Last night I was standing in the security line at the airport. I leaned over for 30 seconds to reorganize something in my bag and when I stood up the line in front of me had moved up about 5 feet. I turned around and the woman behind me glared – “move up already ready!” her eyes said.
Me moving up 5 feet in that span of 30 seconds would not have helped that woman get through the line any faster but she surely was anxious to move up just for the sake up moving up. Apparently that extra space made her uncomfortable and she had to close it off.
This got me thinking on the plane. Do we as humans often move, keep busy, just for the sake of moving? How do we truly make progress vs. just move around? Do you ever spend an entire day at work and at the end of the day wonder what you actually created, or did to really move the ball forward?
Sometimes it is super important to take a step back and identify where you may be moving just for the sake of moving and where you are truly making tangible progress.
Great post. I think this is something that we all run into both personally and professionally.
That pressure – to always be moving forward – is ingrained in our culture. And the speed with which you better move forward or peeve people like that woman in line is becoming even faster. It makes us all much more impatient with each other.
Sometimes, just to rabble rouse, I don’t move forward in those lines…just to remind myself that I don’t have to succumb to that pressure…and when I see others in front of me who have slowed down, stopped or stumbled, I try to resist the urge to get impatient myself. We have to keep fighting that battle within ourselves so that we can avoid the unnecessary, unspoken battles between us.
John Kotter would call that a false sense of urgency. Motion doesn’t necessarily = progress.