The past few days a strange cloud has hovered my spirit. I struggled to report to work and when I did, tardily, even my attire conveyed reluctance. I dreaded staff meetings – they were like pressure cookers and court sessions: heightened scrutiny, finger pointing, unrealistic work plans.
One of such meetings was to review a five-year project which ends in January 2020. So far, more than half of the project goals are unmet, yet my boss, after acquitting himself of the poor score by blaming everyone else, came up with this extraordinary idea of a “six-months fast track action plan.” I shook my head in utter disbelief.
I am all for optimism and faith but there’s no way, on God’s earth, that the remaining project goals would be met in six months. Everyone left the meeting with a high level of “offendability.” Colleagues were like porcupines on alert – they pricked at the slightest touch. After work, I went home either drained of my last bit of positive energy or dispelling negative energy.
In a moment of clarity, as I practiced silence this morning, I finally coined an adjective for the strange cloud I mentioned earlier – “mid-year crisis.” I think it happens mid-way through the year, when individuals or companies assess their performances, realise shortcomings of accomplishments and succumb to time pressure. They become depressed, anxious or decide to take some drastic, often unrealistic, measures to achieve set goals before the year fades. That’s exactly what was happening to me and at work.
So, what did I do? I took another moment to practice gratitude for life, for progress (no such thing as small progress), for the rest of the year ahead. Then I reminded myself of what’s important: I am a human being, not a human doing; be realistic about what can be done going forward and commit to small/doable versus big and drastic adjustments. It worked! The strange cloud suddenly dispersed.
As you navigate this mid-year season, you can either focus on the negatives and become discouraged or focus on the positives/transformative and become encouraged. The choice is entirely yours.
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