I read that stuckness is not a bad thing. It is avoiding our stuckness that is the problem. I think living with stuckness is part of why duck docs are so good.

These ideas on stuckness come from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance. It’s a wild philosophy ride that contemplates the nature of quality, knowledge, learning, and reality.

Stuckness is the predecessor to knowledge

The book posits stuckness is actually good. Grappling with stuckness is how humans learn and advance. It also posits that humans are terrible at staying stuck. We will automatically devise new routes forward, if we can convince ourselves to sit with the problem long enough. The trouble is when we get uncomfortable or overwhelmed with our stuckness and avoid dealing with the problem. Then we stay stuck.

This is one reason that I love duck docs. Ducking makes progress through the stuckness more tangible. It provides an immediate outlet to record questions, start pulling on threads that come up, and to see the facts accumulate as each question is addressed. This gives me a path forward in the stuckness. Once I’ve communicated what I know, the problem is more tangible and approachable. Often, it only takes a writing down a few questions or knowns to get the ball rolling.

In short, Zen and The Art of Motorcycle Maintenance deepened my love for duck docs. It’s clarified the critical role they play for sitting with our stuckness, avoiding feeling overwhelmed, and working through the unknown one little step at a time.