News flash: Driving change isn’t always wonderful.
I hope I didn’t shock you too much with that revelation.
But, if you want to excel at driving change you must train yourself (and you can train yourself) to see an opportunity in every frustration.
My example frustration today was a struggle with people wanting a measure for something that doesn’t (not that it couldn’t in the future) have a fixed measure. Now by fixed measure, what’s implied is a unstated assumption that if I can’t measure it today–numerically label it is probably a better way to say it—then it can’t have value, even if it is a real, positive change.
UGH!!! There it is…the frustration leaking out of me. What am I to do?
When truly frustrated (and while training for a half marathon), I turn to running to pound the frustrations from my body and free my mind to wonder, “how can I make this frustration into an opportunity?”
It was at the moment that I let the question float into my mind that I looked down at my GPS-enabled super sport running watch (okay it isn’t mine, it’s my husband’s, but he wasn’t using it tonight. I was.)
I remember years ago running for the sake of running, for fitness, for wellness, or just because. I didn’t have the super watch then. I couldn’t look down at any moment and know my time, my mileage, and my recent pace.
Back then, I had to just run, and feel how tired I felt or how many blocks I knew my current location was from my college apartment (my typical destination). I had building as way points to tell me roughly how I was doing and I had the view of the pavement disappearing under my feet to show me I was making progress. And that was enough to get me moving.
When you’re driving change, sometimes you’re working in areas with known measures and quickly you can see the dial turn or the needle move. Having the needle or dial (only if they’re measuring something useful) is helpful.
But other times you’re pace can’t be measured in minutes, or seconds, or twitches in the signal between a transmitter and a satellite in orbit. Sometimes you need to watch to see if there is your version of pavement disappearing under your feet and whether or not your destination (or desired way point) is coming into focus closer in front of you.
You can’t measure everything, but when you can’t you can still see/feel/experience positive change. Sometimes that has to be enough, for now at least. Because, without those first attempts to run, to try, to do well before you know how to measure the right things, you’ll never get to the point where someone designs a watch to help you optimize your measures.
Stop standing still. Start running the change you want.
There. I feel better now. Do you?