Productivity vs. Stagnation

When living our lives, there is often an internal conflict that we fail to recognize: productivity vs stagnation. Productivity is when we are moving

forward, toward growth, goals or adjusting to changing circumstances. Stagnation is when we seek to stay where we are even as the world changes or as others change.

There are occasions when we can mistake productivity for stagnation or stagnation for productivity.

Examples of Stagnation

•    Remaining within your comfort zone as it shrinks, as our tastes become more niche and specific
•    Staying in a job you hate instead of seeking a new one, because it is familiar
•    Seeking to bind tighter to a shrinking circle of friends instead of making new ones as current associates move on
•    Seeking to maintain appearances despite reality moving away from our self-image
•    Indulging in narcissism instead of standing in our truth
•    Throwing yourself into a succession of relationships that are fled as soon as it moves from an emotional rush of discovery and thrills to deeper understanding of each others’ identity, refusing to stay anywhere long enough to become attached

Examples of Productivity

•    Learning new skills
•    Cultivating new relationships or developing deeper relationships with those who were are merely acquaintances
•    Improving current skills despite the potential embarrassment of not doing it well
•    Admitting a fault and then seeking to correct it, whether through self-coaching or transactional analysis coaching  
•    Reviewing our identity in relation to others and evaluating how we should change as others change, such as deciding how personal relationships should change as children mature to adulthood or parents age and become dependent
•    Choosing those traditions to carry on because they improve our relationships, intellectual development or teach lessons we want to impart