With capacity-building in mind, I decided to use some of this “downtime” to crack open some of the self-help books I’ve been stockpiling. I decided to start with First Things First by Stephen Covey, in the hopes that the title’s onto something.
In the first chapter, Covey says, “Fundamental to putting first things first in our lives is leadership before management: ‘Am I doing the right things?’ before ‘Am I doing things right?’” (pages 27-28 of the 2003 edition)
While I haven’t gotten much past this quote yet, the idea is to engage in life leadership instead of time management, or, perhaps, along with time management. I’m not really sure yet.
I am frequently guilty of letting life lead me around by the nose. I try to do the right things, but that effort doesn’t pervade the entirety of my life. Mostly, I try to adhere to the right ideas: people over possessions, love over hate, put your back into, etc.
I’ve spent a lot of time building towards my dreams: get married and have children, become a published author, change the world. I’ve spent a lot less time, at least as far as results go, ensuring that I have the foundation to pursue these dreams. Things like earning a sufficient living come to mind here.
I’ve learned a measure of practicality over the years, but the thing is that I have to learn it. It doesn’t come naturally to me. I’m a dreamer. I’m comfortable with being a dreamer. But I’m uncomfortable with the reality that results from spending too much of my time away from the practical realities of my life.
Part of me wonders if the idea of life leadership will help me balance the two, resulting in a practical dreamer. Or if the idea is better suited to helping practical people embracing the dreamer locked within…letting him or her come out to play more frequently.
My dreamer-self has already set the course; now I need a practical captain to steer the ship. How do I become that captain?