What are you afraid to lose and why? That is a question I have been asking myself for a while now and seems particularly appropriate at this start to 2014.
My questioning started back in August / September 2013 when my life started getting severely disrupted due to all the road work projects that ramped up in Doha. Roundabouts that were major landmarks and direction posts in this rapidly expanding city were disappearing rapidly and being replaced with traffic signals. The transition process was painful. What had already been busy intersections straining under the ever increasing traffic flow, turned into major road blocks with some basic commutes doubling and even tripling in time during the conversion construction works. Morning school runs / commutes that already started at an early 6:45/7am were now starting at 6:15/6:30am. There were lots of unhappy campers in Doha!
Some conversions were fairly straight forward and were completed within six weeks, others created long term road diversions with some intersections closed / diverted for what will be years.
And some of Doha’s most known landmarks have disappeared too. The Oryx and Rainbow/Arch roundabout statues were removed in 2013, and several years ago the charming Perfume Bottles also disappeared.
It was in the midst of this turmoil that I wondered, how do we all make decisions on what we need to change and what pain, disruption and sacrifice are we willing to make to do so.
Like Doha’s traffic I started looking at the bottlenecks in my own work and personal life and have been assessing what I can do to move along my own routes more smoothly in the future.
So what is stopping you? Are you restricted by habits, sentimentality, aversion to change, a sense of duty / history that may or may not be misplaced?
I still remember a story I was told over twenty years ago. A newly married couple were cooking dinner and the wife cut a roast in two and put it in two separate pans in the oven. Her husband asked her why she did this, and she responded that that is how her mother always did it. They then asked the mother why she did it that way, and she responded that her mother had always done it that way too. When the grandmother was asked, she responded she only did it that way because she only had small roasting pans that couldn’t fit a large roast.
So look at what you do today, ask why and determine is it necessary / is there a better way. If there is a better way then investigate what kind of changes are required to get there and determine if it’s worth the effort. Sometimes it’s not but often you will find you are holding yourself back and there is so much more you can do if you are not afraid to let some of those landmarks in your life disappear.
All the best to you for a happy and prosperous 2014.