For many of us the last few weeks have felt like trail running while looking through a telescope. We manage daily routines with very little context of the surroundings, looking past the obstacles for the hopeful outcome. The magnitude of the coronavirus caused us to collectively stop and notice life patterns. Both the good and bad patterns grew up to become elephants in our homes.

Homes we didn’t leave.

Which leads us to friction. We associate friction with negative feelings, often forgetting the positive outcomes and progress. Consider how a freeclimber needs a handhold, and how iron sharpens iron. Friction compels change, and in these challenging times I’ve seen friction surface in these three ways.

Magnification

Sometimes patterns don’t grow into elephants, but we overwork ourselves and repetitive issues begin to magnify. Workaholics make this an unhealthy routine, but in some uncontrollable situations exhaustion provides odd clarity. These are the moments to write down, and then take a break so you can approach the problem with the right mindset.

Traction

Without friction we lose traction, and without traction it is harder to build momentum for growth. The tough part is that technology makes clicking un/subscribe so easy in both our objective and emotional relationships. More than ever we need to get permission (get on their schedule!) and go for consistency (do it often!) with our spouse, family, and communities.

Accountability

Many write about removing friction completely from your life, but the reality is that some friction should be left alone or built in purposely. Friction adds a natural point of accountability, which makes us uncomfortable but also keeps things growing in the right direction.

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I’m not advocating you embrace friction entirely and allow tensions to rise, but don’t forget about the good that friction brings about either. Keep running the trail, and eventually the telescope lens will widen.

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