"Treat time as an arrow," said our public narrative coach, at Ignition Central LA, a workshop given by Ignite Good. Ignite Good is a nonprofit organization with a unique mission to help millennials connect and affect change in the community, through the shared values of their individual stories. In a moment of reflection, I revisited some of my notes and came across this philosophy about time that helped me reframe my thinking of what people, power and change looks like. Our workshop was designed in a way to model for us what it means to treat time as an "arrow" versus a "cycle."
The idea of life cycles and how it relates to leaders and just people, in general, is simple yet effective thinking.
Life cycles such as a new year or birthday can trap us into thinking something has changed simply because time has passed. We have all experienced this false sense of accomplishment that results in us maintaining our routines and normal procedures without any real change happening. Unknowingly these new beginnings can simply become points where we press the reset button for our old habits. However time alone does not change things, people do. It never occurred to me that such life cycles can cause disillusion of what we really have achieved and hinder us from being more productive as individuals and, more importantly, as teams.
Instead, we must think of time as an "arrow" which helps us to focus on our goals in a way that make a real difference that we can see. We practiced building on what we learned while creating a foundation for what was to come next. Although it was an empowering experience, a group of us walked away feeling charged and willing to create meaningful change in our community but unsure of how to exactly go about it. We decided to meet outside the workshop and while still skeptical of where our efforts were going, surprisingly walked away with clarity after using the model of time as an "arrow." The important thing to remember whether you are a service leader, apart of a school system, start up company or simply want to lead a life of success you can measure; create a way of mobilizing time, resources and energy to achieve an outcome to avoid falling into the trap of life's cycles. I am thankful for the tools Ignite Good equipped me with, not only to construct relevant change in my community but in my life.
To check out the great work that Ignite Good is doing and see how you too can be involved log onto their website.