If we wait for the moment when everything, absolutely everything is ready, we shall never begin. - Ivan Turgenev What is something on your “Someday” list? What do you dream of doing when the conditions of your life are all just so and the stars are aligned right? Instead of waiting, why not try an experiment? More and more, than any other time in history, we are now seeing others’ experiments in virtually all areas of life via books, movies, or social media. Experiments such as trying to minimize household trash, eating different foods, getting healthier, starting businesses, and more. Experiments are good because they are short-term and there is minimal investment. Plus, the pressure to be instantly successful - real or self-induced - is much less. We all have an idea of something we’d like to try “someday” - a career change, a lifestyle change, a business venture, a new hobby, or a change of scenery. If we do take the leap, and invest our all into the project, too often it seems we discover we’re not as happy as we thought and it isn’t the right fit for us. Many times, this is because we are attracted to the “idea” of whatever it is we are interested in, because we’ve been told that everyone else is into it, and we don’t want to be left out. Yet, it is the “idea” - that gets us in trouble when we discover the “reality” of whatever we started. But often we feel we are stuck and can’t quit because of the time, energy, money, and other resources we’ve invested. So, before you quit your job, open a retail outlet, or spend all your money, try an experiment for a few weeks or months. Volunteer, take some vacation time to job shadow someone if possible, or take a class. Book a table at a market or have a tail-gate sale. With a short-term commitment, you will get a better grasp of the reality of your project. After you’ve had a chance to experience first-hand what the situation really entails, you’ll be able to make a better decision as to whether to continue your experiment longer or devote your energy elsewhere.
Beth's Ponderings Once, many long years ago a particular task was completed in two simple steps. It didn’t matter if one just learnt how to do the particular task, or if one had mastered it decades before, the process was the same - just two simple steps. And that was the way it was done for years and years. Everyone knew what was expected of them, and what the final result should be. And everyone was able to complete the task and still have time for fun. Then, a certain individual decided to take that particular task and turn it into a complex procedure involving ten time-consuming steps. Now, you would think that the certain individual would have been laughed out of town for daring to complicate the simplicity of particular task, but, alas, you’d be wrong. Instead, the certain individual was praised as others considered the implications of turning the particular task into a complex procedure. For instance, one could charge a LOT more for the final product as the ten time-consuming steps increased the difficulty, or one could demand a higher paycheque for completing the complex procedure as it took considerably more hours than the two-step simple task. So it was mandated that the particular task would ONLY be completed as a complex procedure from henceforth. In a very short time frame, the ten-steps became firmly entrenched in society, as traditionalist secretly continued to complete the particular task in two simple steps. After a while, people started grumbling about how time-consuming the ten steps really were. An efficiency expert and time-management coach were brought in to assess how the people were really completing the ten time-consuming tasks. After much consultation, and discussion, the expert and coach were able to streamline the complex procedure down to a mere...seven steps! And the people rejoiced. Meanwhile, the traditionalists, after shaking their heads at the folly of humans, decided to launch a revival of the particular task with its two simple steps. And the people thought it was something brand new. We can complicate or simplify our lives. Which do you choose? Beth Read the complete issue of The Chautauqua here.
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