films, and read numerous books that reflect these dynamics in action. Here’s a short story, which I hope highlights how this pattern plays out.
A short story of order and chaos
Once upon a time in the bustling city of Metropolis, there lived a young and ambitious entrepreneur named Alex. Alex had always been captivated by the world of business and dreamed of establishing a successful company of his own. With a relentless determination and an innate ability to organize and strategise, Alex embraced order in his life.
Driven by his passion, Alex meticulously planned every step of his entrepreneurial journey. He diligently researched market trends, analyzed potential risks, and developed a solid business plan. With a clear vision in mind, he began laying the foundations of his company, diligently adhering to his structured approach.
As the business began to take shape, the first few months were marked by remarkable success. Clients were drawn to Alex’s professionalism and meticulous attention to detail. Orders poured in, and the company steadily gained recognition and respect within the industry. Alex’s commitment to order and organisation seemed to be paying off.
However, amidst the triumphant atmosphere, chaos lurked in the shadows, waiting for the opportune moment to strike. Unexpectedly, a major supplier failed to deliver a critical component essential for the production of Alex’s flagship product. Chaos had interrupted his carefully organized operations.
Staring at the obstacle before him, Alex felt a surge of panic. He had meticulously planned for every foreseeable scenario, but this unforeseen disruption threatened to throw everything off balance. In that moment, Alex faced a critical decision—how to respond to the chaos that had disrupted his ordered life.
Instead of succumbing to despair, Alex chose to confront the chaos head-on. He rallied his team, encouraging open communication and brainstorming sessions to find alternative solutions. Alex reached out to other suppliers, forging new partnerships to ensure the uninterrupted flow of materials. The chaos had interrupted his order, but it had also presented an opportunity for growth, innovation, and new relationships.
As time passed, Alex’s response to chaos proved to be a turning point for his business. The experience forced him to think outside the box and embrace flexibility in his approach. He realized that even the most meticulously planned endeavors can be vulnerable to unpredictable disruptions. By adapting to the challenges, He discovered new avenues for improvement and expansion.
In the face of chaos, Alex’s business not only survived but thrived. The company emerged stronger, more resilient, and adaptable. The initial disruption became a catalyst for innovation and propelled Alex’s business to new heights. Through his unwavering determination and ability to respond to chaos, he had transformed his dreams into a resounding success.
Alex’s journey serves as a testament to the power of order and the ability to navigate chaos. By maintaining a strong foundation of organization and planning, he was able to weather unexpected storms and emerge victorious. His story inspires aspiring entrepreneurs to embrace the balance between order and chaos, recognising that it is through chaos that true growth and success can be achieved.
End of story
So it’s important to realise that the #1 order, #2 chaos invading order, #3 response pattern is an intrinsic part of everybody’s lives, and we should not fear it, but embrace the opportunity of growth and improvement it presents us with.