But, perceive them closed, they might as well be welded shut.
Too many times I’ve hesitated, not made that call or knocked on a door to explore opportunity – only to watch as someone else did what I’d thought about doing, signed a deal with someone I was going to call or developed something adventurous …
Over too many years I’ve done too many coulda, woulda, shoulda retrospectives. There is little joy in that. This week, like any other, begins with a list of tasks – file piles, notes, reminders and follow-ups. I’m packing a can-opener, a key and a cork screw. I’m thinking I need a wet towel and a bungie cord too.
I opened one door yesterday – interviewed a fascinating character, and before coming home to work on my weekly FACILITYCalgary newsletter, and then I went over to spend some time with my dad.
We did some paperwork, talked about his body/health, talked about doctor appointments and mostly focused on him not feeling well and what we can do about it. Booking doctor appointments is always part of that discussion. Still, so often these are exercises in being reminded of the effects of aging, depleted energy, reduced capability and the joys of coping with it all. There is little joy in that.
Just as I’ve been re-focusing efforts on open doors, opening doors and leaping through openings where there are no doors, there are lessons in my experiences, my dad’s experiences and those of many people I’ve met. As we get older, we get more experienced, more capable and more able to see the big picture.
But I think there is a tendency – not just in the case of someone like my dad who has such physical and medical restrictions – but for me, for all of us which is that for every limitation there are opportunities we’ve not explored, for every bolted door there are bolt-cutters, for every welded door there is another way around.
I can’t solve …
That’s a statement that fits so many things – easily applied to a difficult client problem, my dad’s health or my own difficulties with challenges, prospects, projects … and finding the elusive ideal woman.
So easy though, to just remove that can’t from the equation.
I can solve.
I can do.
I can open the slammed door, I can break through the bolted one and I CAN go around whatever obstacles cannot be easily removed.
There is much joy in that.
Focused on what I can do, rather than what I can’t.
Focused on who I can influence, rather than who I can’t.
Focused on where joy is, rather than where it isn’t.
Focused on how to push ahead with what can work – determined to keep it real, worth it and employing a winning strategy. Which, of course, requires a clear sense of what winning is. Not coulda, woulda, shoulda.
But more about starting, doing, making, creating, finishing and rushing to say, “OK, what’s next?”
Doing same old things same old ways may be a convenient focus, but it won’t change much – so new ways, new days, new plays – are required.
Where is your focus?
column written/ published from Calgary
morning walk: -3C / 28F, calm – on the verge of melting – still slippery, but we found enough bare concrete to make a decent walk of it. Gusta feeling much better, my left leg too, so we had a very robust walk under empty blue sky and glorious sunshine
Hello Mark, I am wondering where Sunday and Monday musings are?? Enjoying your daily thoughts very much, so missed the last two days - I haven't heard from you at all since our telephone conversation and am wondering how you are. I know you have had many things good and not so good in the last while, but you always manage to write a lovely and interesting daily post. Hope to hear from you, DL, Invermere, BC