Making a difference does not mean I have to absolutely transform the world completely by next week. It sounds so weird to write this out and realise that in many ways I was subscribing to this belief.
There needs to be a healthy boundary between acting responsibly and taking on the burden of fixing everything.
I generally try very hard not to fix other people’s lives. My counselling skills training clearly says not to fix clients’ problems. They have to own it and the solutions. And they have to be responsible for their actions (or inactions). The expectations on me are just to be present, be empathetic, listen, and reflect. I do a pretty good job of this as I have good personal boundaries.
In contrast, in my role as a “consultant” I am expected to solve a problem; to fix an issue. Sure, parts of the work, like requirements gathering or problem definition, do involve a lot of empathy and listening of course; but the final outcome is still to fix something. Being the hyper-responsible sort, I do go out of the way to ensure I fix the problem and that the solution is as sustainable as possible.
And this hyper-responsibility extends to my blogging. One of my “disappointments” with my work in recent times is a sense that I am not really making that much of a difference. People like my thoughts and appreciate my ideas. But do they make enough of an impact? What were/are my expectations?
There is more discussion around innovation, the need to rethink business practice, to humanise business practice etc. And yet there seems to be precious little actual actions. Even as I know the ideals (as is their nature) are lofty. The global financial crisis looked initially promising as a catalyst of fundamental change, and yet government and businesses seem more committed than ever before to patch up the current systems and limp on in ever increasing speed. This surely is the epitome of insanity. And yet the world seems to say “So what?” and “Who cares – let’s just make some more money quickly (before everything actually goes to hell).”
Did I expect my thoughts, words and actions to transform the world overnight? Yes! Oh dear… Talk about setting up myself for disappointment.
I don’t have to change or fix anything. The same boundary I have between myself and other people's problems need to apply to my thoughts and the world's problems.
The world will change when enough individuals in it are ready to, and not before. Why is it my problem how other people choose to think and behave? All I can do is add my voice, my thoughts and my actions to the mix. That is all I can do.
I blog because it is a good way to get the thoughts out of my head, to play with ideas, and into a single repository. So what if no one appears to be reading anything. I am doing this for me.