Friction as a compass.
Embracing the signal.
Friction is everywhere in our lives. Some of it is good and some of it is bad. For instance, if a lack of communication in a relationship is creating friction, this is obviously the bad kind. But if you're a leader at a company and implement changes that create friction with employees in the short term, but you know it's the best for the company in the long run, this is the good kind of friction.
Early in our careers most of us tend to avoid friction. We see it as a sign of doing something wrong, and it can be a line we don't want to walk. But I think a key skill for us to develop over time is being conscious of friction, and being discerning enough to know if it's good or bad. When we get good at this it can become a huge asset to our decision making process. It's not a whole lot different than thinking about stress in our bodies. We all know that stress on our bodies from work or a relationship is really terrible for our overall health, but stress on our bodies from working out can be really great for our overall health. They are both forms of stress, but one helps and one harms. And so it goes with friction.
The way to use friction as a compass is very simple. You simply become conscious of its' presence. And when you recognize its' presence you take the next step of critically thinking about where it's coming from. If the friction appears to be something short term caused by a recent change, ask yourself if it will go away over time and if the ending result will be better than it is now. If it will, this friction is telling you you're on the right track and to stay course. If the friction appears to be something persistent and there doesn't appear to be a better future because of it, this is likely the kind of friction that is telling you you're on the wrong track and need to change course.
Embrace the friction for what it is. A signal that you need to peel back another layer. Peeling back that layer will be the compass telling you which direction to go. Whatever you do, never ignore the friction. It's there for a reason.