Structure - Is it bad? Is it good?
Structure is something that I’ve had a fascinating relationship with. I’ve traditionally looked down on it. Even the word itself, “structure,” illicits a sense of boundary, confinement. It felt like the antithesis to what I wanted my life to be: free, open, unlimited.
You may have caught on that I’ve been musing in the past tense so far. And you’d be correct, because my relationship with structure has changed. I initially formed a belief around this topic, and it was a belief crafted in a broad stroke. Quite simply, I believed that structure was bad.
What that has now evolved into is that structure simply is. In my exploration of this concept, I realized that my life is organized into various systems, held together by certain structure. The frameworks I love, the mental models, all of it.
Structure is everywhere, we just have to see it. I was selectively picking clunky, slow moving, domineering structures and applying my judgement of those ineffective structures to everything else. The first piece to understanding this puzzle is as usual, self-awareness.
Believing that structure was bad inherently cut off my self-awareness to crafting effective structure. Even though I was creating structures daily during this time, I didn’t see myself doing that, and my self-awareness was chopped.
The momentary blindness trickled down, and ultimately left me without a powerful tool. As soon as I became aware of what I was missing, and where my belief had limited myself, I jumped at the opportunity to correct my mistake.
Within a productive boundary, creativity can flourish. Structure can create the perfect storm to aid and facilitate some incredible creation. I’ve been lucky enough to experience this burst of creativity in the past. What did I owe it to? Environment design, intention, boundary placing… read, structure.
Now, I’d like to rebuild this belief, and use it as a mechanism to solve problems when they come up. I no longer judge structure, but am curious about them. How did they get to be the way they are? What makes them effective? What’s ineffective about them?
Understanding a limiting belief, and then crushing it, is one of the most rewarding feelings I’ve experienced. It feels as though a door has opened, and my foot is just off the ground, ready to step through.
The best part is, my discovery into structure is just beginning.
Originally published 09/25/2020