Monday, December 5, 2016

Being Purposeful

A coworker recently poked her head into my office and casually said "We've drafted an RFP for the new website, can I send it to you for review?"

Although I was pleased by the opportunity to opine, my eyebrows went up as I asked "How about if we get our teams together and make sure we all understand what we're looking for in a website, and then move on to the RFP?" We did, and it was a great conversation. Both the Marketing and Information Services teams had great ideas to add to the conversation, and I am sure that our website will be better for the discussion.

It seemed counterproductive to me that we would consider taking on any part of a project as big as redesigning our website without first understanding what we wanted to get out of the project. Yet...when I asked myself "What am I trying to get out of life?" I could not answer.

For someone as goal oriented as myself, this is a glaring omission. If my goal is to spend as much time with my daughter as possible, perhaps I should quit my job. If my goal is to maximize the amount of travel that Aimee and I do in retirement, perhaps we should downsize our house now rather than when we retire.

Of course there are many answers to this question for each of us. We probably want a mix of things out of life. If you were to write down some of the things you want out of life, how many of your actions today have moved you closer to those goals?

The answer for me today is "None." Tomorrow I will change that.

Monday, August 8, 2016

A strange paradox

Imagine, for a moment, if you discovered that you were going to die in the next ten minutes. Most of us would hardly be at peace with such a prospect. In fact, we'd fight tooth and nail for another ten minutes.

So why is it that we spend so much time trying to escape from reality? We spend tremendous amounts of time using drugs to help us cope with reality, knowing full well that it's unhealthy and leads to terrible decision making. We spend days each year watching television, or even reading books. In fact there are very few things that we can't take to an unhealthy, obsessive level in our quest to avoid reality. In the end we'll regret most of it.

We will regret the extra hours we spent working, the times we went out drinking instead of exercising. In the end we will regret thinking less instead of more, and we will wish that we savored every experience...even the terrible ones. We'll wonder why we bought a new car instead of traveling to Ireland.

I don't know why we do this or what we should do instead. I don't know how to make myself savor each fleeting moment-including the ones I don't like. I'm curious, though...and that's a good start.