I was at a professional conference last week, maybe the week before – who knows? I’m at these things all the time. And I am the world’s biggest critic of them. Trust me when I say you do not want to hear how I feel about PowerPoint. And then trust me again when I say you’re probably going to anyway. Because I cannot be stopped. I must tell you how I feel about PowerPoint… another day.
Today I need to tell you about the nugget of wisdom I picked up at my most recent professional conference. It was this, “Why show up and then not be there on purpose?” The keynote speaker, LaMarque Ward said it. And it probably resonated with me because I had done just that, shown up to the conference, picked my seat, and then wham, I’m checking my work e-mail. Anything new on Pinterest? I’ll bet someone’s pregnant – better check facebook. Five seconds flat it took me to check right out of that conference. Sort of begs the question why I ever left my hotel room?
Another student in my Master’s program and I always joke about how we do school at work only to turn around and do work at school.
What is that? Why do I keep showing up only to not be there on purpose? Why do you? Come on. Fess up. You’re guilty too. When was the last time you showed up and stayed checked in? And, I guess, more importantly, when is the NEXT time you’re going to show up and resolve to be fully present? Will it be the next time the kids come home from school and want to tell you about their day? Will it be church? Will it be your next professional conference? (See you there, by the way.)
Look, I get it. We live in an instapinbook world and there is always a possibility someone else, somewhere else is having more fun. But what is the cost? For me here’s the cost:
- A self-inflicted inability to pay attention
- Falling hook, line, and sinker into the fallacy of ‘multi-tasking’
- The potential that someone special to me is thinking, “you love that e-device more than you love me”
- An ever-present feeling I should be doing something else, should be somewhere else, a feeling of failure
Resolved then. Tomorrow, I am going to show up and be here on purpose. It’s going to be a day chock-full of one thing at a time. Join me?