What's in Your Basket?

May 31, 2022

Here's a lesson in workload and leadership.

We live in a great big and busy world that bombards us with thoughts, technology, memories, and emotion. 

Your day, your cadence, and your emotions are all driven off what you did, what others do, and what you want to do. It really is a lot to take in when you are navigating the journey. Some keep a blind eye to what is going on, the bliss of closed eyes keeps them happy, going through the day as if the sunrise was a one-person show, and they are the star. Nothing happens that they don’t want, and everything happens for them. All because they chose not to see their surroundings.

Then there are the others. The cursed who see and analyze all, playing the past movie clips in their mind as they absorb the constantly changing surroundings. They have a clear vision of what they want in life, how it needs to happen, and they are driven to make the changes for the better because they see better outcomes in their mind (and have mapped out the journey to get there).

The villain in your storyline comes from within. While some would argue that this external foe distracts you from your goals, it is actually an internal struggle as you continue to scour your surroundings for things to correct and paths—all while trying to piece it into your ultimate vision. What was once a river to conquest that had some turns to navigate though, quickly becomes a swamp that tricks you to believe you are where you are supposed to be while more dangers lurk around you.

Panic sets in, you are so deep in the swamp you can no longer remember where you are (or why you made the choices to go there). The choices are plentiful and give no clear understanding of the steps you are taking and if they are getting you any closer to your desired outcome. Most succumb to the swamp, feeding off what It gives you. Finding a new comfort in being lost and watching the one man show  project daily in their mind called mediocracy.

A Balanced Basket

The antidote is the basket. A metaphorical store container for your visions, to-dos, and maps. Your basket is always in your hand, happily swinging around your torso level ever-present to your day perfectly fit for your journey. Too big of a basket weighs you down, forcing you to switch it from side to side as it aches your back arms and shoulders. Too small of a basket lacks ample space to house your tasks. As it swings with your stride, your thoughts drop out, forcing you to stop, regroup and restart. Your basket is just the size you need to be successful.

The contents of your basket are for your success. Like the Collin’s Bus Theory, there is a place and reason for all your items in your basket. There is a time where you bring in new items, times you pull them out to use and times you come to the realization that that piece no longer belongs in your basket.  As the leader of your basket, you must be able to decide what is needed in your arsenal, and what gets cast out. Not to be forgotten about, but not able to be used on this part of your journey.

Your villain will constantly try and add new things to your basket. Your curse (if left unchecked) will distract you from your path, give you data that will cloud your navigation as you leave your river and flow right into the swamp. Your lack of understanding of your basket’s capacity fools you into carrying more into your basket, straining your body, and spilling out into the murky waters. Your journey comes to a halt, you must find your cargo, reset your priorities, and navigate out of your swamp back to your path.

Here’s a hypothetical exercise:

Me: John, cup your hands together like you are trying to hold water. Now tell me all your duties at work

John: (going through his job in his mind) Well I must do this, and I am responsible for that and this other thing.

Me: Great, now imagine your hands are a basket. I want you to put all your duties in that basket. (John looks deep into his palms) Is your basket full?

John: Yes, there is a lot of stuff in there.

Me: Ok, so you got a lot of stuff in your basket that you must take care of. If your basket is full, how can you carry the tasks that you are not in your basket?

John: Well… I can’t!

Me: Great! Now you understand