10/9/18

Don't hide behind your high standards

"I am not sure anyone even reads my status reports."
I was talking to my mentor, airing my frustration about the time I spent writing status reports I wasn't sure were read.
"Next time, prepare your report, but don't send it. Send the old one. If anyone says something about it you can just go "Oh, I attached the wrong one" and then you send the latest. If no one notices - well then you know it is not worth your time and effort to write them anymore."
I followed my mentor's advice. It turned out that my report, one of many in a large multi-site project, was not read.

When I talk to people who want to find more time in their everyday lives, many tell me they are perfectionists. They have high standards and are unable to do all the things they want to do, since they want to do each thing very well.



I understand the feeling. I also believe in high standards and always doing your job in a way that makes you proud.

There is only one catch:
Not every task is worth your highest ambition level.
I often refer to the expression:
"Whatever's worth doing, is worth doing well."
This should not be confused with "whatever you are asked to do is worth doing well."

There are times, like in my example above, when we are asked to do things that are not worth our time and effort. In an ideal world we shouldn't do them at all. But at times, refusing to do them may have consequences you are not willing to take.

That is when it is time to look beyond your high standards. Look beyond them and adjust your ambition level to the task at hand.

If you want to do everything at the same ambition level, maybe you can fit in 10 great things in your glass of time. If you adjust your ambition level to the task, maybe you can fit in 13.

The choice is yours.

Don't hide behind your high standards and say "you don't have time" to do more than you do today.

When you make conscious decisions about what to do and how well to do it, you have taken a big step towards mastering your time. Be the chess player, not the chess piece.

10/2/18

What makes you think you know?


Why do ticks even exist?

Peter Wohlleben describes in his book The inner life of animals,  how he - to his surprise - often gets this question.



As a dog - and cat owner, I do not like ticks. They are annoying, they spread diseases and I find them gross. But I am as surprised as Peter about the question.
Just because we do not know what value or purpose a tick has in this complex universe, doesn't mean it doesn't have one.
The same is applicable for unexpected events in our lives.

Many things happen during a lifetime. Extraordinary things, small ordinary things.  Some events we love, others we hate. When life changes in a way we did not want or expect, we often wonder:

Why did this happen to me?

Why is life so unfair?

Why can life never go according to plan?

These questions lead nowhere. Remember:
Just because you don't know why something happens in your life, doesn't mean it doesn't have value. 
We don't have to like everything that happens. And we for sure don't need to like ticks. But when we think that a certain animal does not have value, or that life is no good if it turns out differently than we had expected, we make the universe and life smaller than they are.

Let's not limit the wonders of universe and life by our current understanding.

There is so much we haven't understood yet, so much left to learn.

Isn't that an inspiring thought?