When we think of tension, we immediately think of stress. But tension is energy. Physical, emotional, and psychological.
Tension is how the physical world works. Gravity is tension. Friction is tension.
Take a sail boat. If there’s no wind, you can enjoy floating but you’re not going anywhere. If you have too much wind, the boat capsizes. Good sailing involves something called tacking. That’s tension management. It says you have a goal – a straight line might not get you there if there’s too much resistance. You have to set the sail.
In our culture, we think that if we have knowledge then we have skill. That’s not true. We need to listen, to discover and learn to manage tension.
This, like everything else, takes practice — and a willingness to sit in our frustration. Tensions come to the surface messy and need to be sorted out. They need guardrails so we don’t go in the gutter. We can learn this skill. We can manage tension productively to foster, not impede, progress. Sounds like magic, right? It’s not. It’s practice. And you can learn it.
As faculty at the Institute of Productive Tension – which sounds crazy but is the home to this pioneering space in human development – Tom can help you master this skill like no one else can — if you are willing. The big question is, are you willing?