A down-to-earth look at those gravity problems

Local | 12 Jan 2017

Having options is a double-edged sword - on the one hand, it is seen as progress from the set career paths from parents etc, but on the other hand, one is burdened with the ominous question: Are you sure this is the right one? What if this is not my calling? What if I fail?

This is the topic of discussion in a recent episode titled Getting Unstuck on the podcast NPR Hidden Brain, where they talk about people who try to meticulously make decisions on their life direction yet are faced with the fear of making the wrong one. Dave Evans, a personality featured in the episode, suggests we could borrow skills from the tech industry when faced with such a dilemma.

One of the issues Dave talks about is how people often get stuck because they are dealing with a "gravity problem." The issue got its name from an allegory - a man complains to another that he keeps falling because of gravity, and gravity needs to go away, and the other just looks at him perplexed.

Gravity is a metaphor for something that couldn't be changed, and if a problem is not actionable, it is not a problem - it is a circumstance. One should accept it and work around it instead of trying to solve it.

The tricky thing in reality that wasn't mentioned, is of course - sometimes it is not so clear whether something is changeable or not. With the massive amount of articles online, one could always find one that supports one's view whichever side one falls on. Perhaps we should take a step back, take an honest, hard look at our lives and discipline ourselves to accept facts and situations that have little chance of changing.

And this perhaps also requests us to hypothesize, when we aren't sure if something could be changed, on whether and how we could cope if it doesn't change.

The pressure of making the right choice doesn't get lighter. But perhaps, there is no right or wrong decision after all, only how right we make of one after we choose it.

Gloria Yu is an artist, designer and citizen of the world.

yunotme.com; instagram: gloria- yunotme

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