We often quit our jobs because we don’t agree with someone and fail to find a solution.
A year ago I wrote about this and attributed it to becoming fixated on how other people are wrong. I concluded by proposing this:
It's in the pausing that we start to appreciate that neither your work nor my work is an isolated fragment, but part of a world which includes the smallest of details, meticulously crafted from bits, bytes, pixels, and characters, to the largest parts shaped by a cosmic perspective.
It helps to zoom out and see other perspectives, but I’d like to go deeper and propose this:
We quit our jobs because we haven’t gained the necessary knowledge to solve the problem at hand.
By shifting the conversation from you are wrong, to we might be wrong, we acknowledge that we don’t know 100% and there is always room for error. This fallibilistic way of seeing things sets us up to seek out the knowledge that could explain why we are stuck.
Of course, I’m not saying that we should never quit our jobs when we are stuck. Sometimes neither of us has the energy or time to gain the necessary knowledge for the relationship to work out. At least not right now, so we agree to part ways.
But instead of only being critical of the situation, we become agents in the process, to engage creatively with the problem and help solve it. And even though we haven’t solved the problem yet, everyone can continue to grow and make progress in their careers or work environments, even after we have parted ways.
The great thing about this view is that it only takes a small leap to see how it also changes the dynamic in friendships, marriages and raising kids.
This is optimism in relationships.