Thursday, March 3, 2016

Taiko Elevator

picture from

I made this analogy a while back and it's been interesting to think about it more deeply.

Imagine a person's progress measured as upward motion in a building.  How far up are you?  Where do you get off?  Why?  When do you get back on?  We're all in different groups, at different ages, learning in different ways, being taught in different ways.  Everyone's elevator is different.

Some people get on the elevator and take it up until they get off at a certain floor.  The floor may be the "Comfort Department" (where things are still easy enough to do) or the "Injury Department" (happens to the best of us), or even something like the "Teaching Department" (where personal growth is sacrificed to help others come up).  They stay there for a long time and other people may surpass them.

Some people get off at every floor and the elevator is in a different location on each floor.  They struggle but are determined to not only find the next elevator, but get to the next floor.  Others might have a much easier straight shot upwards with no floors to distract them for quite some time.  Sometimes the former people find the right elevator that takes them up many floors at once, sometimes the latter people stop on a floor and get frustrated trying to find the next elevator because they never had to before.

Some people have to take the stairs, at a much slower pace.  Others, the escalators.  Sometimes the floors seem like temporary stops as a person figures out what to do next, but become permanent whether by choice or not.

On occasion, a person might think they've hit the top floor, thinking their destination is done, but in reality there are many more floors yet to go through.  And at other times, a person might hit the end of a particular shaft and feel "done", but there's another elevator waiting for them if they take the time to look through that floor and find it.

Analogies can be made with the buttons, too.  If all the floors are pushed, progress will take quite longer.  Maybe that person wants to be thorough, but maybe they're being overly-cautious.  But someone who only pushes the top button(s) may find themselves at odds with the group's needs or overlooking floors they should be stopping on, to take food and bio-breaks (think of these as things like composing, teaching, supporting, networking, etc.)

This analogy isn't perfect, but it's a good one.  Where are you in your building, in your elevator?  How many floors have you gotten off at, and how long do you stay there?  Why did you get off?  How much further up can you travel?  Is that limit a real limit or the limit you've imposed?  Lots of questions, always lots of questions...

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