Wednesday, December 30, 2009

9 Things I Learned in ’09 Part I

In the spirit of the holidays I thought I would keep with one of the major themes of BadskiBlog and write about some things I learned in 2009, my first year of blogging.

1. The Importance Of Balance - As I get older I find I struggle more and more with balance and that balance has a greater impact on my overall happiness. I think as a kid you go with the flow and you obviously have much fewer responsibilities competing for your time and effort. You mostly just do what you enjoy doing and let your parents take care of the rest. In an effort to continue to do what I enjoy doing along with all the other things that come with growing up I often find myself either trying to cram too many things into my life or focusing too intently on some things while neglecting others. Not only do these strategies not work, they can be extremely stressful and unproductive. I have and will continue to focus on maintaining balance in my life while ensuring that no one thing overshadows the big picture which is to love the life I lead.

2. Consistency Is Hard – Desire to succeed is not enough. I have learned that it takes consistent behaviors to achieve one's goals. As I become more self aware I have noticed that it is typically not large decisions that negatively impact my life but a series of small instances where I have strayed from the pursuit of excellence and next thing you know I am in a rut. When I was in school at the Air Force Academy we went through survival training out in the woods. We had to do night navigations with only a compass. Our group got extremely lost in the woods. It wasn't that we took a wrong heading or were walking in circles for hours. We we just walking in the direction of our heading and not picking short points of reference to walk to before reconfiguring ourselves on the proper heading. Those slight errors over time led us way off course. I think of that hopeless feeling I had stuck in the middle of the woods wondering how I got so lost and relate it to how we as individuals often get off track in our lives. Beware of the slow erosion of what you are all about and strive for consistent excellence.

3. Adversity Often Provides Clarity – I have gone through a lot of change in the last year. New jobs, new places to live, new ventures, etc all that have brought new challenges. No one particularly enjoys going through tough times and I am no exception. However, as the saying goes you wouldn’t be able to tell the good days without the bad. Perhaps the greatest adversity I am going to face will take place in 2010 in the form of a six month deployment. It is a very scary and challenging thing to think that you will be disconnected from the familiar and comfortable life you have built for six months. I have struggled with the realization that my turn is coming for much of this year. However even though I am dreading being away from family and friends for that long I am confident and maybe even looking forward to the life clarity that my deployment will surely bring.

4. The More I Learn The Less I Really Know – One of the main reasons I took up blogging was the forcing mechanism it provides to justify and think through what you truly believe. You can’t just throw out the first thing you think of because when you do it is staring right back at you and anyone else who wishes to read it. There is something very enlightening about looking at your own words. There are many times where I will read something I wrote and begin to think of exceptions or scenarios to the point I was trying to make. As I have progressed through this my first year blogging I have tackled a lot of different topics and have learned a lot. I have read a lot of books in the past year and have made a conscious effort to be more aware of world happenings. My increased effort to learn has taught me one of the oldest clichés in the book, "the more you learn the less you know." It’s a cliché for a reason! Because it is so true. Its like climbing a flight of stairs. At the bottom you can only see the few stairs ahead of you. However, with each step another step is revealed to you, things you wouldn't have known had you not taking that previous step. I feel the same with my own quest for knowledge and growth. There is just so much out there. When I try to make huge strides in knowledge and growth I get frustrated. As long as I keep in perspective that I am better than I was before, I can handle the reality that no matter how much I learn there is so much more out there that I don't know.

To be continued…..

No comments: