Now or Never
Sometimes, in hindsight, we realized that we should have done something in the moment when it first came to mind. The fact is that humans are expert procrastinators and we will often find a way to get out of doing something we don't want to do, especially in times when the doing with come with discomfort. Discomfort in this sense comes in many forms, be it simply stepping out of our comfort zone or more often being held accountable for our actions. Leaders have to be able to lean into this discomfort, recognize in the moment that what they need to do, and engage.
I often find myself reflecting on situations in which I missed the moment that called for action or missed the mark in the way I did act in a situation. I grow from these reflections by seeking out vectors of accountability within myself and through my peers, largely writ.
In myself, I am trying to be more intentional about moving from passive reflection into active change.
- I am writing things down as they come to mind.
- I am hitting publish more frequently.
- I am using reflection as an action word that should be treated as a means to larger growth; what if I treated these times of reflection as a form of personal project management, replete with agendas and action items?
When I use the term "Peers" perhaps friends come to mind, but I really did mean everyone who could provide insight into my successes and areas of growth (friends, family, colleagues, blog readers, etc.)
- I always talk things out with my wife and we have an open line of communication if I am spiraling and need to be redirected. She is also one of my most trusted advisors and confidants in all things.
- My children have already learned how to give feedback, albeit not always tactfully. I try to listen to their thoughts and feelings and change course if I am not being true to the father I want to be.
- I attempt to create trusting relationships built on open communication in all of my personal and professional connections, so that disagreement and debate are not bad words; I also grew up in a house where argument meant impassioned debate, not angry fight.
- I seek out differing viewpoints to better understand my own opinions and learn from those who may see things differently.
- I was always taught to seek resolution and justice no matter the topic or how resolution might affect me. Being willing and able to sacrifice things for the greater good is a big part of that and admittedly counter-cultural for Americans.
I share all of this to a point. Sometimes, we have to move forward with the information we have in the moment when it matters the most. Other times, we need to gather more information from past missteps and a trusted community. We can never see the entire picture, but reflection allows us to see as much as possible and ideally move to action. Without action that stems from well-informed reflection, there would never be change, there would never be growth.
I always want to believe that there will be a second chance if I miss the boat the first time, but in this life, there are no guarantees of that. Sometimes, it is realistically now or never. I want to be a person who takes action in the moments that matter most and help others to do so along the way.