Chris Brogan is a well known name in social media, business and consulting. He’s one of the sharpest fellows in the business. Each Sunday I get his weekly email and eagerly open to learn his personal and professional thoughts. Yesterday’s was good enough to use as the basis for a Monday post in September.
Why? Because by early September we are beginning to experience a bit of angst about ending another year. And the questions churn. Have we met our goals? Did we accomplish what we wanted to do? Have we added to our income? Are we feeling good about where we are or are we feeling a bit dejected? Is the dream still afar off? Or is it looming on the horizon?
Let me share some of Chris’ Sunday thoughts:
“Do you reflect on your journey often, Linda S Fitzgerald? Do you ask yourself how you got from the old days to where you are now? Good and bad? Sometimes, life’s great paintings come from a series of sketches. You and I? We’re like Picasso.
I didn’t know much about the painting Guernica by Pablo Picasso until I took a class on Advanced Communications with Oratium, thanks to Tamsen Webster (and her team). What I then learned was how Picasso made many sketches of what would ultimately be the final work. Through these, you can see how he emphasized certain parts, removed certain parts, and came to the place of the final painting.
You, like me, might sometimes wonder just how people do it. You might wonder how they attain mastery. You see their greatness or their success or see them doing something that you haven’t done or can’t do (yet). But just like Guernica and Picasso, life is a series of sketches. Progress is a series of sketches. Through them, you see the world differently, you approach it with a new mindset, you apply new skills to old learnings.”
Wow, that’s wisdom! If you’re like me, you want to get it all done now. Patience is a slow virtue to come by and most of us don’t like the process to get there. We want it to happen without making sketch after sketch after sketch to get to the final masterpiece.
We know that life is a process. And I’m sure we’re pretty sure so is business. That’s why taking time on a regular basis to reflect on the journey is a key element as we stride toward success.
I like what Chris asks about studying how we got from the “old days to where we are today“. Because looking back at where we were to where we are now gives us an idea of how far we’ve come. And realizing the change and growth that has occurred is a source of inspiration and encouragement for continuing the journey we’re on. Even the things that didn’t go so well. Knowing what didn’t work helps us avoid the same or similar exercises in futility in the future!
1. If you had to draw a picture of that new idea that is just now forming in your mind. . . what does it look like?
2. Is it water color or charcoal? Does it have definite shape and form or is it what we call “free-form”?
3. How about oil? Oil is richer, with greater texture and definition. But water color is softer and easier to change over time.
4. Perhaps it’s just a simple pencil drawing as the idea begins to take shape and form. Something that can easily be erased and re-drawn as the dream evolves over time.
5. Does it feel right? Or does it cause some anguish because you want to fill it in before it’s ready?
6. Set it aside. It doesn’t have to be finished in one fell swoop. In fact, as the idea forms, so will the sketch you have made. And as the dream unfolds; the sketch will become a finished masterpiece ready for the world to see.
It’s Monday, September 8. Lots on our to-do lists. Lists that we are bound and determined to accomplish in the time frame we’ve determined.
Wait a minute. Didn’t we just decide we’d take time to reflect? Didn’t we just determine that it’s good to look back so we can look forward with intention and dedication. Didn’t we just decide to become the artist of our future by sketching out the process and letting it evolve as it will?
Ultimately that’s your decision. As for me – I’m going to put my pencil to the sketch pad and see what magnificent magic I can make as I excitedly look for the process to unfold. Ready to join me?
Linda S. Fitzgerald, Visionary Partner
Champion of Ordinarily Extraordinary Women of the World
A Women’s Place Network, Inc. dba
Affiliated Women International
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