Wednesday, December 20, 2020

More Last Minute Holiday Gifts to Yourself

Like yesterday’s posting, this one focuses on holiday gifts that you can give both to yourself and others. Gifts that will make your life better and your work and career more satisfying.

5. The Gift of Change
We don’t often think of change as a gift. Many people treat it as more of a curse: something that upsets the steady, smooth passage of their lives; a threat to their stability and security. Of course, it may be all of these, but consider the opposite for a moment. The same old same, day in and day out. Nothing to stimulate or excite. No prospect of anything being better. No differences to offer hope.

Lots of people find work unsatisfactory, and it's mostly because they are bored. They hang on more out of fear of change than any attraction to what they do.

A change of pace, a change of scene, even a change of career can be a wonderful gift to yourself. It can restore all the exciting possibilities of the new and unexplored. If currently you rush around without a moment to live, try slowing down. Let the change of pace give you a fresh perspective on your work and life. Look out for all those things you missed because you were whirling past too quickly to notice them. Take some time to enjoy what you never had time to enjoy before. The old saying that a change is as good as a rest is wrong: the change is often even better.

Most companies insist that they are different than the competition. In this, most are lying to themselves as well as everyone else. They are as alike as two peas in a pod. But the organizations (and people) that truly have impact are always the ones that are different; the ones that do something the others haven’t even thought about. Why not make 2007 your Year of Living Differently?

6. The Gift of Permission
How many things do you avoid, or shy away from, or even ignore altogether because you have some belief that they are not allowed for you? Many of us block ourselves from large aspects of living, because we have grown up with a kind of policemen in our heads, telling us that we’ll get into severe trouble if we go to those places inside us.

One of the biggest blocks to life and work satisfaction is excessive reverence: too much reverence for the past, unthinking reverence for social norms, excessive reverence for authority, unthinking reverence for the way things have always been done. There’s nothing wrong with showing respect where it is deserved, but respect should never mean unthinking acceptance, let alone suppressing your self in favor of some idea whose time is long past.

Here are some permissions that you could give yourself in the year to come. I guarantee that they will offer untold opportunities for positive change and development:
  • Permission to question the unquestionable and think the unthinkable. So long as you block yourself from certain areas and questions, you will never know what you may find there. After all, if you don’t like what you find, you do not have to do act on it. But if you do discover that there are ideas or possibilities that might be better than what you have today, you have given yourself a major step forward. Don’t censor your own mind. There are more than enough other people who are all too eager to do that for you—if you let them.

  • Permission not to know all the answers (and still go on asking the questions). Asking good questions is the royal road to knowledge and development. Finding the answers (if there are any) is no more than the icing on the cake. Our society today is fixated on having definite answers. That leaves us prey to every charlatan and demagogue who claims to possess what we are seeking. It also leads us to settle on an “answer” that is far from satisfactory, because it feels better than having no answer at all. That's rubbish. Even when you think you have a satisfactory answer, you should never stop questioning. You might find a better one.

  • Permission to accept that the universe is full of ambiguity. Inconsistency is not a crime. Often there are no answers—especially to the questions that matter most to us. What purpose can I find in my life? What is the right career for me? What is the right job right now? There are no clear-cut answers. Give yourself permission to do the best you can with what you know today—and the permission to go on looking at the same time. Maybe you will find that “one, right place in the world” for you. I hope that you do. But, even if you don’t, you’ll learn a great deal (and have the opportunity for a lot of fun) just by looking.

Tomorrow will complete this series of posts. Then I shall be taking a short break for the holidays. But I will still be watching the site and responding to comments, so keep them coming.

Add to Technorati Favorites Stumble Upon Toolbar


Post a Comment

<< Home

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a  Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 2.5 License.