8/100: The Difficult Part of Change

Two weeks into my 100 day plan, I am starting to see the problem. The credit goes to the chaos in my life at the moment - the deaths, the house move, the difficulties at work - and I am starting to see where I am going wrong at this time. It is simply this: While I pledged to change my life, I tried to change everything around me, except myself.

I must say I am starting to see the problem. My ego was mightily satisfied acting as a change agent, but the same thing - ego - is actually the biggest hurdle to change. I may have facilitated some changes around me, but of critical importance was my ability to change. This diminished over time as I became satisfied with my work.

Now that I know the problem, I have admitted this publicly. I did go up to colleagues and admitted that I took my eye off the ball. I made a career transition to higher education intending to teach and write: Indeed, that's what I still intend to do. However, I got sort of waylaid by the battles I had to fight, and ultimately, I ended up doing things I have always done before, managing businesses, selling ideas, mentoring people etc. These are exciting roles and I do them well too. However, the first two years in the industry for me was to be able to keep my head down and learn, and I stopped doing this altogether.

I shouldn't be too harsh on myself. Some of what I did needed to be done. But this meant I became the king of miscellaneous subjects; even if this meant more power and influence, it was all about power and influence, and not about the things I wanted, freedom, ideas and possibilities. If I don't stop this right now, this will turn out to be like any other job I have done before, and I shall fritter away my chances of doing something long term.

Hence, I went up to a colleague who I knew for a while and who has, off late, taken quite a bit of job load. and told him that I wish to focus more on the academic side of work and less on administration, at least for a year. I know I am good at this, and enjoy it more than just managing. This will mean being absent from strategic meetings and stop jostling for positions and sphere of influence, but so be it. Office politics is often full of to be or not to be moment, and my initial thought - correctly - was that to manage, particularly if you are dealing with dysfunction, one needs to be decisive and swift: There is no place for niceties. However, this led me astray from my own agenda, which was all about being good to people and pursuing a different kind of work than I have done previously. I must not keep making the mistake.

So, I am at that deja vu moment then: From this moment on, the battles I shall concentrate on are with my own demons, rather than with the outside world. They will be about making myself a better individual. If I achieve nothing else but this, I shall count this 100 day project a success.


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