I’ve been reflecting on X factors. In algebra the x factor was that still hidden, waiting to be discovered variable, the key to solving the equation. These days it has found an audience applauding and giving x meaning as a special talent or quality. Both reveal the variable in a situation that is the essential impact – the essence – the delivers the outcome. So what are your x-factors? What are mine?
As I’ve been looking for work recently I have been scrutinised, tested, discussed, interviewed, challenged, performed. The investigations all drilling to discover the x-factor that will deliver the outcome the potential employer is looking for. Seems to me this is has a lot in common with a reality TV Show, however the audience, their customers and clients, don’t get a vote. Will my x factors be the ones they are looking for?
I have learnt a lot of lessons over my life from being at the edges of the frontiers of many institutions. These lessons from the inside have revealed my x-factors – resilience, humour, improvisation, blending, conducting, facilitating, curiosity, bravery.
I think your x-factors become visible when you step onto the precipice and then you find out what x actually means. You discover what shape it takes, what it tastes like, how it sounds and what it feels like to own it in your body and mind and spirit. I have also discovered the revelations bring compassion too – finding myself compassionate towards B16 is a very, big surprise!
I am exploring resignation and what that means – the resignation of the Pope, me resigning from a job, the resignation of living with a loved one with a life limiting illness. How are my x factors are equipping me for the explorations ahead?
I am redefining my x-factors and X-plore factors. I know all my exploring takes place often with the bare minimum of a map – just a hint of knowing where I am going and what I am going to need to get my there. However much I plan, there will still be unknown y variables out there to add to the x factors I bring with me.
I can bring my music, my poetry, my commitment to democracy and participation and my sense of adventure where-ever I travel. And it frequently is an adventure. Adventures might be unusual and exciting. They are typically hazardous and have plenty of unknown variables of their own!
I find myself on interior adventures more often than not, where I discover one of my x-factors being like a ear worm, wriggling its way into my journey to take me to some unknown landscape. The inner journey may (or may not) be supported by an outer one. At times the pilgrimage is an internal labyrinth – the only way out is to go in and retrace your steps to get back out again.
While there are people who do extreme sports – I am more like an extreme pilgrim.
“To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without the journey is to be a chameleon. To journey and be transformed by the journey is to be a pilgrim.” Mark Nepo