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“You can't stop the waves, but you can learn how to surf.” – Jon Kabat-Zinn

Surfers rely on inner stability in order to have dynamic response-ability.

Navigating complexity is much like surfing. Like the ocean, the contexts we find ourselves in are unstable, dynamic, and always in flux. Even seasoned surfers can still be surprised by unpredictable waves and currents. While this holds potential danger, it also holds opportunity and adventure. The same is true for the contexts we find ourselves in today. Much is unknown or even unknowable, we can't wish away or ‘tame’ the complexity, but we can learn to navigate it, we can learn to surf.

One aspect of becoming a good surfer is maintaining a dynamic tension between stability and flexibility. This is also key in Pilates practice. From a place of inner stability, we can flex and adapt to even highly unstable and turbulent environments.

Complexity fitness applies the same principles.

Our core stability comes from several interwoven aspects.  First, we need to acknowledge when we find ourselves in complexity, i.e. we must be able to recognize it.  Then we need to embrace it, not attempt to avoid it.  Complexity fitness is about cultivating the ability to be with ambiguity and uncertainty, even if it is uncomfortable.  It is cultivating the ability to notice, sense, and mindfully respond to our context.  

Complexity fitness is key to becoming Change Fit and Future Ready - we can be part of co-creating the future if we are able to embrace uncertainty.  Another key aspect of complexity fitness involves curating our attention and stewarding our physical and mental capacity.  We do this prioritizing rest and maintaining healthy habits.   

From this place of inner stability, we are able to flex and lean into uncertainty with curiosity and imagination.  We can span boundaries, explore new frontiers and become comfortable with discomfort.  It is here that we can form a new relationship with uncertainty and change, where we are able to truly appreciate the value of diverse perspectives and navigate the messy tangles of the complex systems we work and live in.

“When everything around you is unstable, inner stability allows you to ride the wave.” – Casper Oelofsen

So what will you discover of this Complexity Fitness journey?

  1. What we need most now is the ability to adapt. We cannot become ‘future proof,’ but we can become fit for the unknown future.  We can be "future ready".
  2. Complexity is not something "done to you" or something you "suffer" ... you are complexity.  One day, which stuck in traffic, Casper saw this phrase written on a billboard: You are not stuck in traffic, you are traffic.  When we realise this, we can have agency.
  3. Complexity is not new.  Even small children know how to navigate it.  In a way, we are re-introducing you to skills you already have.  We are re-building muscles that were wasted away in mechanistic education and work systems.
  4. Complexity doesn’t have to be scary; it is beautiful and filled with opportunity.  The boundary between knowing and unknowing is filled with possibility, but we need the ability to be there mindfully. 
  5. There are meta-skills and practices we can pro-actively practice to help us prepare for an unknown and emerging future.  This will enable us to be COOL, to have the mindful presence needed to not only deal with messy, tangled challenges that can feel so overwhelming at times, but also be ready to make the most of unforeseen opportunities.


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