Sad as it is, I find myself hooked on Borgen, The Danish political drama. Saturday nights would not be complete without Borgen and to them and the BBC I say “tak“.
I’m not that interested in politics in general and even less so in Danish politics. Hell I think I would struggle to point out Denmark on the map.
But the characters are good and it is well written. Mostly it works on a dilemma. Dilemma’s are particularly intriguing devices. It is said that you cannot truly express or understand a problem until you can express it as a dilemma (Eli Goldrat taught us that).
This weeks Borgen was called “What Is Lost Inwardly Must Be Won Outwardly”
It illustrated something we all do from time to time. I know I am very guilty of it.
Birgitte the Danish Prime Minister decides to take on the role as peace maker for a war torn African country. It’s a job no one in Europe wants as it’s pretty much doomed to fail.
At home however Birgitte’s teenage daughter is having anxiety attacks and is obviously suffering.
The title gives a clue as to the psychology and dilemma that is going on. Birgitte feels frustrated and unable to help her daughter, so she takes on a new cause instead.
Sometimes this is all we can do. Sometimes it may be the right thing to do.
This type of behaviour shows itself in all manner of ways. For me it is often tied into not finishing existing projects and starting new ones. This is partly because the last 5% of any project is detailed and difficult. It takes me as long to complete 95% as it does 5%, so naturually I prefer to go start something new.
The energy and enthusiasm Birgitte puts into the African peace deal originated in the love and frustration she has for her teenage daughter. In a way her daughter played a central role in the peace negotiations. Her daughter was the fuel if you like.
All good writers tap into the human condition because it is something we can all relate to. I don’t need to be the Danish Prime Minister to relate to Brigitte’s problems.
I recognize much of her behaviour because I do some of the same things. I’m human.
Have a look around you and see where your frustration with one area of your life is perhaps fueling another.
Take a closer look and see if this is something you have to settle for or if you perhaps needs to go and spend more time with your original frustrating problem.
Some problems need more time. Sometime progress is invisible. This is particularly true when working with humans and human issues.
We mostly want to take action and see a result and yet human issues see us take action, sometime for months or years, and no apparent result. . . . .But one day, something will just flip. Suddenly results appear out of nowhere. You see years of apparently nothing and then all at once you see transformation.
This is a very common and very human thing. I think people in the North of the personality spectrum are most thwarted by this as they, more than anyone, want to see an immediate return on their investment.
So remember not all progress is visible or measurable. Not all progress is direct.