Tug of Self-Image

There is a “self” we think
we should be.

There is a “self” others say
we should be.

There is a a “self” we think
we are.

There is a “self” others think
we are.

All of them blinds us
to the “self”
we actually are
or the “self”
we can be.

Manipulation and Creation

Manipulation
involves the desire
to move someone
or something
to a place or state
the manipulator expects.

This is not to judge manipulation
as good/bad or right/wrong.

Through mutual agreement
& rationalization,
one can differentiate between
transparent
vs. surreptitious,
well-intended
vs. ill-intended,
manipulation.

A magic show
can be thought of as
transparent manipulation.
Feeding kids hidden vegetables
can be thought of
as well-intended manipulation.

But manipulation stands
in some sense,
opposite of creation,
because creation
involves the desire
to let emerge
a place or product
the creator did not expect.

Creative Empathy

A common inner conflict revolves around these two thoughts:

  1. I’m being treated unfairly.
  2. I’m not good enough to be treated fairly.

It may seem like these two thoughts cannot be thought by the same person.
Yet they are often thought by the same person at the same time.
That’s why it is an inner conflict.

Our inner conflict often takes the form of a paradox.
When laid out logically, paradoxes will not make sense.

By connecting what may seem like contradictory perspectives through empathy,
we can give birth to what we call creativity.

It is through such act of creation,
that paradoxes dissolve itself,
leaving behind a sense of clarity and understanding.

Leveraging Resistance

Designers have worked with resistance since the dawn of time.

The first caveman who drew on cave walls
were met with resistance from those walls
and leveraged it as the very means through which they created.

Whenever someone behaves in ways we interpret as “resistance,”
all it means is we’re struggling to create.

What human interaction designers do with resistance
is leverage it as the very means through which we create.

Until we learn this art,
we’ll feel nothing but frustration & resentment
in our attempt to bring about innovation in our interactions & organizations.

Guess what lies at the heart of this art?
Our willingness & ability to realize our empathy.