Is friction a bad thing?

In the physical world, friction allows us to accomplish many everyday tasks: running, driving a car up a hill, even sitting on a chair. It’s a necessary part of our lives.  But when we think of friction among people, most of us have learned to think of it as a negative force, a clash of wills or opinions that makes it difficult for us to achieve our goals.  Going up against someone dissimilar can cause conflict and make us bristle.

On the flip side, friction can make things happen: rubbing two sticks together gives us fire.  Rubbing opposing ideas together can cause arguments but it can also create new avenues of thought, new attitudes toward old established routines (or processes).

To grow, we need friction in our lives; without it we stagnate, we don’t ask questions and eventually we don’t even think.  When we question the world around us we come up with answers.

Answers gained through friction make us realize that, with an open mind, we can benefit from the input not only from friends and colleagues, but also from rivals and even adversaries.  We need to challenge as well as be challenged.  Rubbing up against the knowledge and expertise of people in different industries, with different backgrounds and different beliefs brings out the best in us.

When you’re willing to embrace friction as a problem-solving strategy, you’ll engage, react and reinforce your best self.  Friction may be the cause of a problem, but it can also present the solution.

Where do you get your friction?  Who/what causes you to consider alternative ideas?

The road is easier together,
Linda

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