Why do I focus this blog on time management when I have written a better book on personal development? Good question.
In total, I have written four books. The first two were related to my profession, specifically investigation and, as a sub-genre, Tracing Wanted and Missing Persons. They were based on my training and experiences and the latter was a field in which I excelled locally, according to some of my peers. They were fairly easy to research and to write.
The third one that I wrote was on time management, you would not be surprised to read. It focused on the field of policing because no-one teaches police officers and staff how to manage their time, despite recommendations by the Home Office that they ought to. Also, easy to write, and just as valid for non-police officers (for whom I recently edited out police references, but then I changed my mind and edited it back.).
The last, which I am currently revising, is The Three Resolutions. This is a personal development ‘philosophy’ based on a single chapter in one of Stephen Covey’s works and one which I am proud of. But here’s the thing, and it’s the reason I don’t blog so much about it – until now, perhaps.
That reason is – the advice in it is the hardest with which to comply.
Personal development has its easy tricks and shortcuts, like any activity, but applying the content of The Three Resolutions is hard. It’s hard because it speaks of self-discipline. It’s hard because it requires character. It’s hard because it promotes service to others as a route to success. Even for the bloke what wrote it. Especially for the bloke what wrote it.
Sometimes I think that the standards that are the hardest to meet are – our own.
When others lay down standards they usually supplement their instructions with ‘how’ to comply. When we write our own we just assume we know how to comply.
When others set standards, they watch over us and enforce compliance. When we set our own standards, only we watch over them.
When we fail to meet others’ standards, there is a consequence. When we fail to meet our own, we rationalise that there are no consequences.
But we’re wrong. So, so wrong.
When we fail to meet our own standards we feel guilt. Conscience, which we told to tell us when we fail to act according to our own values, reminds us when we dither and procrastinate over what we agreed, with ourselves, was ‘best’.
All that said, the reasons I wrote The Three Resolutions are twofold. First, I liked the field and the best way to learn something is to teach it. But second, and maybe more important, was the desire to act in accordance with the contents.
I regularly fail, but at the same time I occasionally succeed. Those are the great days. The ones where I don’t quite make it – still great, because I try.
You can decide not to bother to be great, so all days will be mediocre but satisfying because you’ve achieved ‘average’. But I prefer to at least try.
Where are you on the ‘don’t care – trying a bit – trying hard’ continuum? Join me at this end…….