It’s back. The Urge. The Urge to quickly quickly quickly do this, do that, get on the computer in the morning, do this, finish that, OMG-I-wanted-to-do-it-3-days-ago, here’s my list for today, urgent, urgent, quickly deal with it.
What’s going on? Well, first, the Dip. Those of you who know what I’m talking about will know what I’m talking about. As for the others… well, hey, a little mystery here and there can’t hurt, can it, in this age of public people everywhere. So, the Dip is back, and Deadlines are coming up (I resisted the temptation to say “looming on the horizon” right there).
Deadline 1: Friday morning, I’m heading off to the mountains and my chalet again.
Deadline 2: in a month minus 1 day, it’s Going Solo Leeds.
Actually, it’s not astonishing that I feel crunched. Stressed. Running. I’m trying to do more than one person’s work. So, no wonder I can’t keep up.
I’m also learning to not get my hopes up when people offer help. It’s sad to say, but often people are enthusiastic, come forward, and have second thoughts when it comes to actually taking the plunge.
I realised it’s cultural, too: very un-Swiss. I’m not saying there aren’t unreliable Swiss people, but here you expect people to be good to their word. Reliability is very much valued. When somebody says “I want to contribute”, you usually expect them to do so. It also means it’s pretty difficult to find people to say “I’m in”.
I’ve had a few disappointing experiences over the last 6-8 months. In my dark days, it feels like I just can’t rely on anybody — but that’s not true either.
I think it’s a combination of various factors. I’ve noticed amongst my more entrepreneur/Valley/less-risk-averse friends a tendency to talk about lots of projects or “things they’re going to do”, start many things, and then drop a lot, too. Not all that is spoken about happens. “Fail early, fail often.” Be creative with your ideas, talk about them around you, try them out, and let go of them if they don’t seem to catch.
But I’m not like that at all. I have ideas. I talk about them as “perhaps maybe at some point I might possibly eventually try to start doing this or that”. It’s very difficult for me to make the step to say “I’m going to do this/I’m doing this”. Because when I do, I’m married to the idea. It’s going to happen. Giving up is not an option. (I sometimes do, but it’s agonizing and horribly difficult.) Once I have my mind set on something, I have a really hard time letting go or seeing things differently.
It’s not all cultural.
It’s a mix. Some cultural, and some personal. In a more entrepreneur-oriented culture like the US, I guess you’ll find more people who start things easily, go for it, and turn to something else if it doesn’t work out. In a very cautious and risk-averse culture like Switzerland, well, you don’t bump into that many people with that profile. It’s only recently in my life (these last few years) that I’ve started meeting such people and counting them amongst my friends and network.
On a personal level, well, I’m particularly risk-averse, and (as NNT would say) particularly ill-equipped for dealing with probabilities. When somebody says they’ll do something for me, I know there’s a chance it’ll fall through, but I somehow can’t keep my emotions in line with that intellectual knowledge. I build whole worlds on the sand of people’s words, and forget that they are likely to crumble. When they do, it feels like everybody and everything is letting me down.
Another situation in my life where suffering less seems to depend on my ability to adjust my expectations.
There’s still work.