Control the uncontrollable

Singapore, 8th June 2011

We can control lights and lighting effects with electronic or simple mechanical equipment, we can control our environment to a great extend by what we do, but controling the human mind is probably the most difficult thing on earth. We are driven by emotions and by our character and our actions and reactions therefore are very unpredictable and generally triggered by our mood and state of the moment.

When everything goes well and according to “plan” we are generally in a free flowing mood and positive state of mind but when difficulties and unexpected problems arise we can get into panic reactions and irrational behavior. I guess that is the inate nature of the beast…self protection and self defence. I raise this topic today as often in some stage of a project (generally towards the end) we are confronted with things that don’t work, assumptions that have been proven wrong, people who do not deliver on promises and so on. But the show must go on so we somehow have to find ways to make it work. We had such situation in one of our projects over the last week.

Emotions can run deep and people generally don’t like to be wronged, even if they are. Very little people take ownership and responsibility for mistakes and blaming others is then generally the first line of defence. One of my early day teachers told me not to react on the spur of the moment and sleep on it before reacting. Though some people (like me) are wired to react immediately, “sleeping on it’ has been proven a good advise. Controlling your emotions, think before you act.

People have a tendency to react emotionally and say things to make themselves look good if acused of wrongdoing or under achievement. That may then be felt as personal attacks by others and the war of words is born. It takes a good project manager to nip these in the bud and avoid uncontrollable escalation of emotions! As the saying goes, if you are not part of the solution you are part of the problem!

In Light Watch today a symbolic place when it comes to emotions, or should I say senses? There is a chain of themed restaurant called “Dans le noir” (In the dark) where people eat in complete darkness. Eliminating your key sense (sight) your emotions are triggered by the rest of your sense (sound, smell, touch, taste). I blogged about it before. Not really the job for a lighting designer 🙂

Light Watch 106: Dans Le Noir, Paris

09. June 2011 by Martin Klaasen
Categories: light watch, lighting and culture | Leave a comment

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