Our experience involves acting on our needs and desires.
And the first stage of acting is scanning.
This may take a fraction of a second (to locate a glass and the tap to get a drink of water) or a good deal longer (to find a book I want to read in a library or to determine if this person is likely to be a suitable life partner).
This stage ends when I take ‘action’
– begin interacting with what I am interested in. This could mean reaching for the glass I’ll drink from, or reflecting on the kinds of people I get on with and seeing what qualities in them I would want in a life partner.
This third stage is the essential foundation for our action. It gives us a sense of orientation, what the possibilities and limitations are. Without this stage our action is likely to be clumsy and perhaps unsuccessful. If we don’t know clearly where the glass is we may drop it, or we may end up with a wildly unsuitable partner if we are unclear about our own needs and what qualities the other person has.
The stage of action is more visible and so gets lots of attention, but many mistakes are due to neglecting this third stage.
Consider for a moment if your relationships might improve if you took more time to scan the other person and be clearer about their needs, desires and qualities.
Do you think taking more time to be in touch with your situation would bring you an easier life?
The other articles in this series are: