In the old TV show called the West Wing, the camera was always moving, swooping left and right and around corner. People were walking from one office to the next, hardly ever sitting still. And often in meetings, President Bartlett would regularly ask ‘What’s next?’ All this contributed to sense of speed, of pace, of pressure, and of busyness. Never a moment to pause or think (at least on screen).
When you go out hiking on a hilly trail, there are ups and downs, vistas and plateaus. If it a multi-hour hike, you will likely have brought food and water with and will build in breaks along the path. And with a certain sized big hill, you’ll likely pause as you climb. The pauses along the way help you go the distance and help you climb the next hill and walk the next stretch of the path.
Change can feel a little ‘West Wing’ like – fast paced, intense, emotionally draining, exciting, and so on. As change makers, we need to build in pauses along the way for ourselves and the teams we work with. But also, when one project ends, we need to resist saying ‘what’s next?’ too quickly.
Rest for a while. Practice the 3 Rs – Rest, reflect, replenish before your next challenge. Otherwise burnout will soon force you to.
The choice is up to us.