In the past week, I have personally experienced a disappointing negative outcome. Instead of focusing on the concretes, I want to talk for a few minutes about the applicable concepts, which could have a greater utility value for me and you.
First, I am very self-critical, so my focus is on what did I do wrong and what can I do better in the future.
Introspecting, I was concerned that I had been guilty of evasion, ignoring reality…the proverbial ostrich with my head in the sand. For me that would be the worst crime against myself of which I could be guilty.
Next, I observed that my notice of this outcome came when I was actively getting information and an update about the situation. Further, I was aware of this possible outcome beforehand. Therefore, it was not evasion on my part, but something else.
Then, I focused on the timing. If I had acted earlier, the outcome could have been different with the benefit of hindsight; was there a possibility of my changing that could to would? Effecting such a status change is contingent on two dependencies: (1) deciding upon an action to take, and (2) having the capacity to take that action.
On the second point, the timing of my actual action was based upon a change in my capacity to act as resources became available. Thus, my prior inaction and delay were consciously directed in light of this constraint; but that does not absolve me as from this experience I have two questions to apply in the future:
- Do others, especially professionals, have relevant experience about solving this problem? Who has done so?
- Can I break the problem down and solve important parts without solving the whole problem?
The past is the past and I can not undo what was done and not done in this particular circumstance. In refocusing upon those things that I can act upon, these questions are practically relevant to choices and actions that still need to be taken.
Introspecting for yourself, you might find some of your own situations for which this is relevant to you and your life.
Given the impending negative outcomes in our nation’s political life, these issues and methods could be relevant to numerous problems (for example: with unfunded pension and entitlement expenses). Are we focused on reality or evading? Can we decide on a course of action? Do we actually have the resources? Given constraints can we actively and creatively make improvements?