“The answer is that we don’t see reality. The world exists. It’s just that we don’t see it. We do not experience the world as it is because our brain didn’t evolve to do so. It’s a paradox of sorts: Your brain gives you the impression that your perceptions are objectively real, yet the sensory processes that make perception possible actually separate you from ever accessing that reality directly.” — Beau Lotto, Deviate
We see maps of reality, not reality itself.
These maps, known as a worldview, help us to understand, make sense of, and navigate our world. They contain and encapsulate the meaning of our experiences, structured from stories of belief.
These maps of reality evolve over time.
As we grow and evolve, these maps change and expand as well. Often challenging transitional moments within our lives cause this growth and expansion to occur, as we push outside of an old existing worldview that can no longer fit the complexity of our current lives. When we move from one worldview to another, it will feel as though we are entering a whole new world. For many of us, if we think back to key transitional moments in our lives, it will feel like we are leaving the safety of an older known world and stepping out into a much larger unknown world which we map and make known over time.
We don’t all develop and evolve our maps of reality at the same pace.
Societally there is a misconception that our worldviews evolve correspondingly with our age and that we all evolve to the exact same stage. While this is possible, it is definitely not always the case. In effect, we cannot assume a child is immature and an older person is wiser. In some instances, a child, having undergone many challenging experiences, may seem like an “old soul”, wiser than their years. And in other instances, an older person may seem very immature, having not had much growth and development throughout their life as a whole.
Just as our worldviews differ individually, so too do they differ collectively. The dominant worldview of an organization is often comprised of the leadership and management which determines how they see the world of work and what is meaningful to them within it. Many people today assume that all organizations function from a similar worldview. While the majority of organizations do often follow a conventional worldview, this again isn’t always the case. Some organizations are more evolved than others and are showing us newer, more meaningful, ways to work collectively.
We’re societally transitioning to a new reality right now.
For many of us, it’s apparent that we are entering rapidly changing times. What worked yesterday is no longer working today, no matter how much we wish to believe it were otherwise. In fact, the more we try to hold onto our old beliefs and ways of doing things, forcing ourselves and others to work in these old ways, the more rapidly things around us seem to collapse and no longer work. That’s because the maps we’re using are outdated and can no longer help us navigate this newer world.
But as noted above, there are individuals and organizations who are already pioneering this newer worldview, mapping it out as they learn to explore and navigate it themselves.
“A belief is something you hold in your mind, a kind of map or model of that external reality. But just as maps and models can be wrong, so can beliefs. And just as following the wrong map can get you into dangerous places, a wrong belief can get you into trouble. When people confuse their beliefs with reality, they get into arguments and conflicts, sometimes even wars.” — Dave Gray, Liminal Thinking
Creativity is how we transition between these maps of reality.
Creativity is creating something new and useful. Innovation is the action of producing something through creativity. These maps of reality that we create are products of our creativity. They are social innovations. Each time we grow and evolve, remapping our world, we are socially innovating in the process. Not only are we creating a new way to look at the world but we are creating a new way to look at ourselves within that world.
This is why new maps of reality are so empowering. They allow us to reshape the relationships and connections within our lives, helping us to make visible what was invisible to us before. This is why new maps of reality seem like an inspiring new world full of abundant possibilities. What we were blind to before, be it the potential of others or even ourselves, is made clearly visible to us. Thus what before seemed impossible within our old worldview is now fully possible within this new worldview.