Reasons: Horses and Courses

There are several things that support a positive outlook, and I must admit that there are several that I could do more. ‘Giving’ is one such example. I recently resolved to talk to the homeless more, even if I wasn’t carrying any cash. I also resolved to carry more cash on me, so I could at least give once a day. But the problem is so endemic that it soon overwhelmed me; I was encountering so many on my travels that I felt worse, and I got occupied with the idea that I was giving change to some people and not others, or I was responding to some and not others. Something to work on there, and it needs persistence, not abstinence. Also, what happens when society goes cashless? It’s coming, its probably an inevitability now – cashless businesses are popping up everywhere.

people coffee meeting team
Photo by Startup Stock Photos on

I’m a big fan of taking courses. One of the ‘actions for happiness’ is that you should always be learning. I thoroughly, whole-heartedly believe in this ethos for happiness. I am always doing some sort of study. The catalogue of things I have taken courses in is lengthy to say the least.

Why do I do it? My main motivation is that you never know when you’ll need to be able to do something. You’ll never know when your job will become so deathly boring, or otherwise uncomfortable, that you should abort, fail, retry something else. (Yes, that was a DOS joke. I’m not even sorry. Run DOS Run.)

Right now I’m learning Japanese. Motivation? Honeymoon, and I still think I might live there in my old age. You never know. I’m learning Improv comedy, because listening is a transferable skill, but also I’m making some stellar friends and even forming a troupe! I’m learning Agile PM, because maybe one day I won’t work for the Civil Service and I can join a start-up or some other company whose values I really share – or maybe I won’t, and I’ll feel more comfortable doing what I do in the longer term. You never know.

But I’m hitting capacity. In one of the projects I manage, the team often talks about “straddling several horses”. That sounds uncomfortable, but they’re referring to their inability to stop working towards some products because they just might be useful. This would be fine if you have the time. But they don’t. So, none of the horses are advancing very far. (Maybe their hooves keep kicking each other.) And the closer we get to the deadline, and the fact we still don’t have clarity on what anything is, the more they continue to ride all the horses, despite our pleas to prioritise and stop.

I have to do this, too. I noticed I was at capacity because I have become a rather shit plate spinner. There is just one plate too many, or even two too many, and so I just finish getting one back up to speed when two others look very precarious.

What’s the solution? Perhaps it’s temporary, and I just need to wait out this period. But that’s unlikely to improve things. Either I’ll get good enough at something for it to be less time-consuming, but then I’m likely to want to ramp it up or move onto something new – or it just won’t get better because let’s face it, this is my personality. I am someone who enjoys constantly picking up new skills and challenging my mind.

So, I have decided to prioritise. I’m going to do what I do best: make a list, number it, turn it into a diagram, then design a flowchart of all my options and finally procrastinate through planning it so nothing changes… I learn from the best. #Brexit


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