My son and I visited the V Bar V petroglyphs outside Sedona, Arizona, Saturday. The rock walls contained over 1,000 of these ancient pictures, many on top of each other.
We were greeted by a guide who used the contraption shown in the image above to explain to us how a handful of the pictures were used to create a solar calendar that helped with the agricultural cycles so important to the people who lived here 1300 years ago.
As you can see it is a simple machine, made out of plywood, wire and some pictures. Despite the simplicity, it worked to help us understand exactly how the calendar on the wall operated. Sometimes a simple tool is all it takes to make sense of an overwhelming situation.
In my work, I am always looking for mnemonics, frameworks, and metaphors that can help my clients with their goals.
These are all easy to remember and use, especially when situations are intense. I always remember ABC from my “wilderness first responder” training. It’s a quick checklist if you find someone unconscious:
Airway – is their airway clear?
Breathing – are they breathing?
Circulation – can you find a pulse?
Each of these tells you what to do to help the patient and can save a life.
Tools can be words, or they can be physical constructions like the one above. What tool do you use or depend on? Is there something that comes to mind for the week ahead?
“At each increase of knowledge, as well as on the contrivance of every new tool, human labour becomes abridged.”