Following my thoughts on the basket, I had to share a real life example of my basket in action. As I was contemplating what a fellow co-worker e-mailed me about feeling under-appreciated because of not getting a reply to something he submitted to the boss, I thought about my new approach to dealing with those things that used to really rattle me and I replied (edited for privacy):
If you feel strongly about needing a pat on the back or confirmation or feedback you should speak up. I do know how you feel as I used to get really annoyed by similar things. Just remember you should be the one that you are trying to please.
If you know at the end of the day that you gave it your best and you accomplished things that is really what matters. If you know at the end of the day that you slacked off or could have handled things differently then you take a moment to figure it out (don’t dwell) and make a plan to do it different the next day/time. That’s the way I handle it now.
I have too much to do and too little time lately and I had to figure out what I was doing that was wasting my time and cut some things out of my routine. One of those things was worrying what people say so much. I do my best and I stick up for my people. I do my best to delegate and let it go where I can. I do my best to hold people accountable and don’t rescue them anymore.
I also don’t take on things that aren’t mine to do unless I see them fitting into my own personal development plan. When I do get wrangled into things that wouldn’t normally be credited to me (by those more powerful than me) I make sure that I shout if from the rooftops and that the credit is documented where appropriate. After all, there’s always room to learn something new.
My attempt at some measure of content (calm) boils down to: Things that are not in my basket aren’t mine to worry about until someone more powerful than me (my boss or his boss) puts them in my basket and if I’m taking care of my basket properly I have no reason not to hold my head up.
I’ve been largely absent from almost every source of social interaction for the last six weeks. (With the exception of a short visit to one site that led to my last post.) I found that I needed this time because I was overwhelmed trying to figure out what to do next after getting that MBA, where to concentrate my efforts and how I can move on from one season to another without losing my mind. In a sense, I needed to make sure I was not heading further away from the calm I seek.
I took a time out and went basket shopping. Well, in a sense.
You see, I have pulled back and entered isolation to take a good look at my basket and make sure I am carrying the right basket. My basket is what matters to me. It contains all the things I am responsible for, what I should care about and what I can realistically control.
After much speculation, I think that we are only supposed to really “worry” about those things that belong in our basket. I am not saying we cannot empathize with causes or people. What I am saying is the things that should rattle us or in any way exude any pressure on our state of calm in the world are those things that we control.
So, in order to know if I had the right basket and that it contained the right things, I had to figure out what I was really responsible for. Some would argue that is very easy. I would disagree.
I believe that we live in a society today that has been overwhelmed with knowing so much about so many things and so many people that it is literally a chore for some to figure out what their basket is all about. I took this time out to identify my own.
What I have learned is what I can control, what I cannot control and what I try to control. I found out that the things that threaten my state of calm the most are those things that I cannot control but try to control. When I start to look in other baskets and try on some of the things stored in those baskets, I start feeling stressed and my mind begins to race more than usual.
So, what can I control? Well, that is a story for another day. I found my basket and now I need to learn to carry it and quit worrying about what everyone else has in their baskets.
I don’t spend a lot of time on Facebook. I have found that the more time I spend on the site, the less calm I am. In fact, I get downright riled up.
For instance, everyone has an opinion and because it is virtual and not face to face, many people are compelled to state those opinions that they would not dare state in person. Or, if they haven’t got the venue to state the opinions in person, they also don’t have the ambition to justify the opinions they have with any semblance of intelligent reasoning.
Worse yet, are the endless streams of causes that are constantly parading by on the “news feed” at any given time. Most of these causes are for people I have never met, nor have my “friends” met. For some reason though, my “friends” feel compelled to ask me to give and share. Just to clarify, I am a charitable person. I give generously of my money and my time when I believe in the cause and have a connection of sorts. I do not, however, ask my friends to give to unknown persons and causes. And I never attempt to guilt them into a false sense of belonging to earn their support.
Just once, I would like to see a Friend Request that says this: Dear Friend, if you are nice enough to friend me, you should know that I will forward and share multitudes of opinionated links and stories that I know very little about, I will forward this propaganda even to those who wish I would not many times each day. I will jump on any and all bandwagons to join the popular threads on the News Feed today. I will guilt you into joining the popular causes and giving to unknown charities to fit in. I will air my emotional state, illnesses and sports fantasies to the masses. I will shamelessly invite every person on my “friends” list to join the games I play and beg for help to level up. I will expect you to like everything I post and make witty comments to prove you are my friend. I will expect you to share my wisdom with all of your friends as well.
Just once this would be nice to see. A little realism in the face of the folly that is Facebook.