The False Deadline
Do you ever find yourself looking forward to the end of the year? Maybe you look forward to the end of the day or the end of the week or the end of the month? I have to confess that there have been some years when I was happier than usual to close the door on the old year and get started with the new one. Somehow in my mind I created a belief that once I made it through to the end of the year whatever it was that I was allowing to tire me out would be over. Poof – New Year, a new clock ticking and I would instantly be re-energized.
Of course YOU know that life does not work that way. Anytime I fall into this type of thinking I am really falling prey to a false deadline. I don’t mean the kind of false deadline your project sponsor gives you to make sure that you are ready in plenty of time for the real deadline. I mean a false deadline as-in, non-existent, completely not real. All in my head.
This year was one of those years where I was working toward a false deadline. There were some events that occurred during the past year which left me feeling a little bit worn out. So when the last quarter of the year appeared on the horizon I began to feel like I could see the finish line. If I could just keep running until I made it to the finish line I could rest and start a new race. It is not that I was not enjoying life, I was. But I was still looking forward to wrapping up the year.
That is when it dawned on me. I was guilty of inventing and working toward a false deadline. Life does not know about the pages of the calendar. There is nothing about the experiences I was having (happy, sad or tiring) that was tied to a time of year. There is nothing about the calendar flipping from one time period to the next that makes my experience change. There is no magic time genie that looks and says, “Wow she had a long year with some challenging experiences but all of those challenges will disappear as soon as it is a new year.” Life does not work that way. Life brings what it will bring and our job is to celebrate the good and to meet the challenges to the best of our abilities.
I did not need the date to change; I needed to make a change. If I was feeling worn out, then I needed to rest. If I was looking forward to ending an assignment, then I needed to evaluate why I was happy to end that assignment. That is true ALL of the time; I don’t need to wait until month end, quarter end or year end for this to be true.
Marking time is something very convenient we do as human beings. It is good to recognize seasons and special dates and milestones. And celebrating the New Year can be lots of fun. And looking back over the past year can provide valuable insights. But to view a new month, quarter or year as some kind of magical completion date at which you will no longer be ill or tired or have difficulties; that my friends is working toward a false deadline.
Posted: January 17th, 2011 under Inspirational, Personal Development, Professional development.
Tags: celebrate, false deadline, look forward to the end of the year, new year, old year, re-energize, rejuvenate, worn out
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