Paying attention and reflection…

Years ago, I was on a leadership development program, and we did a few different personality profiles.  Learning Style Inventory, a mini-psych evaluation, etc.  I love doing things like this, and I find that years later I can go back and see who I was at a particular point in time.  It’s useful to some degree, but they will never tell you about your potential.

One in particular noted that I was really good a diving forward into things, but rarely stopped to reflect on what these things meant, what impact they had, and how my actions affected other people…  all things I truly thought I did.  I might be good at the details in the moment, but I didn’t care to go back and reflect on what anything meant to me.  I was always on to the next thing, which isn’t always a good thing.

I found that fascinating for a girl who loved psychology, did self-study in it, and thought herself to be pretty attuned to things, in general….  but, the proof is always in the pudding…  so to speak.

I set out after that to be more observant of the big picture, not just my own selfish view of the world…  and I’m not saying that I always get it right, because I don’t…  but I wanted to make sure that I was at least aware that this was one area that I could develop – my capacity to see how my actions impact my world.  To be more aware of the other, without judgement, and not always me and my needs.

You see, for about nine years, I was involved with reviewing documents and projects where if you didn’t pay attention to the details, things got messed up.  Things could potentially go wrong.  I (and my colleagues) were often required to wield a big stick when it came to security of very sensitive information.  Personal information that you don’t really want to get into the wrong hands.  I became acutely aware of details about things…and often lost site of the big picture about people.  You can only sustain that for so long, in my world.  There is a balance that you can achieve.

So, in my personal life, I pay attention to things.  Little things, that mostly go unnoticed.  The body we inhabit gives away a plethora of information…  from small micro-expressions to grand sweeping gestures.  You are what you think.  If the words and the body are incongruent, I put my bet on the body telling me the truth.  I “try” to pay attention to many things, but I find that as I get older, my patience is waning…  I don’t want to exert so much energy in the details…but it’s a hard discipline to let go of.  I often fill in missing pieces based on experience…for good or bad.

Reflection has been tougher, and I still work on that.  Really thinking about what happens, why it happens, and what lessons I can take away.  We are always at the edge of infinity….  We always have the potential.  It’s up to us to use that for growth rather than to make things easier.  A acorn would never grow into an oak tree if it didn’t break away from it’s protective shell.  It would never reach it’s potential.

Not many people want to sit in their own pile of shit and smell it.  They are happy to shit, and move on to the next great thing in hopes that someone else will clean up their mess.  It’s when you realize that the shit is what fertilizes the growth, and that’s where the real work begins….

That’s all for now, I think…  Off to do some reflecting…

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About mizmulligan


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