My Name is Carol and I’m a Recovering ‘This or That’ Thinker

Growth or Fixed 

Inside or Outside the Box

Extrinsic or Intrinsic Rewards 

Introvert or Extravert 

Leader 0r Manager 

Good or Bad

Black or White…

The list is long. Too long.

It’s called,  ‘This or That’ Thinking and I’m done with it.

Why, you ask? Because it doesn’t work.

Other than a few true Outliers,  we simply can’t function well staking our flag on one side of the either/ors. The truth is that we humans live along the line. We aren’t fixed to one spot. We move, we are fluid. Somedays we’re more leader than manager; more good than bad; more fixed than growth.

I’m developing an intolerance for those that say we must be one way or the other. There are days I want to be safely tucked inside the box, other days I don’t even want to see the box. Most of the time, I’m just somewhere in between, floating along the line.

Most of my life is lived in the ‘betweens’. Some refer to this as balance.

There are some fixed mindsets I hold onto as my anchors. My love for family is as fixed as it gets. My commitment to public education is fixed to both my past and future. It is within that fixedness that I find room for growth.

We are not leaders OR managers, we are leaders AND managers. I am not a mother OR a teacher, I am a mother AND a teacher.

We do ourselves a disservice by perpetuating the simplicity that one way is good (intrinsic rewards) and the other way is bad (extrinsic rewards). Daniel Pink, the guru himself, says that there is room for both. The exercise in determining which to use is in itself a opportunity for growth.

Years ago, we used to talk about all or nothing thinking. This push for being either/or from some 21 Century educators feels a lot like moving backwards.

Perhaps I want too much. I want the spectrum. I need to be able to juggle, at times, wrestle,  between the end points – to choose what fits and when. I don’t want just two colours in my crayon box. I want the rainbow.

My name is Carol and I’m a recovering, ‘This or That’ Thinker.

Better is Possible.

The Story of the Log Jam

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One Response to My Name is Carol and I’m a Recovering ‘This or That’ Thinker

  1. I like your attitude. I will return.


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