Everyone has perceptions. We view the world through our own lens or window and make assumptions and judgements based on what ever view of the world we have. We fill in the missing gaps and pieces or grab on to information that makes sense to us or does not make sense to us. We don’t take the time to properly assess the situation because we either don’t give it enough time or we choose to only connect with the parts that matter.
My realization is that I can only be who I am and can’t be what others want me to be. Oh they will tell me what I should be; however, I have resolved that I am the one to decide what I am going to be and how I am going to be that. Drawing a line in the sand was a valuable exercise because it set my boundaries on what I view as acceptable. People know of me but they might not know me. Only those who take the time might really understand who I am. Saying that, each of us are the same in this way. We have depth and vastness that people never really get to know. Part of that might be our unwillingness to share or that others might not need to know. Either way, we hold on to who we are and sometimes we might not really know who we are.
People might look at who I am and say that I have way too much on my plate and I am spreading myself way too thin (and I hear this often). How can you conceivably do the following: teach two classes a term, GradusOne, SoapBox Speakers, Here-2-There speaker series, build out a business to help international students, starting to write another book, blogging, promote your other book, MIBOSCO African project, SFU Alumni Board, mentoring 3-9 people a week and the many requests to meet and have a conversation. I am sure that I have missed stuff! This is all outside of a priority which is my family.
Sure, this is a lot to consider and upon first glance, I am extremely busy and spread thin; however, look under the surface. I am going to give you five ideas: leadership; public speaking; corporate/community relations (representing an organization); student development; and storytelling. If you know me and apply those five words to the many things I am doing above, you will see that they fit beautifully into the five key words. Actually each of those commitments hits five out of five. For me, if it does not hit the five out of the five, then I can not dedicate my time to it. I will not say no to opportunities but then I must say: “here is what I can do”. I bring this back to my area and say that if I am to participate, here is what I can do.
On the same tone of perception, in the past, someone would share with me how busy they are and their world and I would think to myself…oh, you don’t know busy, but then I had a realization that they are busy. For them, their capacity is perhaps not the same capacity of my busy, which in reality my busy is not as busy as many others who are out there. We all have our own view of words such as busy, success and happiness. There is no right or wrong view of the word except what we hold within us. Saying that, we can not impose our words on other people. We need to respect their view of the world and appreciate what their world is. Don’t be quick to make assessments and judgements. Our view of the world is not the only view, it is only a window to the many windows that are out there.
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