That was the profound phrase I spouted the other day (okay, over a year ago), while trying to mentally connect the dots between a set of ideas.
Yep. My thoughts are deep like that.
Every time I start to work on something – anything – I find myself trying to tie it in to something that already makes sense to me. How is this an extension of what I already am or doing? The connection isn’t always easy to make. And if I can’t connect it to something important in my life, great! I can let it go.
But, sometimes, it’s way too easy. Everything is connected in the end and, really, isn’t this shiny new opportunity just as relevant to life, family, better health or work advancement as everything else? Isn’t this project, health issue or scheduling nightmare just as valid and worthy in the grand scheme?
So, how do you determine what makes it into your sphere of care, worry, concern or fears? What taps into your time and energy?
— How are you thoughtful without over-thinking?? —
Here are a few key questions to ask yourself when your looking at a piece of your life that seems to be kicking up shit:
1. Why is this important to me? Why is this important to me right now?
2. How am I passionate about this? Yes, how. How does this call to you? Are you approaching it in the best way?
3. What happens to the other areas of my life if I do this? (hint: list both the positive and negative impacts!) What happens to the other areas of my life if I do this right now?
4. And the corollary: What happens if I don’t do this? (hint: list both the positive and negative impacts!) What happens if I don’t do this right now?
5. What is more important in my life right now, than this? What is less important?
I run this scenario often when it comes to my photography. I love photography. I enjoy it and I totally connect with the camera, the images, the lighting and finding my best shots. But it can take up a lot of time and, really, it’s a hobby. So when a recent opportunity came up to photograph an event, it looked like this:
1. It’s important because it would be a great opportunity to focus on candid photos of people. And this is a one time conference over a few days.
2. It would be a reasonable challenge for me – I would love the chance and the challenge of an event of this size and set up! Plus, I get to attend the event!
3. I would have to set aside dedicated time to process the pictures after the conference. I would get to do a dedicated body of work on this type of event. I would be able to connect with people in the process.
4. This type of experience won’t be readily available for several years at least. I would lose the opportunity to attend the full conference. I would have the time I would otherwise spend in processing the photos.
5. As always, my family and current commitments in life and business are more important. Getting outside and eating well are more important. Sleep and time to re-energize are more important. Television and social media definitely aren’t as important.
So, I agreed to do this event. I now have the head space and the framework to schedule and prioritize the work that comes along with it. The next time, my answer may be different. Because life will be different.
It always is. It’s always connected.
How do you assess your work, new plans or projects or even just the next shiny thing in front of you?