Project Christmas Tree;
My girls had been hounding me to put up our Christmas tree and to be honest I really wasn’t looking forward to it. I mean the joy of seeing the finished product is what kept me going but there is always a challenge putting it up. On the other hand taking the tree down after Christmas is for me, the easiest part but my husband would not agree. So we pulled out the artificial Christmas tree and we were ready to decorate!
Have you ever started a cleaning project or any project for that matter, only to find halfway through, the situation was worse than before you started? I mean, you had this great picture in your mind of what the finished product would look like but you never considered the stuff in between. You only thought about how everything would look in the end. So you continue, knowing that when you’re done it’s going to look great. At least you hope so.
You don’t think of all the distractions you may encounter like those old pictures you found at the bottom of a box. You now have been sucked into memory lane. This, if you’re not careful, may take you down a long road of good old memories for about 2 or 3 hours. But remember you didn’t plan time for that in your schedule and now you are anxious to finish because you have a long way to go yet.
Isn’t that how life is though, you have a great idea or dream and now that you’ve started on the journey towards that beautiful vision you have so many distractions and obstacles. It may look like your situation is worse since you started following your dream but that is just a smoke screen. Keep walking through it and you’ll see things will get clearer and you will grow stronger. Don’t lose hope. Remind yourself that every season must change. Keep the vision of that finished product before you and that joy that you set in front of you will help you endure until the end.
Not only do you need to keep that mental picture in front of you, you must have a compelling reason to finish. Why do you need to get it done? I knew if I didn’t finish the tree my girls would be so disappointed. I couldn’t let them down. Write down the “Why” you do what you do. Most of the time it goes beyond self. If not, you nay need to reevaluate.
After my girls and I put up the tree itself I began checking the lights– I don’t know about you but it seems like EVERY year I have to buy a new set of lights because one or two sets are either working halfway or not working at all!–as expected not all the Christmas lights were working. Well, due to malfunctioning lights, we had to delay “Project Christmas Tree”. But OMG, I still had all the other boxes lying around. It looked like a big mess. Now at this point I’m feeling overwhelmed and frustrated because I went one by one through each light bulb on the cord trying to find the culprit to no avail, they were duds. Now what? “We have to buy new lights for the tree girls”, I said. “Awww”, they replied. We had to put the project on hold for a while. What should have taken a few hours turned into a couple of days. Why…we simply gave up, and by we I mean me. The girls were so excited to put up the tree but that excitement soon dwindled all because I, the leader, gave up. I just lost my drive. Since I was the lead on this project the subjects followed along. As the saying goes, “As it is with the head, so is it with the body”. In other words your body will go where the head leads it.
As with any team, they will go at the pace of their leader. As a matter of fact your team will be at a pace slightly slower than you. Don’t expect your team to go beyond what you are doing. They are the runners of the vision, you are the visionary. You determine the speed of the team. If you slow down, so will your team. If you speed up, so will they. Your actions speak louder than words. I didn’t tell my girls I gave up, I simply walked away onto the next project leaving them to decide. Well, they did as kids do, found something else to get into leaving the mess behind. So I eventually had to bring some order to the chaos I had left behind. I could not expect them to clean up, after all I left them with no instruction. As a leader there will be many of days where you have to clean up after others and yourself of course.
Besides that others won’t always see what you see, because they can’t. Do not get discouraged because they don’t get it. You are the one with the idea; it’s your vision. You just paint them a picture and if they are to be a part of what you’re doing, they’ll join in.
Day two, I’m tired, but the show must go on. We had new lights on the tree. Yay! My girls put up most of the ornaments but it was still incomplete and boxes were yet hanging about. Mind you, I am seriously unmotivated because I have other things on my to do list like clean, cook, laundry and work on my book, etc. What is that unmotivated feeling called?…
Procrastination. That disorder will creep up on you so quickly, you won’t even see it coming. Procrastination causes delay and delay weighs down on your hope. You cannot afford to procrastinate or delay because failure is the result of procrastination. Procrastination is the inability to make decisions quickly and act on them quickly. As Benjamin Franklin said,
Work while it is today, for you know not how much you may be hindered tomorrow. One today is worth two tomorrows…and further, never leave till tomorrow, which you can do today.
Well, as you can see from the picture above, we completed the tree! Oh what sweet success! Oh, one thing I almost forgot to mention. While we were waiting for lights on day one, my oldest daughter suggested we add snow made of baking soda and water to the tree. I was tempted to dismiss the notion dreading the mess her and her sister would make sprinkling baking soda onto the tree. However, I did agree to it seeing it would make the snowy effect I was missing from my home state of New York. I can always vacuum it up, no worries. So onward we went, even as far as pouring some in the corners of our front door. Not only did our tree look good but we were making snow in South Florida. How awesome is that! “Project Christmas Tree” was a success!
I mention this to add a point. As a leader you must be willing to heed the advice of your team. Remember it takes teamwork to make the dream work. Stay humble, a true leader is a server first. You are not the only one with the good ideas.
Comment below and let us know how was your “Project Christmas Tree”? Ever had a feeling to give up on a project?