Cutting Through a Gordian Knot

Image for post
Image for post

What a great adventure this month has been so far. A self-imposed goal of 30 published content pieces, with ‘publishing’ including blogs, podcast episodes, and possibly video content.

Well, we are almost just fifteen days in. In truth, this post will be #10. A few posts in, and a few behind.

But, this experience has been significant so far.

The Gordian knot, interpreted

When I learned about the concept of ‘cutting the Gordian knot’, I had that feeling you get when you discover that there is actually a precise word to describe something that seems indescribable. Like the word indescribable.

I learned about the concept while listening to the the the supremely hilarious audiobook, The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion. I understood it as finding a simple solution that solves a plethora of problems. In my conception, it is that clever, often innovative resolution that addresses multiple, seemingly distinct challenges at once, singlehandedly.

Remember in Disney’s Mulan, when Shang’s army reaches the vast snow-covered mountainside toward the end of the movie? And the Hun army is charging toward them? If my memory serves, they are woefully outnumbered, ill-equipped, and are also operating on incorrect information (i.e the summons directing them to go into the mountains was forged).

This is a Gordian knot, in my estimation. A fairly complex situation with multiple problems to solve. Mulan ‘cuts the knot’ when she creative causes a massive avalanche, requiring little (wo)manpower (addressing the problem of being outnumbered). The snow sweeps across the charging army, thus halting their approach (addressing the problem of their oncoming charge), and gives them the space to understand that they have been hoodwinked into going into the mountains in the first place (solving the third problem of misinformation). Updating this with a clip from the movie. Why rely on faulty memories in the ‘we want to see it now’ age ;-)

I have since learned that it means kind of something like that, but is actually based on a story of Alexander the Great. Here’s the TL; DR version of that story. Thanks, Mr. Philip

My Gordian knot has involved inertia

In the past few months, I have felt unable to create meaningful content. Stalled, frozen, incapacitated…I was searching for the way to describe it. Inertia seems apt. It has felt like the opposite of momentum.

While I have been focusing on business development for my social enterprise and potential partnerships for the events we do, Impactathons; the mental and creative space from which to create new content was elusive at best.

I wrote a few articles here and there, and regularly write informal notes and reflections; but I felt unable to really sit down and write meaningfully and edit and share recent podcast episodes.

This month has helped to hack the knot

The single self-imposed and publicized act of committing to creating content has helped to take away power from the expanse of the inertia. It hasn’t loosened or untie the knot, but it has effectually sidestepped the complexities, with a simple solution.

By endeavoring to publish daily, I feel ready to say things that I have been trying to find words to say. The frequency of posting helps to take away any single post as ‘most’ important, thus helping focus on flow. And, it has been leading to conversations, email exchanges, and social media likes and shares that serve to connect me deeper within the social impact sector.

It hasn’t been simple, but it has felt important. And, it has helped ease me from inert to, well, nert.

There are miles to go to reach 30 posts by the end of the month, but the act of trying and endeavoring, has been fulfilling all on its own.

Stay tuned, and I promise to find easier and more effective ways to share the content.

Written by

founder, writer, person of many places. a motto: in all good things, #goanddo

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store