becoming a true anomaly

"You haven't answered my question."

"Quite right. Interesting. That was quicker than the others."

Something happened this week that reminded me of a pivotal scene in the movie Matrix: Reloaded. The protagonist "Neo" finally meets the hidden antagonist behind all the events he (and others) have experienced. This "Architect" reveals that Neo is an anomaly to a mathematical matrix/world he has constructed for humanity to mentally live in.

Yes, this movie stunk compared to the original... but that's not my point.

Behind Neo are a number of monitors that represent the potential reactions the Architect has calculated Neo might make to everything he says.The antagonist is mapping without emotion the variety of emotions he is convinced Neo might experience and reply back with. Such knowledge is both intimate and cold - it requires proximity to know a person, but denies the ability of that person to grow and surprise you.

What prompted this was the realization of how I am reacting differently to something this week than I would have even a year ago.

I hope that doesn't come across as anything but surprise. While I feel that the "me" a year ago would have made a good choice to this situation, the "me" today is realizing there is another option that I can take that will opens up other doors... not because it's "more correct" or "as correct" as the option one-year-ago-me would have chosen, but because different things matter to me more today.

It's as if I'm watching images of myself "behind me" while I ponder what to do with what's in front of me.

Leadership, I have learned, requires these moments if you hope to become more than a stereotype of yourself. You will (in all the right ways possible) frustrate the "architects" who try to mathematically sum you up somehow, forcing them to either acknowledge they were wrong or that you are a greater anomaly than they predicted.

But this really isn't about them... it's about you... or else you will become nothing more than an architect yourself.

You will have to set down your desire to be correct or rest in your experience/training/validation in order to actually recognize more options than your planned response. Note that I'm not talking about your first reaction - I'm referring to the deeper reply you will offer from a place of actual conviction. You won't want to suspend it because it's how you have been trained to think.

Until you do, you won't see all the images of replies you have to choose from... and will end up becoming a caricature of yourself as you do what you are absolutely convinced is correct.

You must chose - do what you think is right, or become humble enough consider and do what is truly righteous.

Maybe someday I'll actually live this verse out:
"When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me." (1 Cor 13:11)

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