Core Idea

Key Points

Quick
In a situation, change elements, relationships and the proximity to better relate to each other.

Complete
In a situation, change one or several of the elements, and/or one or several of the relationships and/or the proximity to better relate to each other. For your situation, the word “each” in the phrase “to better relate to each other” refers to 1) the elements, 2) the relationships and 3) the proximity. So one, two or three, or some combination, may change. A more compact way to express the Core Idea is the Quick way above: In a situation, change elements, relationships and the proximity to better relate to each other.

The Core Idea with Terms
Knowing that a situation is whatever you are dealing with or considering, then …
In a situation, change elements, relationships and the proximity to better relate to each other, using these quick definitions:
Elements
Loosely, an element can be anything. Any person, place, thing, idea, feeling, situation, time, etc. More accurately, an element relates to other elements.
Relationships
Relationships are any kind of association or connection between elements.
Proximity
The proximity consists of elements related and potentially related to your situation, in physical, mental and other ways.

Tip

No matter where we are or what we are doing, we are usually making connections and relating things. The Core Idea reminds us that elements, relationships, and the proximity interact, and that we may be able to change several of them.

Questions

• What elements are in your proximity? How do they relate? How are they defined by relationships? How might they better relate?
• How can you create or change relationships between elements? How will that change the elements?
• How might changing what you consider to be the proximity affect elements and relationships?

Examples

Eating
You relate your hunger, an element, to some of the food, cooking tools, and tableware elements in your proximity. You change your proximity by bringing related elements into it, such as food from stores and farmers’ markets, and recipes from friends, family, books, magazines or the internet.

Leaving a Message
When you need to leave someone a message, you take advantage of elements in your proximity, such as sticky notes, pens, paper, phones, voice mail, computers, e-mail, or a stick and wet sand. You may also make their proximity part of your proximity, with phones, computers and mail service.

Persuasion
When you persuade someone to do something, you relate elements in the proximity, as well as adapt the proximity to the situation. You may relate elements such as their needs, things they mention, and their style, to your needs, skills, ideas and style. You may also bring other elements into the proximity, such as the future, the market, other people, and other industries.