REFLECTION: When I speak at conferences and deliver seminars on overload and overwhelm in life and work, I am constantly reinforcing the need for us to be as thoughtful as possible about how today’s choices and decisions affect tomorrow’s experience. It’s a ‘lift up your eyes for the long haul’ approach to the challenges that face us every day.
And no, it’s not always easy to step back from the immediate pressures of the day to respond from a higher plane. One of the most helpful tools in shifting direction is simply asking good questions. I love good questions. I adore great questions!
It’s for that reason, a message in the recent edition of the Green and White, our University of Saskatchewan Alumni magazine, caught my eye. In his President’s Message, Peter MacKinnon, describes many of the questions that are being asked in times of global financial uncertainty: How did this happen? Who is to blame? How do we protect ourselves? When will it end? A major drop in investment revenue has the University – and many other institutions, and individuals for that matter – reeling in response, trying to cope with the immediate fallout of the shortfall.
And yet, MacKinnon goes on to observe that if we limit ourselves to asking survival or ‘muddle through’ questions, we’ll only get survival and ‘muddle through’ answers. Not really a long haul approach!
In challenging times, MacKinnon recommends focusing on this question: How do we emerge stronger? Now that is a good question. In fact, I’d say that is a great question!
It’s not just about how we survive the tsunami swamping, but how do we make the most of our time adrift in the life boat? Talk about changing the nature of the conversation!
ACTION: No doubt you are facing more than one challenge. Today, this week or this month. Individually, or with your family, or your work group. Yes, by all means, focus on the immediate coping and survival issues.
And, in addition, spare a few moments to lift up your eyes. Ask yourselves what kinds of actions or choices might just help you to emerge even stronger than you were before. I’m betting you’ll have an entirely different conversation.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “We always have to give hope, truth and a plan.” – Grant Gayton
RESOURCE OF THE WEEK: Check out my latest article, ‘Do You Know Where Your Off Switch Is?’ at: http://www.pauseworks.com/features/latest_article.php
READERS WRITE: In response to last week’s Pause message, Getting To The Root Of The Matter, reader CH writes: “I loved that. It really resonated with me. Sometimes we hesitate to actually de-construct and begin rebuilding, but that is often the only way to success. Thanks again for your insight, Pat.”