Think about the most important project you have going on right now.
- Is it an internal company initiative?
- Is it a client project?
- Is it a side hustle?
Do you have it in your mind? Can you see it clearly?
Now take a moment to recognize that the rest of the universe does not particularly care about that priority. It does not readjust, reorient, or reconfigure to give you time to think, process, and adapt. The universe does not neatly compartmentalize the other areas of your life in order to give you the breathing room to focus on your job.
Got a big project at work to kickoff?
Bam! Now your dog is sick.
Ready to fly across country to close a big deal?
Bam! Another client has a crisis that requires you stay here.
Thinking of (finally) hiring that new team member to help the business scale?
Bam! A family member needs to borrow money from you.
The world will throw things at you, even as your greatest plans start to take shape. That’s par for the course, but knowing that doesn’t make handling it any easier.
Family, friends, co-workers, and sometimes just the world around you, all go along at their own speed, in their own direction, and with their own priorities, regardless of what you do.
This is us. All of us. And this is why I think it’s imperative that we drop this notion of what professionalism means, and start remembering what it means to be human. This is why we need empathy, compassion and understanding in business, now, the same as always.
Carrying all of this weight isn’t noble anymore than asking for help is weak. Because at the end of the day, when your kid is sick, priorities shift pretty quickly, for all of us.
Now, what was that project you starting off thinking about?