I was listening to the “The One You Feed” podcast this morning, after having whittled down my Twitter list to the people I really want to follow and/or those I do not see elsewhere on social media.
Eric was talking about getting things done. This has been a low-productivity week for me. He said two things I found very helpful.
When you are driving somewhere, if you look at your progress at any particular moment, you will not get an accurate overall picture. You may have to slow down to 10mph on the highway because of traffic, where you may be able to go 65 on another part of the highway. Making a decision about your overall progress based on the moment you are going 10mph is going to give you an inaccurate picture. It’s the overall average speed that will give you a good picture of how you are doing.
If I look at any particular moment (or day) when I am having low productivity and make large conclusions about my productivity based on this one moment, I will not see the whole picture. It’s the average of the moments, minutes, hours, days, week, not just this one moment right here.
Of course if I am working to be productive this minute, that’s great, but I mustn’t look at a slow time and decide that’s the entire picture.
The other reminder was an analogy about how we take care of plants. To have a healthy plant, we water it a little bit at a time. If we give it a gallon today and then nothing for the next four weeks, for most plants, this will not work at all. Same with projects or maintenance tasks. A little bit each day. I couldn’t possibly have gotten all the libraries visited with Kepler this summer if I had tried to visit all 41 branches in one day. It was the one or two at a time that got us this far.
Here is a link to the podcast, which is just under 6 minutes long. If you ever look at yourself and characterize yourself based on this individual moment, may I recommend that you listen to this podcast. Very encouraging.
I’ve been in close proximity to an addict since Thursday afternoon. The circumstances have included me keeping my eyes on him at all times. This has necessitated some help from family with caring for Kepler and getting him places. This also included a decision I made to forego a social event with the rest of my family in order to stay with this addicted person. It has been intense.
I have been very transparent on my blog and yet I feel like I need to be very protective right now of privacy. My experience of this is that I am clear what it is I have been doing since Thursday afternoon and I also know that I cannot fix this problem. This time is just part of our journey.
I think the experience of an addict knowing he will be standing in front of the judge tomorrow is kind of like deciding you’re going to go on a diet on Monday. Boy, on Sunday, the thoughts of eating all the crap you can are surely present. “Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow I die(t).” But if my diet was going to be strictly enforced by a jail guard, I might feel even more desperate for one more banana split or Reese’s cup. Since I’m not going on a diet tomorrow and I have no jail guards to worry about, I can’t understand enough what it feels like. But I can understand that we all face really, really difficult things, and all of us have opportunities at every point to decide how we are going to respond. I believe that for myself. I believe it is possible for others, but they have to decide it is possible for themselves.
You know they say you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink. That’s really true. You can show someone all the most beautiful ideas in the world but you can’t force them to believe in the idea or choose the idea or trust the idea. So, I’ll spend the rest of today continuing to show my horse the water, the beautiful water, that sparkling, satisfying water, and he’ll have to choose whether or not to flap those horsey lips and take some of the water in.