One of the difficulties of life, is understanding that there is no right answer to most things. It’s difficult when growing up in schools that always wanted to know if you knew the right answer.
What isn’t taught in schools is to ask the question “By What Criteria”. Why is this important? Depending on what you are focused on,either your perception or decisions may change.
While attending a play last night, this question of what do lines mean was interesting. It was a discussion between Einstein and Picasso in their early 20’s at a bar. Einstein kept pressing Picasso to tell him what is the difference between the lines he writes as equations versus the ones that Picasso draws? Both found their work beautiful. Yet their responses about criteria were different.
Einstein talked of the simplicity and clarity of what he was writing. Picasso the beauty, passion, and emotions that his drawings and paintings created. Each creator thought their work was outstanding yet each judged their work on different criteria.
Tension in our lives abound when we don’t understand the criteria we choose to measure a choice we are about to make. Is it to save money or because I really need it or is it something I really want? Should I be responsible and not go on a 2 week vacation or by the age of 30 I want to have traveled to 20 foreign countries so I am going? It’s the criteria that will tell you whether your choice is a good one or not.
Depending on what criteria you focus on, your decision or choices could be much different.
Many times, other people’s choices or solutions seem weird. Certainly different than what you would have done. Learning about their criteria, is a great way to see the logic behind other people’s confusing choices.
Most times, their criteria were different, leading them to a different point of view or decision.
Understanding your criteria before you choose or decide can be very powerful. It creates clarity in our thinking and removes the tension when having to choose. Getting our decisions to fit the criteria we first outlined, is a great way towards building a meaningful life with intention.