No one is a bigger fan of being present than I, but just like most everyone else, being present can be a struggle for me. The main enemy of being present for me is my impatience. From the strengths perspective, the culprit is my activator theme. It has me eager to get going. I’m that person jabbing the button on the elevator. Combine activator with my zest strength, and you’d think that my life depended on getting that elevator door closed in the next 0.85 seconds.
The combination is great in the sense that it makes me a very productive person. I work hard. I enjoy staying busy almost 24/7. Chris calls me the Energizer Bunny.
And not always in a good way. If I were to be completely honest with myself (uh oh; beware the person claiming to be honest) then I would guess that most of my mistakes and regrets emerge from my impatience.
- I make mistakes when I hurry. I have to work at following my own advice of slowing down.
- Not giving others sufficient time to make their own choices.
- Focusing too much on the future: what will happen, where will I be?
For example, my biggest regret from college was rushing through straight to degree rather than taking time to explore other interests and pathways. Focus is a strength too but it’s the opposite of well-rounded. With relationships, focusing too much on the future can be disastrous and/or a huge lost opportunity to form a deep connection with a loved one.
I’m getting better at learning to manage my impatience. I’m trying to slow down during the day and be very intentional about how I go through my task list. When deciding deadlines for self and others, I deliberately add 50-100% more time than my initial inclination. When getting into elevators or lines, I make a point of becoming a student of my surroundings, using an appreciative eye to study all that I see. A recent hour wait in line flew right by! Though there’s still much room for improvement, it’s slowly getting better.
I’ve also learned that when I’m overly focusing on the future, that it’s a good time for me to go inward and be more reflective about what is in the now. I believe I have fairly high introspective intelligence, so it is a natural counterbalance to when I’m being too outwardly focused. Using a strength to manage another strength that is over-the-top is a great strategy – not just for me.
So now you know why I have typos and grammatical errors in my blogs, at least in part (do I look like I was an English major?). For me to partner with someone who is deliberate and detail-oriented would be a great match! In the past, that person would just frustrate me when, in fact, they’re my perfect collaborator.
Now, excuse me. I’m running out the door for yoga.