2020 has been a year. For all of us. It has been challenging, and difficult, and stressful and mired in uncertainty. We have confronted a pandemic, and the fraying of the social fabric, and more politics than many of us have tolerance for. While 2021 won’t be a clean slate, and we have work yet to resolve, I’m heading into the year with some degree of confidence and enthusiasm. Success will take work and effort, but I’m willing and prepared to roll up my sleeves and meet the year head-on.
You’ve decided upon your stated direction. You have committed to the attainment of one or two strategic priorities that will most move you forward. And then an opportunity presents itself; a door opens with an interesting and exciting opportunity you didn’t know existed. Is this opportunity a meaningful new option or merely a shiny new distraction? These are the choices that we have to make as we navigate towards the future we most value.
It’s all well and good to say that we should dig deep, commit to learning and move forward with intention. But move forward where? What are we trying to accomplish? What goal are we really trying to bring to life. If we are honest with ourselves, most of us are wandering around with dozens of partly-formed dreams, ambitions and aspirations that hope our future self will get around to bringing to fruition. Continuing to push those ideas past the horizon into the future makes that realization unlikely. It doesn’t have to be that way.
Ideas. Words. Sentences. Paragraphs. Whole chapters. Such is the stuff of books. Every book is made up of those structures. The really great ones also have an extra little bit of magic woven through. It’s not possible to read every book that is published. It’s not even possible to buy every book published (Mark has […]
Acting with intention is an interesting notion. Intention—our ability to choose our response and act upon it—is our unique gift as human beings. We don’t just react, but can instead choose to act. The challenge is that we don’t always do so, and there are several ways that we undermine our ability to act and to exercise the agency that we theoretically enjoy. Understanding what compromises our intention, and knowing how to overcome those impulses, is essential to being able to take the steps that we most value.
Personal growth and development is not a cakewalk. Whether you have chosen the path—or had it inflicted upon you—embarking on change is complicated, stressful, angst-ridden and uncomfortable. It is the liminal journey come to life, although it doesn’t make it any easier to accept or process. For all the theoretical merits of changing, you are going to feel adrift, challenged and very likely incompetent. The desire to retreat to a safe and familiar place is going to be tempting. Nonetheless, there are strategies to make it through to the other side.