work | keep it real

Institute of You
hello, hello! i've completed the third phase, reflection, of the institute of you program, which deals with measuring the gap between your personal vision and your current situation. as mentioned in the previous post, the difference between mine was substantial and addressing the gaps (problems) will provide the greatest opportunity for success in future endeavors. this phase helps reconcile the differences through four assignments:
  1. day reflection – we all have perceptions about who controls our day – the boss, spouse, kids. many people feel they have limited or no control over their time and that perception may be far from reality. through a simple chart, this exercise identifies who has ownership over key parts of your day by listing your activities under ‘others’ and ‘you’. then, when/why are the lowest part of your day? when/why are the highest points? finally, what parts of those daily activities can you eliminate, reduce, lengthen and create. through this exercise i realized i need to reduce the undisciplined drifting i do from one thing to another throughout the day, which will create more time for focused, results-oriented work. i also need to reduce my tv-time.
  2. skills – this is the third opportunity to evaluate your skills and using the information from the prior two phases you create a list the skills you would like to focus on and your strength in each one. for me, organization was a 10 (great!), while meeting new people was a 2 (ugh!). then, you put them in sequential order with the strongest at the top and your degree of use and passion for each skill. i realized i enjoy using most of my skills and can apply them to the projects i hope to work on in the future, which is great. except for networking, my obstacles are not really skill-related, so i don’t feel like i’ve been wasting my time through my work. networking is a big problem though and i need to push myself as it is holding me back. i’d like to come up with some sort of incentives to get me going – rewards.
  3. project alignment – your personal vision and motivations are used to identify how you are allocating your time to projects and how that time might be helping or hindering your vision. i’ve realized i’m spending a tremendous amount of time on social networking through our blog, flickr, twitter and just generally keeping up with/commenting on numerous blogs. the drifting i willingly do has started to reveal itself in this exercise, and although it can be beneficial to my vision & personal satisfaction, it currently has very little focus or financial reward. when left to my own devices, i seem to need adult supervision when it comes to time management because i'm doing a terrible job (1). 
  4. force field - i got a lot out of this component, which breaks down into drivers that propel you towards your vision and inhibitors that prevent you from achieving it. within this exercise, i realized the fear i always blamed for holding me back should actually be replaced with complacency. also, i have quite a few very smart and supportive people in my corner who think i’m creative, which is something i often doubt. i will listen to them more in an effort to drown out my inner doubt, which is a big inhibitor and time waste.
this phase provided an 'ah-ha' moment for me because my perceptions are not all based in reality. i feel a sense of relief because other than making adjustments to time management and developing a more disciplined plan making a major over haul to what i‘m doing might not be as critical as changing how i feel about it. simply giving myself permission to change my thinking from powerless to powerful is an option. sometimes, when you put yourself through personal development exercises there’s a sense you need to substantially shake things up to improve the situation and that's not always the case. maybe all you need is a change in diet vs. a tummy tuck. we shall see as this road takes many twists and turns the longer i'm on it. three phases down, two to go.

xo, cindy

ps i saw david gray's video for fugitive via michelle's blog and love how the artwork appears throughout. i think the video is just about right for this post as i've been shaking my head like david quite a bit myself.


People Who Know Me Would Say: said...

This seems like a great course in self discovery. Can drivers and inhibitors be people too?

Erika Lee @ A Tiny Rocket said...

It's amazing just growing your self realization- it's funny how you realize wow I just grew a little. (mentally :) )

Good for you and much luck and success to your self discovery.

Line said...

wow this program looks amazing and will help you to see you as you are, good luck you are growing Cindy!!

spread your wings said...

that's so much for sharing your experience with this program with us. it sounds amazing.

Cindy said...

yes, pj. and, sometimes one person can play both roles.
thanks, erika & line. you know i haven't taken a step back to think of it that way. you are right!
i'm working on the next phase and it is a tough one!

Jamie said...

What an amazing program this is, I love that you are sharing your progress with us.

painted fish studio said...

love following you in this journey...