Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Moving forward from where you are

I've been really frustrated as of late by a project I just took over from a colleague. I have been dwelling on the phrase "At the beginning, we should have..." And you know what? It's not productive. It's actually counter-productive and it's wearing me down. I'm sick of hearing myself talk about how frustrated I am. Imagine how my friends and family feel?

I woke up a little yesterday after an email from my mom. My best friend from childhood just lost her 27 year old cousin to cancer. My very dear friend, Ken, just had to put his mom into hospice. I have friends that are losing their jobs thanks to this financial crisis we're now in, and they don't know when they'll be seeing a paycheck again. And I'm whining, literally whining, from my comfy couch in my comfy apartment after a day of work at a great company with a great brand. At the moment, I can't stand myself. As my friend Kelly says, "I need to give myself a "cut it out." "

By being so stuck on what other people should have done or should have considered,etc., I'm not moving forward. I'm treading water and quite frankly doing a lousy job of it. Now ,to be fair to myself, as my mother would ask me to be, I want to make sure these learnings are captured and put to good use in the very-near future. Yep, there were definitely mistakes that were made at the start of this project 6 months ago. And we're paying a big price tag, literally and figuratively. No doubt about it. But I can't change those mistakes. They've been made and we have to go from where we are. I've got the project now and no matter what the earlier decisions, I need to keep driving forward, eyes on the prize - which is straight ahead, not in the rearview mirror. 

I find an area that needs improvement, I jot it down, and I keep moving. I have to keep moving. My whining and internal negativity is weighing me down, in a time when I cannot afford the extra mental pounds. I need to get this project out the door so I can move on to other projects where I will be able to start from the beginning and draw on the learnings from this current project. 

We all learn by doing, and in the doing, we screw up now and then. It happens to all of us, regardless of intelligence or experience or motivation. It's all part of the process, and if you don't let the process play out, you are doomed to remain in it like a hamster in a wheel. And who wants to keep treading the same ground again and again when there are so many places to see?! 

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