Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Answer to Yourself

Sometimes, it feels like the world is spinning out of control. This can be both good and bad. Perhaps your work just got noticed, which then lead to awards, promotions and offers. There's a lot to think about. On the other hand, perhaps someone you know just passed away, your car was hit and work is a struggle. Both strings of events are possible.

It can be hard to think clearly in either situation. Keeping track of details, meeting deadlines and obligations, and oh, the paperwork. Yes, the paperwork.

Inevitably, you get bogged down. You forget something or miss a deadline. Or perhaps you had to pass up a good opportunity because the hint of a great opportunity is nagging in the background.

Something's got to give. Who do you ask for help or advice? How do you organize, get a grip and focus?

Really, I feel like the answers to these questions might just be different for different people. And I'm not the type to rely solely on other people's input. Sure, I'll ask for advice, but I'm just as likely to ignore the advice and follow my gut instinct.

I found myself today in a conversation with a friend about what the next 6-8 months holds for me. (This is a common conversation among NPS seasonal rangers.) I kept saying, "I don't know," over and over again. And sitting here, seven hours later, I still don't know.

Perhaps this is part of my growing up. But I'm trying not to make assumptions about my thoughts and feelings. I'm trying to weigh my options in light of my own goals - goals for both the short term and long term.

The key is that I need to answer to myself. I am the highest authority on myself - no matter what people around me may say - and I need to not let myself down. I need to NOT cave to peer pressure or outside influences. I need to do what's right for me. I need to pick something and do it well. I need to do a job in a manner such that I can be proud of what I've done.

How do you answer to yourself?

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