Monthly Archives: August 2010
I began a temporary job in the middle of May of this year. It was the first full-time employment that I have had in three years and was greatly appreciated. Because I knew at the beginning that the job would be temporary I did not have any expectations other than pay for a few weeks work. I am still working and we have finally reached the end of the assignment.
What I did not expect was the relationships with co-workers that have developed. I have truly enjoyed working with the group that have become my new friends. What is most interesting to me is that they are from 18 years old and up. I am at 58 old enough to be the mother of many of them yet we have managed to transcend the barriers of age and the difference in experience and formed friendships. I have learned a tremendous amount from all of them and realize that this is part of the formula for keeping a young attitude. I hope that they have learned that older is not necessary dead!
There is a lesson to be learned every day!
Professor Hawking is a theoretical physicist, who has written several books and has attended both Oxford and Cambridge. I have seen him several times on television and am astounded by his intellectual ability. By the way if you don’t know, he suffers from ALS (amyotropic lateral sclerosis) a fatal neurological disease that usually kills it victims in a few years. Professor Hawking does not like to discuss his abilities in the context of his disease. Let’s face it though, the man is confined to a wheelchair and at this point can only communicate by a specially made computer. He is what most of us would consider completely paralyzed. ALS however does not affect the brain and he remains one of the most brilliant people alive. His disease does not define him.
My point in mentioning him is that perhaps in our road to reinvention, we need to make better use of what we have. Some of us may have less physical ability than others but have our right minds. Are we using what we have to the best of our abilities? Or do we let a panoply of excuses keep us from moving in the direction that we know that we should take? What do we allow to define us?
We are constantly being bombarded with books and articles that profess to tell us how to take control of our lives and once that is done we will be able to move in the right direction. On the face of it this sounds logical and we are tempted to take the proverbial bull by the horns and run. Why can’ t I become successful at any given venture based on these foolproof formulas? Failing to plan is planning to fail, successful people use their calendars, schedule their appointments and closely watch everything that they do. This is what moves them to the top isn’t it? I am not so sure.
Yesterday a co-worker lost a loved one in an accident. No warning, he was alive in the morning and dead by evening. It was a shocking and stunning event for her and everyone who loved him. I imagine that he had plans for yesterday, the rest of the week, the weekend. So much for planning. We never really know what is going to happen.
Now I am not suggesting that we say the heck with plans. We need order in our lives and when we discuss the topic of reinvention, we will surely need to make plans in order to move forward. I think however that we can become too tied to a schedule, a list, a calendar, a to do list. We are often not able to forgive ourselves when we stray from our chosen path for the day. Let’s remember to forgive and forget. Tomorrow is (hopefully) another day to get it right. If we don’t have another day I bet the plan will not be the last thing that anyone remembers about us. Use your skills, celebrate your gifts and remember the saying “Man plans and God laughs”
inertia. A, noun. 1, inactiveness, inactivity, inertia. a disposition to remain inactive or inert.
It has been one of those weeks. A new challenge has presented itself every day and some time mid-week I got lost in my mind. Haven’t been here for several days. At any rate the only way to reinvent is to keep moving forward. I ran across the word inertia today and decided it was a perfect word for me to describe my mind-set this week. I allowed things to become overwhelming and once that took place I was as I am fond of saying STUCK IN STUPID.
Worrying, panicking, hiding under the bed and other solutions of this type don’t solve problems. Inertia however is sometimes what happens when we try to protect ourselves from harsh realities. No matter what my common sense and spiritual belief tells me, some days I just lose the battle and wallow in a bit of self-pity. This week really brought home the saying that “No news is good news”
Yesterday I attended a 4th Birthday party for the child of a friend. A 30 some mile drive, a chair in her backyard and a group of kids playing in the blow-up bounce and slide house did wonders for me. Some good adult conversation and wonderful food and drink and I was on the road to recovery. Maybe I take myself too seriously. Maybe we all do at times.
Down with Inertia! Let’s put one foot in front of the other and see where it leads tomorrow!
So yesterday we began exploring the comfort zone and today we are going to make a small change that takes us out of that zone. I love to talk (the reason that blogging is so much fun for me). I have never felt uncomfortable speaking to groups of people. Yet if I am asked to make a cold call (someone I don’t know) I am petrified. I would rather do most anything than talk to a stranger.
Today I am going to call a real estate lead that I don’t know. I intend to have a meaningful conversation and hopefully the party I am calling won’t know. What are you going to do today? Please let me know.
The following is the definition of Comfort Zone from Wikipedia:
The comfort zone is a behavioural state within which a person operates in an anxiety-neutral condition, using a limited set of behaviours to deliver a steady level of performance, usually without a sense of risk. The comfort zone refers to the set of environments and behaviours with which somebody is comfortable, without creating a sense of risk. A person’s personality can be described by his or her comfort zones. Highly successful persons may routinely step outside their comfort zones, to accomplish what they wish. A comfort zone is a type of mental conditioning that causes a person to create and operate mental boundaries. Such boundaries create an unfounded sense of security. Like inertia, a person who has established a comfort zone in a particular axis of his or her life, will tend to stay within that zone without stepping outside of it. To step outside a person’s comfort zone, they must experiment with new and different behaviours, and then experience the new and different responses that then occur within their environment.
Several things about this definition struck me as interesting. “A level of performance without a sense of risk. This describes lots of us in our every day lives. We don’t want to do anything that will upset the status quo. We may be unhappy or at least unchallenged but stepping off that path brings all kinds of reactions that we are not ready to deal with.
Most of us have a standard trip to and from work. Whether by public transportation, our own vehicle or by foot, we usually travel the same way each day. Boredom is balanced against the sense of the familiar. We know those landmarks, we see the same people, have the route timed or would rather not have to think on our commute.There is no sense of risk and that is just fine for most of us.
A comfort zone is a type of mental conditioning which allows us to set mental boundaries which give us a false sense of comfort. If we think and act the same way, we believe that we have control over some aspect of our lives.
In today’s world this may be more important than in our past. We have so many things that are out of our control. The economy has caused many of us to lose investments, jobs, homes and certainly a sense of control. Engaging in the familiar somehow makes things better. But today you have to ask yourself is this what is best for me now?
This week let’s begin our reinvention with a step outside of our comfort zone. Tomorrow let’s alter our daily commute. It can be a small step around one block and back to the normal route, a different road, a later bus, earlier train. I’m with you a different route to work tomorrow.