Leadership for introverts.

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Stir Occasionally

I can’t lie, I’m one for routine. For the most part, I enjoy waking up in the morning and knowing what my day is going to look like.

I also get a lot more done when I know I can count on a schedule that includes uninterrupted productivity time. Then again, if this routine goes on too long, things feel stagnant and I start getting less done and enjoying everyday life a little less.

Sometimes I just need a change of pace. That’s why I climb mountains and run marathons and other seemingly random things. That’s why I write now – so that I can maintain a schedule as I change up the rest of my life.

Basically, I run my life just like you’d cook a good pot of spaghetti – by stirring occasionally. You set the noodles in the boiling water and once in awhile you stir it up. If you stir too often, they won’t absorb the water and take forever to cook. Don’t stir at all and they stick to the bottom of the pot and burn. Have fun scraping.

Kind of a funny metaphor, but that’s how I feel about life. If you never take a moment to settle down, you’ll miss all that’s going on around you. If you don’t stop and pay attention, you can’t absorb all that the world has to teach you. You’ll never connect with anyone beyond a shallow acquaintance.

All the same, if you never stand up and shake things loose a bit, you’ll get “stuck to the pot.” You grow lethargic and dissatisfied at the same pace that you grow less and less able to change it. The longer you sit, the more stuck you become.

We all know someone like this – the friend or relative that’s never left home. They say they’d like to try something new, but they’ve known nothing but stillness their whole life. They can’t conceive of changing now, so they don’t. Unfortunately, they probably never will.

I don’t want to stick to my pot. I don’t ever want to feel like I’ve gone so far that it would take an act of God to change. I also don’t want to spend my whole life missing out on the amazing things that come with stillness and regularity. I want it all, damn it! I want the best of both worlds!

So, just like my pasta, I stir occasionally.

What about you? How do you get the most from life?

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Image by: Joshua Rappeneker