Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Retooling

I thought that when I left Panama I hadn't brought back any souvenirs. Oh how wrong I was. Instead, millions of little bacteria (please let it actually be bacteria and not something far worse) stowed away and hitched a ride in what I can only guess is my lower intestine.  After a month of refusing to accept that stomach would not be issuing any green cards to these intestinal strangers in a strange land, common sense finally won out and I am now taking a pretty hefty antibiotic with a strict order not to exercise or risk what the drug facts describe as "spontaneous tendon rupture." Awesome.  


 What does this have to do with retooling? Well in place of the 14 hours I was supposed to be spending this week on a bike, lifting something heavy or stretching something sore,  I have decided instead to make some tweaks & variations in the pieces that sum up to my day to day life. It's not like I have a pile of homework, scholarship-dependent graduate research or job hunting to do, right?

So, off I go. With a B.S. in journalism and a B.A. in anthropology I have always been more concerned with the big ideas and grand themes that come to inspire, define and guide us. It's a fun and wild ride chasing ideas but often find that I end up right back where I started with very little to show for it but a little talk and a lot of words on the page.

Enter Business School.

Suddenly my happy little world of ideas and dreams has run smack dab into the side of the MBA. Here ideas have power but they can only provide the start. What comes next are tools to translate these ideas into steps, systems to organize these steps into a coherent whole and processes to get from start to finish. I am going to make a lot of mediocre professors overly-happy by saying this but the undergrad degrees helped me figure out how to make sense of ideas and business school is teaching me how to translate those ideas into action.

With 14 extra hours this week I decided that what could be applied to a business could also be applied to my life. I constantly reevaluate my own ideas and beliefs but rarely do I turn a critical eye to my systems, my processes or my structure. For the first 30 minutes I brainstormed. Food. Fitness. Studying. Working. Socializing. Sleeping. Studying. Organizing. Stressing. The list could go on and on. I had basic ideas about how I wanted to approach each. But that was about as far as I had taken it. It was time for a top down appraisal. I needed to be a consultant to myself.

Then it hit me, 14 hours isn't going to be nearly enough. I Had opened Pandora's Box. No, I had taken Pandora's Box, thrown it on the floor, stomped it, crushed it and finally spit on it for good measure.

So thus begins a mini-adventure on retooling the basic pieces of daily life. The ideas are there, now it's time to make sure they are getting translated into action. What will this look like? How long will it take? How much will I write about it.  I don't know. I'm not really a processes guy (duh). 

Sound Selfish? Maybe. But in a few months I'll no longer be the sole owner of Dylan Inc. By summer I'll (hope beyond hope) be gainfully employed by someone else interested in focusing most of my tools and systems on their ideas, their hopes and their dreams.


So off we go on the next adventure. Thanks again Panama! You thought you had the last laugh but I think I'll be just fine.... Except for that whole spontaneous tendon rupture situation.

Damn it. 

-D

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