Structure is something that I tend to lack. When ever I try and add it into my life something crops up and changes it or destroys it.
This isn't to say that I am disorganized, though it does mean that I flit from one thing to another and I more often than not take on more than I can chew. Actually, that sounds like I am disorganized... Well, I'll rephrase; this isn't to say that I am not capable of finishing things, though it does take me a while. I will often start one thing before I have finished another. I will often dream of fantastic new ideas before I have even culminated others. My mind will often race so far ahead my mouth stumbles over my words, and worst of all, I know that structure would give me the freedom to make it all come together.
Even when it comes down to putting my thoughts on paper it is hard to regulate and meter them naturally. This may even come through this post…
I start with good intentions. I set myself goals. I try to ensure that I keep a note of things I need to do, and prioritize them. I put effort into ensuring that I think logically about what I am going to do and the actions I make are thought-out, methodical and consistent.
Despite this I can often find my mind wondering, working on different puzzles of the same ilk or realize that my priorities were wrong and compensate for this on the fly.
This is one of my main problems with my work. I go there every day and am free to choose how I work. Complete freedom. I have paperwork I have to complete, and other colleagues I have to appease and I have targets that I have to meet however other than that, where I spend my time is unmetered. The problem for me is without structure it is so much harder to gain direction.
I try and approach the problems in a similar manner, however I always feel like I am floundering in a desert without direction.
I discussed this analogy with one of the directors and asked him for guidance and here is how he added to the analogy.
‘You have to see yourself searching for food and water in this desert.’ He said, and cleared his throat, ‘You know that just out of sight, over the horizon is an oasis of water and food but for now you have to survive. Find gerbils to eat. Eat cactus. Eat and drink anything you can to survive for now and eventually you will reach the oasis.’ He always seems wise though slightly mad when he talks; a combination that makes him very difficult to challenge. ‘It’s a hard journey but we have all got to go on it and get as much from it as we can.’
I nodded at the time. Silently agreed to something I couldn’t quite process quickly enough. I wish I could have come back with this straight away. He still was trying to get out of giving me any structure. His thoughts are valid in this subject and he is a wizened man. He doesn’t feel that he can do anything to interfere with a person’s journey. He doesn’t want to tell them what to do of they will never learn for themselves. I get this! It makes so much sense however, after much contemplation here are my thoughts on this desert:
‘It’s fine to survive on desert rats, gerbils, hamsters, lizards, cacti and anything else you can find however it is pointless if you are eventually going to run out because you have walked in the wrong direction. You need to know where you are going and always be headed that way. In essence he could show us the direction to walk with out fear of taking anything from our journey. We will still have to walk the hard walk. We will still need to feast on sand dwelling beasts on the way. We will still learn from our experiences. Without that little beacon to aim for it is easy for us to flounder, second guess our own decisions, and make rash choices. ‘
Ultimately we need structure to function as a society. From the convention of saying hello to each other to the complex systems of tacit knowledge that veil the art of navigating traffic in your car.
Without structure we may be able to function though it will never be as efficient as it can be with structure.
Could you survive without structure?
PS: People that don’t work with me may find this hard to follow and I must apologize for that…