Posted in Notes from the Field

Discovering a lot about Myself

December 23, 2018

I’m learning quite a bit about myself.   This is surprising.  I knew I would be learning new skills, but I didn’t realize learning these things would also teach me about myself. 

I learned I like copyediting.  This was a huge surprise as I hate grammar and copyediting involves grammar.  But there’s something satisfying about transforming an ugly sentence into one that’s ship-shape.  

I learned I like diagramming sentences.  Thanks be to God for that one as it was my final attempt to learn grammar and it seems to be paying off.  I took it up because trying to learn by reading books on grammar made my eyes glaze over and put my brain to sleep.  But diagramming sentences is more like a puzzle and those I enjoy.  Or, perhaps, it’s because it’s active rather than passive.  Whatever the case, finding I enjoyed doing them was a pleasant surprise.

For someone who dislikes grammar I was surprised to learn I don’t like bad English.  I was doing some copyediting exercises whose instructions stated not to make any changes to the language.  I got to this one quote and I just couldn’t leave it alone as it was so bad.  Instead this little grammar Nazi reared its ugly little head and proclaimed, “No direct quotes in the magazine from people who don’t speak good English.  Paraphrase it, instead.”  Copyediting doesn’t have a paraphrase symbol, so I guess I’m going to have to make one up.

Of course not all my lessons have been good.  I also learned I have all five personality traits of CEOs who can’t manage to execute properly.  I think that was the first time I’ve ever been insulted by a book.  It made me laugh.  The author stated all CEOs have one or two of these traits and I had all of them.  Insults aside, it was good to learn where my problems lay.

While it’s a good book for building execution into a company it wasn’t what I needed.  I needed some kind of organizational system, so I started reading Getting Things Done by David Allen.  The principle behind his system is to get everything off of your mind and onto paper.  This relieves stress because you are no longer getting constant mental reminders to do these things.  It worked like a charm.  It took away all of my stress.  It also took away all of my motivation.  I came to a complete halt.  Now, nothing was getting done.  That’s when I learned I must work better under stress.  Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to recapture it.  I guess once stress is gone, it’s gone.

Of course, it might not be the stress.  It might be the change in days.  I was getting a little upset when the days started getting shorter as I couldn’t get as much accomplished.  I guess I was getting on God’s nerves with my grumbling because the next thing I know the Holy Spirit was telling me it’s so we can rest.  So I tried to go with it by turning everything off when it got dark outside.  This allowed me to see what God meant.  Even while working it was restful.   

So if anyone ever wants to know what’s wrong with them, I’m going to suggest they start a ministry to find out.  You learn a lot about yourself.

P.S.  If you’re building a ministry from scratch, then, insults aside, Execution : The Discipline of Getting Things Done  by Larry Bossidy and Ram Charan seems like a good book to read.  It shows you how to build execution into the fabric of your company.

P.P.S. And if you’re getting stressed by all the things you need to get done, then Getting Things Done: the Art of Stress-Free Productivity by David Allen might be of some help.

God bless! And here’s wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas!

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