Eat more green things. Take risks. Save money. Step outside your normal routine. Drink more water. Find love. The Facebook post in my news feed went on and on. I wanted to be inspired, but just reading it tired me out.
The January series, Buy The Ticket, Take the Ride, has looked at setting powerful intentions. Like the Facebook post, it’s enticing to think we can do it all. We push ourselves to do everything, do it well, and all at the same time. 2016 has just gotten underway, but are you already feeling the pressure?
Consider taking a step back and adding one more intention to your list – the goal to be fluid rather than a frantic, perfectionistic, multi-tasker. William Donohue, author of “Managing Interpersonal Conflict”, used the catchphrase, “Remain firm about your goals, but flexible about your methods.”
Tara could have used this advice before she met with her boss at the department store. As they changed their inventory, she began to spend part of her shift in the stockroom. It wasn’t so bad. She even started enjoying the quiet time indexing new products.
“I’m going to tell my manager that I should stock full-time,” Tara confidently announced over dinner.
Her husband, Adam, was supportive, but skeptical. “Just like that? The holidays are right around the corner. Do you think he’ll be ok having one less sales person on the floor?”
Tara swiftly disagreed. “Come on. He can get anyone to ring up sales. I’ve got everything going for me – I’m a longtime employee, plus I like doing it. It’s a great plan A. I don’t need a plan B!”
Adam excitedly met her at the door that night, but he could tell that Tara was crushed. She looked away and said quietly, “You won’t believe it. He gave me an ultimatum. Either I can keep my current responsibilities or transfer to another team.”
She looked at Adam with tears in her eyes. “How can he do this to me?”
Poor Tara. She hoped her determination would impress her manager. Instead, he was overwhelmed by what he interpreted as tunnel vision, especially during their peak season. He gave her a quick answer, but it wasn’t the one Tara wanted.
A Soul Boss quality is the ability to be flexible when necessary. Moving in a deft way doesn’t require compromising your dreams. It’s making adjustments as necessary and giving them a little room to breathe.
As you look over the intentions you’ve sketched out this month, can you see a theme? How about challenging yourself to get it down to a single word such as:
Think again about Tara’s experience. It’s hard to realize joy, peace or being relaxed when your sole focus is ticking everything off your list.
This week, ease your grip and expand your vision. As the year goes on, give yourself space to fine-tune your intentions. With an open mind, there may be some wonderful surprises waiting for you. Keep your goals firm and the methods to get there very flexible.