Getting things done
While I have never been to China, my impression is that China is one country where a great deal gets accomplished in a short period of time. Meanwhile, I can’t say the same thing about my home country – Canada.
By any measure, China has experienced amazing growth and transformation during the past 50 years. As a result, many other countries are lining up in an attempt to cash in on their success. While I wouldn’t want to live under a communist dictatorship, I would like to live in society where there are signs of tangible progress. This isn’t to say that growth is always entirely positive or that China will turn out to be a benign major power in this world. But I really like the fact that the Chinese government, and many citizens in that country, have found a way to get things done.
It’s tempting to launch into a rant about what has gone wrong here in Canada. For it sometimes seems like 78 studies are required and 49 regulations must to be considered before a light bulb can be changed over at the House of Commons – that is, if this practice isn’t said to be in conflict with the Charter and the Constitution as interpreted by the feelings of the lawyers over at the Supreme Court last Monday morning. It is easy to point out that there is presently too much articulate talk and not enough plain and ordinary action. But this approach would also fail to appreciate the progress that has been made, the safeguards that are likely necessary, and the complexity that is often involved when considering public ventures.
As the saying goes, if I want change I also need to be willing to be the change. And I have noticed, as of late, that positive change in my own life requires a large amount of effort and seems to take a very long period of time. If I am slow, how can I expect everything around me to take place at a record pace?
But in the end, maybe it doesn’t matter so much whether you or I are getting important things accomplished at a record pace or over a protracted period of time. What does matter, though, is that significant projects are gradually being checked off of our “to-do” lists and we are moving in the right direction. It has often been mentioned that life isn’t just about doing things at a frantic pace – as important as they may seem. And yet, it is very important to get in the habit of getting important things done.
Does this sound too obvious to even mention? Is this observation for the more task-oriented folks who may have inadvertently stopped by? Should this message ideally be directed towards a few Facebook addicts you know?
What I like about this topic is that it forces (or perhaps invites) each one of us to think about what we need to focus on at this time. And this will be different for each person. The idea is to get moving if it becomes apparent we are perpetually stuck or that a time of rest and refreshment has turned into a prolonged distraction from important duties. By way of example, I am going back to school this fall and moving to another city in order to do that. So most of my energy must be focused in that direction. Nobody is going to find a place for me to live or sign me up for the required classes or read the stack of books I need to read, etc.
How about you? I very much appreciate that you stopped by this website site. But if I can be quite direct, without hopefully causing any offence, here is a question to consider:
What should you really be doing right now?
If it isn’t clear what you need to focus on, spending time at a website like this could help you eventually establish goals and begin to move. In other words, if I don’t know what to do I need to make figuring out what to do a priority. Working at discerning your next step is a worthwhile and absolutely necessary activity. It requires effort and should be defined as valuable work. It might not look like you doing much when in reality you are doing exactly what you need to do.
My decision to go back to school and study public policy is actually the result of several years of sustained reflection. Did I mention that I am slow? So don’t get discouraged if your own attempt to clarify your life direction seems to be taking a very long time.
On the other hand, if it is quite clear where your energy needs to be directed and yet you have failed to take the necessary first or second or third step…then lingering online much longer could become a problem.
Driving by a government building some time ago, my wife mentioned in a lighthearted way, “That’s where they make the red tape.” It was a funny comment at the time and contains an element of truth. And yet, it is sobering to realize that we each have the capacity to act and can’t really blame the government or anyone else if we choose not to.
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