Very nice people with good values and high aspirations, who are hard working and industrious, often find that their best efforts do not lead to the final outcomes they want. Is it fate? Is it some deep-seated psychological conflict? Are some people simply luckier than others?
While it can seem like there is something in the stars, the real answer to understanding this phenomenon is much closer to home than most people think. It is right there in the structures in their lives. And this is the reason that understanding structural dynamics is critical if you want to create the life you want.
What is essential to know is this: the underlying structure of anything will determine its behavior.
Think about that for a moment. This insight explains so much. It explains why some people find themselves in oscillating patterns in which success is followed (predictably) by a reversal that takes them away from the outcomes they’ve worked so hard to achieve, and some people are able to create what they want and have that success become the platform for future success.
This is not how most people think. They think situationally. Structure is invisible to them, so they are left with the usual empty declarations: you need more willpower, you need to believe in yourself, you need to clean up your past, you need to surrender, you need to breath differently, you need a positive attitude, you need to love yourself, you need to eat brown rice, etc. When you understand how the structural dynamics works in people’s lives, you would find these bromides laughable. It is like saying you need to think positively about gravity so it will do what it does or not do what it does.
Structure is physics, it is nature, it is how everything works from music to aerodynamics to computers to cars to screenplays to… well, everything.
Structure typically produces two types of behavior: oscillating and advancement. That means your life will fall into one of these two camps. Everyone has examples of both. But the most important question is where do you spend most of your time? If it is an oscillation structure, your successes are not sustainable any more than jumping up in the air will lead to staying in the air.
Look, structure isn’t everything, but it is in everything, including your life. Years ago I made a film about the Fibonacci series, a mathematical proportion that is found throughout nature and art. The last two shots in the film are a spiraled nautilus shell dissolving into a spiraled galaxy, and the structure is identical in the small shell and the vast galaxy. We may not ever know the mysteries of the universe, but one thing we can know for sure, there is structure in the universe. Everywhere in the universe.
Like it or not, you live within a structure. And, if you are like most people, the structure you live in does you no good. Not to say that everything is bad. Just to say that your best efforts will be thwarted. This it is nothing personal anymore than not being able to float in contradiction to the laws of gravity is personal.
It is hard to do science without the math, and trying to create your life without a basic understanding of structure is also hard. All of the doisms of how you should behave not withstanding, any advice which is structurally unsound will not work no matter how good it looks on paper. You can’t fool Mother Structure. If you are in a rocking chair, your movement forward will be followed by movement backward.
There is nothing wrong with the rocking chair. It is simply the wrong structure if you happen to want to go somewhere.
What a waste of time, trying this or that in the wrong structure. Most of what is offered in self-help supports an oscillating structure, not an advancing one.
If you are in an oscillating structure, you can’t get very far. If you are in a rocking chair, you may be able to move ahead little by little, but you will not go where you want to go. It will feel like pushing boulders up hill. Hard to accomplish and impossible to sustain. Mother structure can work with you, but you have to work with her, not against her. Otherwise, expect that boulder to run right over you as it heads for the lowest ground. That’s the path of least resistance. That is where energy finds it easiest to go.
This is not a problem to solve. Why try to fix something that is not broken? There is nothing wrong with a rocking chair. It is simply the wrong structure unless you want to go back and forth. It is important to gain a fundamental understanding of how things work or don’t work so you can work with the forces in play in your life, not against them.
No matter what you say, what you think, how sincere and pure you are, if your life is in a rocking chair, and you want to move ahead, seeking to create your highest aspirations, organizing your life around those things that matter most to you, you will be unable to succeed in the end. You can’t get there from here. First you must change the underlying structure you are in. First you must go somewhere else. And that is the point.
So, while we teach the creative process, we also understand it is not the creative process alone that will lead to success. It is a combination of the creative process and the structural dynamics that can make such a profound difference in people’s lives as it has time and again.