Mornings used to be a time of rich productivity for me. I was able to work out, read, focus on my next actions list, and leave the house on my terms. Having transitioned over the past 5 months to a new city and taking the kids to pre-school, I feel I’ve lost control over my time. I get frustrated by my own feeling of frustration in those moments. I see an error in this thinking. There is no sustainability in deriving my worth from daily output therefore I can’t look to productivity as my measure. I look to be exceptional in all I do but I fear any downtime. The desire to be free of constant pursuit conflicts with a drive to accomplish I am capable of. I feel obligation to pursue daily output stemming from a conflict between output and identity.
Other People’s Problems
The focus on what is essential takes discipline and courage. After a recommendation, I started an inbox labeled OPP, or Other People’s Problems. I dump emails there for problems others are unwilling to solve for themselves. Trying to help people who are not willing to help themselves creates a crutch and creates a lack of growth in others. Email can become such a black hole of just answering questions that help other people get what they want. Be helpful but not at the cost to their learning and focus. Have focus and be focused therefore helping those who help themselves.
Where is the separations between preparation, journey, and destination?
I strongly desire the strong, calm balance from knowing my identity. The line that gets drawn by having an occupation in banking is constantly moving. I’m finding it hard to focus on my role as a true passion and something worth sacrificing for. I spend my time building out products in an organization I’m not exactly passionate about. The lessons I learn through this process are timeless. God brought me this opportunity and I believe there is purpose in my pursuit. Not as an ends, but as a means. A process is often the path to product. I can’t sit down and do a project. I must work through the process, constantly accomplishing actions, to finalize anything worthwhile. Journey and process provide the time and spacial awareness to reach a point, or destination. The destination is often fleeting but the journey stays with you forever.
Stay present to the beauty of your surroundings
Accomplishment does not dictate presence. The alternative leads you to stare at the ground, watching your feet as you progress on the journey. Be present to the beauty of your surroundings. Kids are not going to be at this stage forever. Careers never stay the same and are hardly worth as much time as you give them. Presence will never be yours if you are focused on what is not essential or dictated by others. Falling in line with the default approach of hammering out emails all day while you go from 1/2 hour meeting to 1/2 hour meeting leads you no where. Consumed with other people’s problems and their view is not a reflection of productivity or meaningful work.
The ends justify the means if you focus differently. Design your day and center effort on what is essential. Not to the company or organization as the end but to what you know aligns with your goals and purpose. Certainly that effort will not be wasted. You will come away from that experience, compensated well, and ready for my next adventure. Effort should not be a reflection of trading time for money; that return is not compelling. The effort should be a combination of leading and excelling within your role while developing yourself for what you long to do.