Monday, January 10, 2011

The Lay of the Land

Image from Hljod.Huskona's Flickr stream. 
An amusing thing happens when you stare at a computer screen too long.  You go completely cross-eyed, ultimately, forgetting what you were looking for in the first place.  You see, you start out with the best of intentions, perhaps researching something for a client or a presentation you're working on.  A couple of links later you're reading an AP article on about human origins, intrigued but confused about how you got here and where you were actually going.

Our minds really like to be kept busy.  In addition to feeling all intellectual and worldly, reading about this trend or a cool find, it keeps the neurons firing, the mind buzzing around.

But even with the best of intentions--learning and growing--it's easy to lose sight of the original end-game.  It's easy enough to get lost in the great expanse of information, adrift in options and indecision. Distracted.

Can you see the forest through the trees? 
I have to admit, it can be a challenge.

Let's say you got to the full blown computer glaze over researching a presentation for work. The presentation is on deadline, you've got a manager to please.  But there's this really intriguing tangent you could look into for a few minutes, it might give you some interesting statistic for another project you've got going on... Ah, and you're blown.  What are you ever going to do?

If you're lucky, your work nourishes your mind. At minimal, at least ideally, it nourishes your bank account.

But that's only one patch of trees.  It's not the whole lay of the land.  The forest is so much bigger.

What's the end game?
Do you feel fulfilled?  Are you satisfied?  Are you happy?

Life gets in way of really seeing the whole scene.  What are you missing by watching a patch of trees?

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