Stand near a heavy object such as a table or desk.
The object represents life critical activities including financial support, providing a living, physical care, emotional strength, and similar. Love is excluded.
- Dependence: Person A lifts while B and C sit on it. B and C are dependent. Person A must take care of them and take the burden. Without Person A, B and C will nor survive. This is not sustainable on an ongoing basis. In this state B and C will learn and progress very little. They must eventually be moved to the next phase so they can learn and grow. A learns and grows from their and their dependant’s failures, but their dependents often don’t learn from their failure. If A eventually makes B and C pick up the table they can begin to learn. Hopefully, B and C provide love to person A.
- Independence: Person A lifts on their own. Person A carries their load by themselves. No one relies on them, and for the most part, no one is supporting them in their endeavors. They can learn and grow through experience and failure. They can go as far as they are singly capable.
- Interdependence: Person A, B, and C lift together. Person A, B, and C support one another. They build on one another. When an individual is sick, weak, or vulnerable, the others can pick up the slack. They lift one another and can realize their true potential. They can learn and grow through their and other’s experience and failure. They can collectively go much further than one individual.
- False Interdependence: Person A, B, and C lift together (secretly B and C don’t lift). Many teams, corporations, or families appear to be an interdependent team but in all reality one (or a few) are carrying most to all the weight. The most insidious of all forms. It is hard enough to be independent or carry dependants for an extended period. But in those scenarios, you at least know your position. When you are expecting others to lift and they are not you are handicapped without realizing it. Over time your performance decreases, your stress increases, you become demoralized, you resent B & C, and you lose your sense of purpose or direction.
- Partial Interdependence: Person A, B, and C lift together (secretly C doesn’t lift). Many groups appear to be interdependent, but only part of the group is lifting. In this case, it is particularly difficult to determine who is really part of the team and who is along for the ride. The team functions at partial potential, but if A or B is unwell or leaves the team the weakness quickly becomes evident.
- Spectators, naysayers, and critics: Person A, B, and C lift together. D and E sit outside the room and criticize. The world is full of opinions, critics, and doubters. It can be easy to become consumed with them and give them more focus than your interdependents. Learn to identify these people and shut the door. Focus on yours.
Next time you wonder why you aren’t succeeding, why you are unhappy, why you are not living up to your potential, or think you can’t do something, take a closer look around you.
Next time you wonder why your family, team, or another group you are part of is not succeeding ask yourself, are you lifting the table or just putting your hands on it?
False Interdependence, Partial Independence, and Spectators are not always the issue, but without looking, you will never know if it is.