A little while back I posted about a crossroads in my career and trying to figure out where I am going and how I am going to get there. Since then I have started to look around at my peers, the industry, my family and realized I am not as old as I think I am. What’s the rush? So when I get overwhelmed and in a rut I turn to a lot of literary sources, one being the old classic 7 Habits Of Highly Effective People. Now the book itself is fine for starters, but I always come back to one paragraph that I highlighted the very first time I read it. It still rings true and can be the cornerstone for moving forward.
Proactive people focus their efforts on their Circle of Influence. They work on the things they can do something about: health, children, problems at work. Reactive people focus their efforts in the Circle of Concern–things over which they have little or no control: the national debt, terrorism, the weather. Gaining an awareness of the areas in which we expend our energies in is a giant step in becoming proactive.
The Circle of Influence. If you are a control freak like me and with the broad experience I have had, I want to get my fingers into everything. But I can’t. Even though I know what those guys are doing, or want to do, that sit on the other side of the building is wrong, it won’t work, and is fundamentally flawed, I can’t let myself get into that mess. I know I can fix it, make it work and move on. But they are outside my department, my technological focus, and outside my Circle of Influence. I can’t change their minds. I can’t alter the CIO’s direction of doing X with employees or Y with real estate. I can’t get through to those “Architects” that are designing a system in a way that will be so overly bloated and clunky no one will use it.
So why am I burning myself out trying? In my mid-year review I actually was told I am in too many places and in too many things. Now that could be a good and bad thing, but it’s turning out to be a bad thing as I am thinning myself. I see that now. Focus on the circle you can control and from that push out the walls and consume. If you try to reach out and pull things in, you take away from yourself.
There are enough things to master sitting on my desk that I shouldn’t be worrying about two desks over.
End of Line.
Binary Blogger has spent 20 years in the Information Security space currently providing security solutions and evangelism to clients. From early web application programming, system administration, senior management to enterprise consulting I provide practical security analysis and solutions to help companies and individuals figure out HOW to be secure every day.