Live neither in the past nor in the future, but let each day’s work absorb your entire energies, and satisfy your widest ambition
Sir William Osler (1849-1919) Canadian physician and instigator of medical residencies
Sometimes it is really hard to live mindfully. We want to reminisce, or we left the past untidy and it bothers us. Or we are are excited by future possibilities or anxious about negative side-effects.
How would we feel if we were stranded, in the great grounding of planes by volvcanoes, in a place we didn’t want to be? Most of us will fret until we have a plan.
Organize agilely and leanly
That is the secret, isn’t it? To become ‘agile’ and ‘lean’, so that each day matters for what it is.
What if we rephrased the day’s purpose “from get back home because that was my plan yesterday” to “let’s see what is possible and let’s have fun working out what my choices”.
Leadership vs management
On another channel, some of us have been lamenting the lack of leadership in British politics and the distinction between management and leadership came up, as ever.
I don’t think that leadership and management are ever far apart. We cannot manage without leadership. What looks like management is just clerical work when it is separated from judgment, moral responsibility and poetic imagination.
Leadership, when exists apart from management. probably exists because good management, happening quietly in the background, allowed us to think about what we are doing today without stressing unduly about yesterday or tomorrow.
When the world gets in a muddle, we need leadership AND management to get our heads straight again and the world orderly again so that we can give unto today our full attention.
But that is our goal – to let today be enough to absorb all our energies.
When life is out of order, to put some effort into straightening out the way we think. Sometimes it is a trial. But we do have to ask ourselves how much energy we waste fretting.