The true measure of life is not length, but honesty.
I have, for over eight years, participated in what is known as “perpetual adoration” for my church. I, along with many others for every hour of every day, “sit with God” for our assigned hour in the adoration chapel.
Most people “pray” during their adoration hour by reciting the prayers of the rosary, meditating, reading prayer books, etc. I don’t; instead, I write a letter to God during my hour…I have about ten or so large journals marking my time with the big guy.
I lost my journal this week. I looked all over my house and in my car but I couldn’t find it. I thought I left it in the church and I panicked.
Someone could read my innermost thoughts and fears. He/se would know what makes me thankful, what stirs my anger and what feeds my sadness. He/she would know of my guilt and my shame. While my journal is written for God’s eyes, a stranger’s eyes would read it.
It was a stress-filled morning.
As I perseverated about it (in adoration no less), I realized something: my journal is really just a reflection of me. While I am not proud of many of the things disclosed in it, the fact is, the words are my “truth” and while I would feel a bit violated if someone were to read it, exposure wouldn’t be the end of the world.
My journal ordeal forced me to think of my personal life and “exposing” it to a stranger.
Right now, I am thinking of my professional life and how I would feel should it ever be “exposed.”
I realized I probably wouldn’t panic because professionally…
I try not to hide anything.
I try not to do what I wouldn’t want my staff, my colleagues, or my clients to know about.
I try very hard to make decisions that can be explored and explained.
Don’t get me wrong, I have made my share of mistakes. I have certainly made poor decisions throughout my career. I have been foolish and I have been selfish. I have avoided things that needed to be confronted.
So, do I want more of my career exposed?
Sure, let’s do it!
I just may learn something I missed the first time around.
What about you?
If you were able to put the last year or so of your professional life on video, would you censor it? How much editing would need to be done in order for you to watch it with your boss, your staff, or your customers? Better yet, if your mom were to show up with some popcorn and a tasty beverage, would you watch it with her?
I believe that if we are to be great professionals, great leaders, great employees (indeed, great humans!), we must:
- Think before we act;
- Align our decisions with our values and the values of our employer;
- Identify value-added or beneficial “reasons” for our actions;
- Realize the probable negative and positive consequences of our behavior or decisions; and
- Ensure we move towards the “best possible” path.
Only when we have done these things will we will be able to easily “view” our professional careers…without remorse, without shame and instead, with pride, humor and gained wisdom.
If we discipline ourselves to do these things, we’ll avoid the “panic” when “exposure” is likely to occur.
By the way, my daughter found my journal safely hidden under a huge pile of junk in my office. For now, only God and me know what’s in it. If you find yourself in the neighborhood and in need of some sleep, feel free to swing on in for a page or two…but please clean up the place when you awake. 🙂