Onward, to New Beginnings and Future Performances.
I re-evaluated my priorities this past week for the first time since my altMBA course ended and it was surprisingly easy to figure out what should go where and how everything fit together this time. I think over the past 6 weeks I’ve started to learn what it looks like to prioritize the work in front of me, categorizing it into buckets of “non-negotiable” vs. “let’s make this happen” vs. “that has to happen, but I don’t need to put a lot of effort into it.”
It’s definitely still a process, but it’s one that’s making a dramatic difference for me. For example, Thursday afternoon, I realized it had been a while since Jeremy and I had spent any quality time together beyond a quick homemade (read: thrown together) dinner at 9pm because we had only just realized how late it was. Given the fact that he is one of my two “non-negotiable” items (the other is myself)… that’s a problem! So I shot him a text: “choose a restaurant and a movie… tell me where to meet you and when and I’ll see you then 😊😊” Did I have time for it? Not really. But did we need it? Absolutely! And that’s where the priorities come into play.
sleep won out over writing on the flight home despite caffeine, and that's ok. if I've learned anything in this process it's that catering to what I need versus what I think needs to be done goes a long way.
Learning to distinguish between what I need and what I think needs to be done isn’t the easiest thing to do, but let me tell you — it’s worth it. Do I still have work to do (metaphorically as well as actual work)? Sure! But when the priorities win out, it’s easier to structure my day around what actually matters rather than what society, work, or others are telling me is important.
If the altMBA taught me anything, it was this:
“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams.
Live the life you have imagined.”
It’s funny to note that I’ve had that quote right behind my desk for several years now — likely since soon after I moved to SF. But it’s taken me this long to actually see it… to process it… to absorb it and see it as something that I need to take ownership of.
Instead, I’ve had quotes like this around me:
"Let me realize that my past failures at follow-through are no indication of my future performance."
“What we call the END is often the BEGINNING…
the end is where we start from.”
While these are grand, inspiring quotes, they don’t push me forward… they coddle me, reminding me that the past doesn’t have to define me and that I can be more. And there’s a time for that! But when that’s what I absorb for day after day, week after week, year after year… I find myself clinging to the past and seeing what others have said before rather than moving forward and taking the next leap. Rather than inspirational, these quotes are now holding me back and causing me to face the ghosts of my past.
I’ve grown since putting those quotes up, and now it’s time for new quotes… new inspirations… new goals to shoot for. Things that will inspire me to dig deeper, push harder, and conquer more than I ever thought possible. It’s time for me to claim those promises and finally realize the tip of the iceberg of what’s possible, rather than assuming what I see in front of me is the whole narrative.
So here are my new quotes for the time being, in addition to the Thoreau quote above:
“You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face… You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”
“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind.”
And together with my new priorities, I’ll push on… looking for new doors to open and new avenues to turn down, knowing that each one might lead me to a new possibility, revealing just a little bit more of the iceberg that is my potential.