8/31/2010

A question that has been on my mind over the last twenty four hours is how do we decide and balance our lives and schedules. In many cases we are presented with not one option that we want to do, but often two or three, in themselves they would all be good, and offering their own doors down the road. Often today, we do want a situation where we can choose all of the above. Door A, Door B and Door C.

Sadly given limited time and resources, it isn’t always possible to choose all of the above, at least and excel. There comes a point where you have to be able to take a step back, and analyze where to best spend your time. Where your skills and resources would be best spent? The decision I had to make today is actually closely related to why I started up this blog. My original intention for many months now was to take an online course based in second life and write about the experience.  Learn and study how having a component of a virtual world would adapt and shift the online classroom.  At the time, I didn’t quite realize what the exact commitment from me would be, and how my other classes this term would shape up.

One of the many lessons, that seems to have kept coming back every term, even though I did apply it quicker this term, is that of focus with a limited amount of resources. The Habitudes image of Rivers and Floods, both of them are bodies containing moving water, but soon after that the similarities end. Rivers are focused, moving in one unified direction, and they can be constructive. Floods however, are defused over a wide area, moving in many directions, and in most cases, floods will be destructive. (There would be a few exceptions, of controlled flooding in crops, where it might not be, but for the most part, the constructive nature of floods is few and far between).

Similarly, as Leaders, we can easily be as destructive with that lack of focus. Even though in many cases it would be more toward self-destructive, when we try to choose to do A B and C, when we might only have the resources, mentally and physically, to do one or two of the options presented to us well. It’s a lesson we’ll be continually presented with, even though how quickly we realize it and deal with the results will change.  I know twice in the last academic year, I had issues dealing with choosing to do it all, and all the potential challenges that went with it. The first time, while I would have an idea of the picture of floods and rivers, I wouldn’t have applied it. The end result, I over extended myself, and when I was at a conference, I came down with something, and came home very sick for me. (slept for about 16 to 18 hours when I got home). The second, I started noticing some of the earlier warning signs, before it got to the point previously in the fall, between exhaustion and stress. I did have to give up some very good activities, sadly. That in of themselves would have not been a horrible load, but when you consider the full picture would have continued the path of a flood.

This term, I would say I finally started listening to that little voice in the back of my head on the question given the objectives of the semester,  is this really a wise choice?  The answer was a no.  This would close some doors for my involvement in some ways, but who knows what other doors will open this term. I know many of us do go through choosing from options that aren’t necessarily good or bad, those are easy decisions at times. But the hard ones are when you can choose one or two out of three good options? What do you give up? What do you keep?  I’d love to hear ya’lls thoughts.

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