TITLE: Thinking Ahead to Next Year, A Week Early AUTHOR: Eugene Wallingford DATE: December 22, 2010 2:27 PM DESC: ----- BODY: This is my last day at the office before Christmas, and my mind has turned to 2011 already. I'll do some work next week but hope to spend most of my week celebrating the holiday with my families. Besides, this is the time when a professor mind naturally turns to spring semester courses. I have another reason to think about the future. This is the last year of my second three-year term as department head, so the dean is conducting a review of my performance. Implicit in these reviews is that it's a natural time for the dean to decide whether to continue with the current head or go in a different direction. The head also makes the decision. There is a lot I like about being a department head, and a lot that I can do to help the faculty and students that I could not do otherwise. But it changes the shape and tenor of every day. At research schools, chairs often count the days of their terms from Day One. For a guy who is a researcher, programmer, or teacher at heart, there is precious little time to think about and do those things. I head into to breaking thinking about the future. I have a lot of people's words rolling around in my head. Last week, Seth Godin said
If someone asks you ["What are you working on?"], are you excited to tell them the answer? I hope so. If not, you're wasting away.
Last year, Chad Fowler asked:
But I think a good first step is to ask yourself the question: "What would I rather be doing right now?" And then, "Why is that not what I'm doing?"
... and Derek Sivers exclaimed:
No more yes. It's either HELL YEAH! or no.
... and Hugh MacLeod doodled: Life is too short not to do something that matters.
Gaping Void: Life is too short...
The recurring theme is: Take control of life. Don't drift. Don't let others determine your life. Godin goes an extra step and reminds us that we can apply this advice without changing our careers or job titles:
No matter what your job is, no matter where you work, there's a way to create a project ... where the excitement is palpable.... Hurry, go do that.
Plenty for my mind, conscious and subconscious, to mull over. -----