Take any moment in life – good, bad or indifferent – and there is only one question to answer: “Now what?”
If you want the world to be different than it is, you need to take action.
If you are happy with the world as it is, or don’t feel strongly enough to try to change it, you can accept the situation (and presumably turn your attention to something more important).
And then there is commentary.
Commentary is anything that keeps you on the same topic, without any action and without leaving that topic to focus on other things.
There are great reasons for commentary. You can entertain, telling stories for the simple pleasure of it. You can commiserate, and in the process build a stronger bond with others. You can brainstorm ideas which will hopefully turn into actions. You can reason through the situation to try and bring yourself to acceptance.
But there is also a trap.
The trap is when commentary becomes a surrogate for action. You’ve talked about it, which is “doing something”, right? The corporate world is rife with commentary traps. “We had a good discussion” is typically code for “we spent an hour sharing commentary without moving the ball forward”.
So “now what”?
I propose that commentary is a tool best used to build relationships. It is great for building connectedness.
However, what if you want to move your life forward? Avoid the trap – choose action or acceptance.