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Things to Think About, November 19, 2018

The little red hen was a controlling martyr.

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Once upon a time, there was a little red hen who wanted a loaf of bread. "Who wants to help me plant the wheat?" The other hens replied, "We will in an hour." The little red hen responded, "fine, I'll do it myself." The little red hen alienated all the other hens and enjoyed a dry loaf of bread because in all the rush and martyrdom, churning the butter was overlooked.

Happy Monday or whatever Monday you choose.

Are you warring with yourself or others? Perhaps you are having a difficult time determining your direction. Are you finding it difficult to focus on the task at hand? Maybe you are trying out multitasking and still not getting anything done. Not all conflict is negative. People pushing against your ideas can be a proving ground or force you to consider a different point of view. Sometimes some friendly competition in a team atmosphere can drive all of you to new levels of success. Is there a way to focus this energy and try some brainstorming or brain writing? Ideas do not have to be a zero-sum game. What would happen if you joined your creative energy with others?

But, and there is always a but – you want to shut yourself away and work in peace. There is a danger of becoming stagnant if you withdraw too deeply. It is good to center yourself and find your focus so that you have a clear head when you interact with others. I like to take a few deep breaths and check in with myself. Where is my mind at right now? What feelings am I experiencing? Why am I experiencing these feelings? When you know where you are coming from, you can better interact with others because you will not be as reactive. When you are balanced, you can truly listen to what others have to say and work to build consensus.

When you are wary of sharing responsibility or delegating tasks, you shoulder the burden all alone. Taking on everything can be a massive drain of energy and also deprive others of being able to make a contribution or to learn something new and grow. I fell into this trap last week and became my own version of the little red hen. We had an event, and I had plenty of people to help, but I decided not to be a burden and do my part all by myself. I ended up having an excess of resources which resulted in waste. The event was successful, but I barely had any time to enjoy it. I was not an effective communicator. If I shared the load, I probably would have had more time to get other things done instead of coming home and doing all the work that I didn’t get done because I am stubborn. The danger of being overwhelmed is why checking in with yourself is so important. When you realize what is happening, you can course correct.

What’s next? I don’t know about you all, but I need to take action to regularly check in with myself. Having goals and a game plan is essential, but if you disconnect yourself from your feelings and your vision, you may end up just pencil whipping your life as a to-do list. Wake up – check. Exercise – check. Eat something – check. Kiss the loved one(s) – check. Forget to enjoy life – check. It is easy to meet your goals and remain unfulfilled. All work and no play makes (insert your name here) a dull boy or girl. Cybernetics has not yet reached a point that we can ignore our physical bodies. We need our bodies to carry out our plans. Do not forget to rest and nourish your whole self. One of the most difficult and elusive tasks for me is to get eight hours of sleep. If I do this for too long, I end up splayed out somewhere like a crime scene victim because my body says “no more.” Our energy is a finite source, spend it wisely.


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