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Don't be unhappy if your dreams never come true, just be thankful your nightmares don't. ~ Anonymous

The Domino Effect

The domino effect is a chain reaction that occurs within a dynamic system when a small change causes a similar change “nearby”, which then will cause another similar change, and so on… and so on… in a linear sequence. The result is best observed as a mechanical effect and analogue to a falling row of dominoes. It typically refers to a linked sequence of events, where the time between successive events is relatively small. This chain reaction can be applied literally (an observed series of actual collisions) or metaphorically (complex systems such as global economic or in politics, where linkage is merely a hypothesis).

The Domino Effect

The classic demonstration of the domino effect involves setting up a chain of dominoes stood on end and then toppling the first domino. That domino topples the one next to it, which topples the one next to it and so on. In theory - regardless the length of the chain - all the dominoes will still fall. This is because the energy required to topple each domino is less than the energy transferred by each impact, so the chain is self-sustaining. Energy is stored by setting each domino in the metastable upright position and that energy is what keeps the chain toppling. The mechanics of domino toppling are described by two theories…

  • independent action (one domino that topples) and
  • successive destabilization by cooperative neighbours (other domino topple when triggered by the first independent domino that topples).

Within AltanaESP context the antipode of the domino effect (i.e. negative, inefficient, unproductive) is the ripple effect (i.e. positive, effective, productive), which implies a more nourishing or healing context. Unfortunately as a rule - more often than the exception, that is - professionals (e.g. doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, educators, …etc.) are inclined to rather “treat” symptoms of the root causes of the many problems experience by individuals. This frequently has an undesirable outcome related to the domino effect that normally initiate a toxic chain reaction within the dynamic energy system of an individual.

Quite often the symptoms are dealt with quickly, swiftly, efficiently and with surgical precision. There almost always is an immediate short term relieve. However, in the long run the actual cause of such symptoms tends to resurface, frequently under different circumstances and within a different context (i.e. recurring patterns). For example…

  • depression are treated with pills, and the individual is left to try and figure out, all by him-/herself, what is really responsible for his/her depression; when unsuccessful, it could develop into a depressive or bi-polar mental condition.
  • learning problems are solved with Ritalin, without due consideration to the individual's believes and/or emotional landscapes; which in turn may result in some awful conditions such as the Torette syndrome or a variety of other learning disabilities.
  • addictions are rehabilitated, not really accommodating what resulted in addictions in the first place, which often leads to a continuous self-destructive cycle of replacing one addiction with another in an futile effort to remain addicted and balanced it with socially acceptable behaviours.
  • relationship difficulties are handled by a negotiated compromise, based on the exchange of “hypocritical preference beliefs”, rather than dealing with the underlying believes, attitudes and expectations; successfully prolonging the inevitable for another couple of months.
  • …etcetera …etcetera …etcetera …etcetera.

The domino effect, therefore, is an interactive and combined exploratory focus on the specific domino (i.e. root of the problem) that tends to trigger a whole series of events and processes (i.e. a chain of events that eventually “rocks the boat”) which - when it tumbles over - results in a variety of observable and “unexplainable or not yet understandable” reactions, actions and behaviours. When we deal with the results of the “toppled domino”, it is very likely that we are addressing the mere symptoms of the actual problem. In cases like these, we enable the individual (or ourselves for that matter) to re-erect the dominoes of life for the time being… until such time that the key domino (i.e. original root cause) is triggered again, just to repeat the whole process all over again (i.e. the same old problem, just a different context).

The domino effect implies that we - especially as AltanaESP Locksmiths - should always try to maintain a facilitator approach when guiding or assisting individuals, and purposefully attempt to limit an enabler approach to the absolute minimum, whenever possible.

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