More and more, I recognize that these aren’t two opposing desires, but rather two complementary forces that need each other.
I read an interesting blog post from SuzeMuse on simply doing the work, as it relates to social media (my current career field). If you had to find a theme song for how I feel about social media right now, it would be A Little Less Conversation, A Little More Action (Items?). (Hey. Any excuse to work Elvis into a blog post, right?)
Another way this is reflected in my work life is the two sides of what I do. There is a side of social media that is about helping companies at one level, and people at another level, find their story, and find where they are in that story. That’s the “internet bard” part of what I do.
But there’s another side of it that is much more action-oriented. The other side of what I do is more a “technology coach” (as my friend Aaron Marshall puts it). I get frustrated at times when I want to be doing bard-like, big perspective work but what the client really needs is a tech coach. And sometimes I get frustrated because I’ve been tech coaching, and the client needs the perspective of the bard to know why he or she needs to master the technology tools.
In a more holistic sense, I’m recognizing with crystal clarity in the last couple of weeks the truth of the Wendell Berry poem, about how the energies of workday and Sabbath in tandem brings peace. Just doing what needs to be done, alternated with resting and reflecting on what God is doing without my “help,” is a pretty life-giving rhythm. Like anyone else, I tend to swing from one pole to the other–reacting without reflecting or non-productive navel-gazing. Yuck.
I guess that’s where habits become crazy helpful. Habits are the autorun scripts of our behavior. As much as I need to alternate between super-productive and rest-and-recharge modes, I also need to not have to think about alternating between the two. It burns energy I don’t actually have right now.
The truth is, I have all the tools I need. I just need to make using them at the right time, in the right context, a habit.