I wrote this article for Linda Ockwell-Jenner’s ‘Stepping Stone’ March 2010 Newsletter. You can sign up for your own copy here.
Today was the first day I got to hang out the washing in the garden, and over the last few days, my boyfriend and I are redecorating our bedroom as the first of many mini-projects we can do in spring. Both of these activities couldn’t have been over the winter months since the darker nights and the colder temperatures easily put us off starting anything adventurous until now.
The sun shone so brightly today that I found myself taking photographs of the spring flowers in bloom, and as the washing dried on the line and the breeze blew the fresh smell; I realised what a difference the brighter days has on a person. It’s interesting how nature has been busy working its magic underground and all its hard work is starting to pay off. As mere over-ground inhabitants, we find ourselves affected by that which we see and feel; the snow, the cold, the lacking desire to want to wake up on the dark mornings. We are used to being influenced by what we see directly in front of us and sometimes we forget all the work that must go into it in order to get it to this point.
For example, how often do you look at your home and think about all the processes and organisations that had to work together to make it what it is today? Think about the guy who had to work out how much electricity cabling needed to be done around the building and how he had to co-ordinate his installations with the guys who were putting up the walls. It’s probably not something you think about every day but everyday things appear through hours (if not more) of labour that build up to a final point. To get to where your home is now, planning, preparation, and a combination of experienced professionals had to think about what they wanted to achieve before acting on it.
The small spring flowers that are popping their heads above the ground now have spent the last few months driving energy into their bulbs to create beautiful petals and colours to attract local visiting insects and continue the circle of life. Likewise, we plan all the things we want to do in the warmer seasons to ensure that we make the most of the time we have to enjoy it so that when it comes to enjoying a re-designed garden or modernised home, we can make sure it’s done to the best of our abilities.
So what plans are you putting in place to ensure that you can come out blooming both professionally and personally? Good intentions are withering post-New Year after many resolve to take steps to change and so many of us allow our daily habits and commitments prevent us from achieving what we really want to get out of live. Like the colder months, we can be swayed by negative opinions or sceptical friends and colleagues from following our passions and ideas, proper planning and time to think is always so useful in allowing us to gather confidence in ourselves and what we do.
The key for all of us is to allow us the space we need to allow our brains to breath. We need time and inspiration for us to see new opportunities and look at ways of making the most of our lives for the time that we have on this Earth. If we were all bulbs absorbing energy in the dormant months, then we would make sure we did what we needed to do to be the brightest and best at attracting the bees.
But as we’re not bulbs, now is the time for us to think about what we are doing in our lives now and take a quick mental check on how much of that is making the best use of our time. In these tougher economic times, many risk trying to do everything just to prove their worth in their organisations when in fact they may be doing more damage to their bigger picture. In a recent e-book I released, many of those who helped collaborate with me talked about going back to their core values and honing these skills so that they could be the best in that discipline. Right now, the option of being a master of all trades and yet a king of none, could spell disaster for those trying to do too much with little resulting success. Right now, being ‘busy’ doesn’t mean you’re being productive. Right now, you should think about how you can maximise your potential with an efficient and passionate approach.
Investing time in working out what you want to achieve in life is so worthwhile that it’s surprising so many choose to avoid doing it. On the upside however, if you are one of the few that can evaluate what you do and act on it, then you will find that there is little competition wherever you determine your space to be.
However you choose to do it, evaluating where you are now in relation to where you want to be shouldn’t take long; it’s a bit like a business plan but on a larger scale. At least you won’t need to hide underground for too long to realise that the world and his garden is waiting for you to bloom and grow.
‘Motivational Steps’ by Linda Ockwell-Jenner (you can also find her on Twitter here)
Susanne Dansey is the Managing Director of Purple Cow Ideas Management – an organisation that facilitates a paradigm shift in the collaborative nature of the ICT Industry. You can follow her on Twitter and join the conversation on Facebook.