Natural Rhythms of Life LO11890

Pamela McGillivray (
Tue, 14 Jan 1997 16:31:42 +1000

For a while now I have been noticing repeating patterns and rhythms in my
life and in the life of others around me. At a micro level we repeat a
set of patterns every day. For example the way we wake up, get out of bed
and prepare ourselves for the day is repeated in a similar way every day.
If we drive to work at roughly the same time, we find ourselves in a
roughly similar pattern of traffic each day. Of course, we have different
patterns for different types of days - work days differ from weekend days
differ from holidays. These different patterns combine to form strands in
the rhythms of our life.

There are other patterns that are repeated in our lives, but on a not so
frequent basis - sometimes even years apart. These include such things as
the way we go about problem solving; the signs that we are in need of new
challenges (for me, I know that when my desk is chronically untidy, I am
mentally moving on); the activities that we enjoy; the types of holidays
we go on. And the repetition of these patterns provide different strands
in the rhythms of our life.

In a poetic sense, we could see our lives as these different patterns and
rhythms, harmoniously intertwining, running over each other, twisting and
combining together, then sliding apart, each to combine and twist with
another rhythm. Or in a mechanistic sense, we could imagine these as a
multitude of cycles being combined, all with different (and variable - if
that is possible) amplitudes, all with differing highs and lows.

My observations suggest that these rhythms have a natural timing to them,
and theres not a lot we can do to force them to play faster, or even slow
them down (for a sustainable period of time). This leads me to wonder if
our natural rhythms are often out of step with the pace at which we seem
to be expected to perform in the world today. And, if this is so, what
are the longer term implications for our social fabric, our organisations,


Pamela McGillivray


Pamela McGillivray <>

Learning-org -- An Internet Dialog on Learning Organizations For info: <> -or- <>