Ruminations on the Digital Realm

Jan Stedehouder

Balancing Acts

I have a life plan.

You know, a plan that is promoted by self-help gurus like Anthony Robbins, Jim Rohn and Stephen Covey. I was surprised to see Covey’s time management principles integrated in the therapy that helped me deal with my burn out problems. I knew them already, but I did not expect their application in serious Dutch psycho-therapy, where self- help methods certainly does not enjoy the same status as in other countries.

I like the programs, because they have a positive outlook on life. They try to convince you that the future, your personal future. is not determined by chance but by choice. Your past and your circumstances, with all the limitations they impose, are starting points on which to build your chosen destiny. I don’t always agree with the strong focus on material success, but nothing prevents you or me to choose other goals. And it is refreshing to see an attempt at integrating spiritual values in your endeavors in the public domain.

Unfortunately, that positive outlook, the notion that you are not a victim of circumstances but a master of your own future and the advocacy of the public spiritual is not widespread where I live. No, people prefer a more down to earth, realistic approach to life. Needless to say we have few visionaries, people who dare to dream big. Entrepreneurship isn’t big either. That is sad actually. I know I don’t have what it takes to be a true entrepreneur, but it doesn’t stop me from trying to build a business of my own. Since I started that attempt I became more aware of risk analysis, focusing on opportunities, balancing costs versus benefits and taking calculated risks. Not just in business, but in all aspect of life. It enriched my life. So much so that I feel entrepreneurial skills should be an integral part of the school curriculum.

I remember a talk with the title ‘Is it a stepping stone or a stumbling block?’ It was based on the scripture that says that for the righteous one there is no stumbling block. Simply put, the road of life is littered with rocks. Some big, some small. But whether a rock is a stumbling block or a stepping stone doesn’t depend on the rock. That is a result of choice, of what we allow it to be. The rocks could be anything, people, health, work issues. Anything that we could use as an excuse for us not meeting our goals. And you would find tons of people agreeing with you as well. Yet the saying goes that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. But that is only true if you make the deliberate decision to use the rock as a stepping stone, to rise above adversity, a stepping stone towards your own chosen goals. That would be complicated if you don’t have those goals firmly in mind with the personal dedication to achieve them.

I have a life plan.

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