How Life Works
- I want to get to work (T). My shoe is untied as I am walking down the street (H). I’ll pause and tie my shoe, then continue in the direction of my office (P).
- Our family wants to go to Niagara Falls (T). We live in Nevada (H). We buy a map and load the car and start driving northeast (P).
- Our organization wants to make money (T). We have an idea and skilled professionals (H). We manufacture a product consumers will want to buy and we market it (P).
There Are 3 Ways To Use THP
1. htp: A problem-solving approach
- Everything else is clouded, blinded, and stunted until we get out of the destructive reality we are currently in. Our THERE is determined to be the absence of our current reality.
- Example: I hate it here in Nevada (h), I need to get out of here; let’s go on vacation (t). How about Niagara Falls; I’ll gas up the car (p).
- Ineffective if there is no transcendent vision: problem-solving leads us to neutral, not to purpose. In the absence of a purpose, we will find more/new problems.
- Can lead to the habit of exchanging one problem for another (death of loved one leads to substance abuse, etc.)– a whack-a-mole existence where you are constantly trying to subvert new symptoms rather than address underlying causes.
2. thp: A PATH tool
- This helps us to reach milestones and goals. But will always us wondering “what next?”
- Ex: I’ve always wanted to go to Niagara Falls; it’s on my bucket list (t). We live in Nevada (h). Let’s do it; I’ll gas up the car (p).
- Act-Learn-Adjust: Where are our goals leading us? We ought to evaluate and adjust accordingly to make sure our goals are leading towards a greater purpose. Measuring small and measuring often helps us to keep on track and ensures we don’t stray too far off the path.
3. THP: A transcendent vision-casting tool
- We call this version of THP “the creative process” because it is about participating in something for its own end. This is the true purpose. The end of the line. A Transcendent THERE is not something we will ever fully complete or accomplish, we will always be working towards the THERE.
- Mission-Driven: The motivation is about living out our deepest values towards a transcendent vision. The htp: problem-solving, and thp: goals, must all serve the THP: transcendent vision. [for more on how this works see NESTING THERES]
- Ex: I want to experience the beauty of the world (T). We live in Nevada and I’ve always dreamed of going to Niagara Falls (H). I’ll gas
up the car (P).
BREAKING DOWN THE FRAMEWORK
There are 2 things you need to have a good THERE:
- Clarity: Needs to be brief: think slogan not soliloquy. If you can’t memorize it, it is too long. If others can’t remember it, it is too long.
- Examples: Making the world more reliable. Unity to the Glory of God, Redefining effective leadership.
- Commitment: If it does not flow out of our truest/deepest values, we will bail when things get tough. Has to be something we can
fervently commit to.
ME THERE vs. WE THERE
As people we usually frame our options as “us versus them”. If they are not for me, they are against me. The truth is what is beneficial for the individual and the collective are not mutually exclusive, but wholly interdependent on one another. A toxic vision is insular and serves self. A healthy vision includes individuals and communities working together in unison.
- Examples of ME THERE: Seeking validation; Getting things my way; Receiving praise/credit; Feeling comfortable. These all come at a cost to someone else.
- Examples of WE THERE: Provide a service for others; Foster a vibrant community; Understand the complexities of social justice; Share truth with others. These all serve others and promote unity and togetherness.
- The majority of the tools we will present are HERE tools. They cultivate an awareness of our current reality so we can move towards our THERE with a true perspective.
- We are skilled at self-deception. The truth is too big for any one of us to fully understand. Therefore, HERE is actually the most difficult phase of THP.
- An incorrect HERE grounds us in superficiality and falsity. We assume an inaccurate worldview; we are out of touch with reality. HERE is about aligning ourselves with reality, naming and accepting what is truly going on as best we can so we can move towards our THERE with intention and accuracy.
- Our HERE is constantly changing – it moves with every emotion, decision, and step we take along the PATH. Therefore, it needs
constant evaluation, a humility-centric approach, and the tension of THERE to bring it into focus.
This is how we get from HERE to THERE: Eyes set on our THERE, and understanding the realities of our HERE, we set goals and reach
milestones that propel us toward our vision.
Goal Setting: Goals are vitally important and should be set and pursued with intention. Goals ought to be SMART:
Measure Small & Measure Often:
Keep your goals short and sweet. Evaluate if you achieved them (or not). And, whether or not you did, if the goal has moved you in the direction of your THERE. Measuring small and often helps keep us accountable and keep us on track.
Set a SMART goal, chase it, learn from the experience, and then decide what goal to set next (based on the previous experience). Each time we act, our HERE changes and we learn more about the realities of pursuing our THERE. It is not about checking off a to do list, it is about learning from our experiences, growing, and progressing in an effective manner. We need to be open to making adjustments along the PATH so we can continue to achieve goals and milestones towards our Transcendent THERE.
There is not always one clear PATH in front of us, we may reach a crossroad where there are multiple paths to choose from. It is up to you to decide which path will most effectively move you closer to your THERE while also staying true to your organizational values.