I truly see myself as a teacher in my soul. As I wrote yesterday, the identity of teacher is one of my core archetypes. It represents someone that searches for information constantly, someone that seeks new skills and new knowledge with insatiable thirst.
That is, indeed, me. It can be a disservice to myself now and then, as well. I seek out so much information that I regularly and routinely go on information overload and then get overwhelmed and then quit. It’s my version of procrastination. I’ll just RESEARCH the thing until I have learned all my brain can hold, and then I’ll bounce around in a fact-filled data overload unable to complete concrete sentences and feeling like I’m on drugs.
About 12 years ago I had a health issue that required some procedures and anxiety ridden waiting for test results. Everything was fine. But while it was happening I was looking at a potential cancer diagnosis and fear was plaguing me. I was preparing to apply for graduate school to get my MA in teaching, I was ready to start a new chapter. I was freaking out about the potential of being on chemo or having to quit a graduate program once I’d started. My doctor, now retired and running marathons in the insane climate of southern Arizona, was a straight shooter. “Don’t research enough to earn a medical degree,” she teased. “That’s my job.”
She was correct, it was her job. I didn’t need to know everysinglethingthatcouldhappen, and I was fine stopping. I had that uncomfortable in my skin feeling while I let that sit with me, though. I didn’t want to stop researching, looking online, reading articles, going to the library, studying different treatments and what effects they would have on my body and on my body systems. But for my mental and emotional health, I had to.
There is nothing wrong with researching. But at some point you have to take the information you’ve gathered and make a decision, plan action, DO something with it. SYNTHESIZE. Reading statistics and research data themselves are so eternally boring to me. I don’t want to read about data in its raw state, I want to read someone’s interpretation. I have to make my own interpretation, though. And when you incessantly research, you just end up at the end of the rabbit hole, no better off than you were before.
For example, this summer while in Mexico, I researched, read, joined and participated in at least 10 webinars or entrepreneur classes, all developed by an entrepreneur promising me that their particular way of doing things was the way and that I would be successful if I tried some of their techniques. I have no doubt I would. But instead of taking action for most of the summer, I just kept gathering experiences from other entrepreneur classes, free downloads, podcasts. It wasn’t until I started to synthesize what I’d learned from all of this that actual change started to happen in my life and in my business. I realized that I knew plenty by now, and that my job and responsibility was to interpret the things I learned about with my own lens.
That’s the responsibility of all of us. We are to take what we’ve learned and studied and make our own conclusions. In the back of my head I can think many chess moves ahead and see how this concept could be problematic for the political world. I’m not saying that we make conclusions at the expense of others. But we are to interpret the world based on the data we have gathered from education and experience. There is no excuse to not learn things and to refuse to be impacted by the world around us. Our path here on earth is not inert. We have gumption in us and the ability to take responsible action.
So for me, this means to literally stop and do. I need to do so much more doing. Doing! Doing! Doing! I know some of you are saying, “what? Jennifer, you are constantly doing!” I don’t mean build another house or get another job.
For me this means writing it down versus reading about how to write it down. It means making some conclusions about my experience and formulating an interpretation that will benefit others. It means telling my story in a compelling way that reaches others. It means making use of my experience and the life I’ve been granted by God. It means to not waste.