I am currently reading “The Power of Story” by Jim Loehr.
In the introduction he puts a name on the widespread condition of “presenteeism“:
“Without investing high-quality, focussed energy in the activity before you, whatever it may be, setting time aside simply takes us from absenteeism to presenteeism – a condition increasingly plaguing American business, a vague malady defined as impaired job performance because one is medically or otherwise physically or psychologically compromised. Is a worker who’s too fatigued or mentally not there for eight hours really better than no worker? How about a parent? A spouse? Time has value only in its intersection with energy” Jim Loehr
Disengaged but Present
In what areas are you disengaged right now? These are the areas of life where you are doing the time, but distraction really has a hold on your conscious attention.
There are always good reasons that can explain your distraction:
- too much work
- challenging family situations
- frequent travel
- unsupportive kids/spouse/friends
- high maintenance team
- debt and financial challenges
- health problems
The Author of Your Life Story
Another lovely paragraph from his introduction:
“Funny: We enjoy the privilege of being the final author of the story we write with our life, yet we possess a marvellous capacity to give ourselves only a supporting role in the “writing” process, while ascribing the premier, dominant, true authorial role to our parents, our spouse, our kids, our boss, fate, chance, genetics, bad weather, or lousy interest rates.”
Are you planning the final story of your life? Or just letting it drift into tragedy or comedy or thriller or farce? Maybe better a romance, a heroic adventure, a dramatic epic tale of exploration, lessons learnt and other’s lives touched for the better?
The most important story is not the one you are explicitly or implicitly telling to those around you via your actions and words, it is the one you tell to yourself.
Here’s a very timely tweet that I came upon last night:
“The stories we tell ourselves can serve as straitjackets for stagnation, or scaffolding for transformation.” @sebpaquet via @skmurphy
— Conor Neill (@conorneill) August 31, 2014