May 23, 2022

Where Are You Right Now?

The world keeps getting faster and we keep adding gadgets and technology to make it easier which gives us more reasons to stay busier and less time for each other. The pandemic has created more Zoom calls than human connection. We're answering emails at all hours like hamsters on a wheel. There are days when I finally take a moment to look at a clock and it's 4pm. Where did the day go? I love my work but I don't seem to take a breath to gain perspective some days.

I once had a boss who traveled the country to meet with managers like me but was never really in the city he was located in at the time. During our meetings, his face was buried in his smartphone. He would fidget in his chair like a petulant three year old. His eyes would dart back and forth. He pretended to pay attention but it was clear he was somewhere else. The man couldn't sit still for a two seconds.

Busy Being Busy

Years ago, a friend moved to a much larger city. I asked him if he noticed the pace had increased and he said people seemed busier but he was unsure they were getting any more accomplished. A while back, I had a bit of a cold that lasted a few days. I tried to keep up with work but I had one critical realization; the world didn't fall apart because I wasn't answering emails within seconds. I'm not curing world hunger.

Let's heed the wise words of Calvin of Calvin and Hobbes; "We're so busy watching out for what's just ahead of us that we don't take time to enjoy where we are."

Sage advice from a cartoon kid.

May 3, 2022

The Stories We Tell Ourselves

That won't work. It's a dumb idea. You're too sensitive. You can't do that. Don't dream so big. You aren't mean for great things. Don't be ridiculous. Lower your expectations. 

The stories we tell ourselves are often influenced by the stories others tell us about us. Bill isn't good with math; Sally tends to talk too much; Byron has issues with authority; Janet has no success with relationships; Kyle doesn't socialize well.

Mean What You Mean

Our friends, family, parents, and even our colleagues may mean well but they shape how we feel about ourselves whether their assessments are accurate or not. It's easy to say "don't listen to them" but it takes a lot of energy and fortitude to do that, especially if some of this imprinting has been going on for years.

Far too often, we put others and ourselves in a box. I'm too old, I don't have the money, I couldn't do that, it won't work, it's too late. Easier said than done, but let's accept the past has passed, and take the shot. We could just resign ourselves to letting others build our narrative. After all, they know best, right?

Or perhaps we may enjoy making some new stories.
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