Circumference of Me – Chapter 17

17 — Navel-gazing is hazardous to health

While viewing your career future, there are four ways to focus your attention: Behind you, down, straight ahead, and up.

Except to reflect on mistakes and go over a laundry list of items learned from your experiences, there’s absolutely no reason to dwell on the past. Dredging up frivolously ridiculous events that look even more so in hindsight, personal decision-making foibles, and avoidable corporate faux pas just wastes time and valuable mental resources.

Your time would be more wisely spent replaying what you learned and how your lessons have improved your intellectual landscape.

Looking straight ahead – maintaining the status quo – normally would not advance one’s individual worth. It would instead signal professional acceptance of stagnation and eventually, degradation of position.

It’s perfectly acceptable to keep one’s eyes looking skyward toward loftier goals, larger and more important projects, and a title suitable to one’s abilities and aspirations. But fixing your gaze in that direction has its hazards. If you don’t pay attention to where you are headed, you can easily be tripped by unseen obstacles.

Looking down – navel-gazing, as it were – with excessive contemplation and unnecessary reflection on circumstances and events over which one has no control, or which don’t really help your role in the company, is simply a waste of time.

If you are going to indulge in navel-gazing, do it on your own time.

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