Overcome Complexity with Optimism

My job is increasingly complex. I’m leading a team of 8 people and we have a bunch of different plates spinning all the time. There are regular and frequent shifts in priority, and this means we sometimes have less capacity than we would like to get everything done that we want to do.

On Friday, a project was approved which means we can move towards a goal that I’ve had for almost two and a half years. But some other situations mean that we’ll have to sacrifice some other goals. Not completely–we’ll still be doing the work we have been–but we’ll need to go a bit slower so we can balance everything.

While thinking through how I can make this all work practically (what do we do less of? how do we deliver what we need to deliver, and what’s the highest priority work?), I found comfort in the awesomeness of my team. They’re so great that I know we can make this work.

Complexity is stressful, but as I focused on the optimistic thoughts of, “We can do this!” I found that I was a lot less stressed. And very quickly, what had at first seemed to be a complex challenge soon seemed more simple and achievable.

Per my last blog post, I also gave it all to God and asked what part of this complexity is truly mine to manage and what can I lay down. I don’t have a really clear answer on that, but I think recognizing my team’s strength, helping them to also see how great they are, and building their confidence in us working together to do what we need to do… that’s my priority.

Living the dream

Some days, I have daydream conversations between myself and an antagonist where they point out all the stuff I’m doing wrong, or failing to do, or where I’m not doing what other people want. Sometimes these conversations are completely irrational and, at other times, they are inspired by conversations from my past. Regardless, the words in the antagonist’s mouth are always painful and intended to inflict shame, embarrassment, or self-loathing.

But as the summer progresses, I keep thinking, “Man, I’m living the dream!” When last semester ended, I didn’t know what I was going to do next. My internship at the church was ended and I knew that I didn’t want to do that anymore. I don’t really want to work at FnC at all any longer. I want something more, something bigger, and also something more personal. I want a deeper relationship with God than that work afforded me. I want to invest the time in opening myself to his Spirit.

When the semester ended and the summer began, I was walking through a forest. I couldn’t see very far because of the trees, and there were no real paths. There was plenty of room to walk, it was shady and cool, and I liked where I was alright… but I wasn’t yet where I wanted to be. I didn’t yet have a path on which to walk.

Now I have that path. I have a plan. I’m worshiping God more, singing and praying and praising him, and beginning to learn about him and his Spirit. I’m writing more, and my site is picking up steam. I’m happy with its layout, the rate at which I’m producing work, and my future plans. On a creative level, I am satisfied with my current level of activity.

It doesn’t matter what those voices say, those antagonistic dreams with their unrelenting expectations. I’m living the dream. I’m doing the work I need to do. I’m climbing to the mountaintop, and no one can take that away from me.