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Creative TensionThe team was excited and energized. They had created a vision that would lead to the breakthrough they had been looking for.

They set goals and identified next steps, roles and communications. They had a great plan and the means to achieve it.

All set, right?

Wrong.

They fell victim to “creative tension.”

Working toward the vision was not as exciting as the process of creating it. At times it was downright mundane.

It was harder than they had anticipated. It required more work, making adjustments to plans, communications and coordination was more difficult.

Some people began to say the vision wasn’t practical. Others decided they really didn’t want the vision after all.

Soon things on the team returned to normal, and life returned to the way it had been before they created the vision.

The vision? No one remembered it.

Creative tension is entirely predictable

If they had known about “creative tension,” they could have been prepared for it and used it to their advantage, rather than allowing it to be the undoing of their vision.

In his book, The Path of Least Resistance, Robert Fritz coined the term “creative tension,” because the tension is what creates the future you desire.

Think of it as the grain of sand in the oyster that produces the pearl. It is a necessary and important part of birthing a vision.

It is a law of nature that tension seeks resolution.

It is a natural response to let go of your vision in order to resolve the tension.  However, it is the wrong response.

When you accept the tension as inevitable and are willing to live with it…

when you are honest with yourself about your current situation and also keep your vision front and center at the same time …

the tension will resolve differently. -> Current reality will begin to shift in favor of your vision.

Use tension to your advantage rather than trying to avoid it.

Have you ever gone fishing?  Consider the difference between the fish that got eaten and “one that got away.”

When hooked on a line, the fish that gets eaten pulls against the tension of the line until he is worn out. Then he is easily reeled in. The smart fish swims toward the pole until he finds a way to get off the hook.

The point is that it’s important to recognize your current reality and accept that there will be a certain amount of tension, frustration and hard work. Use the tension to your advantage.  Don’t let go of your vision.

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