Give Yourself Permission
It is September 14, 2001 and I am sitting here trying to think
of something to share; frankly, I can't. I'm still in shock over
the events of the last few days so I'm going to offer this:
I have always maintained that TV is the archenemy of the
home-based business owner because it's so easy to get sucked-in
and completely distracted. I've tried to work while the TV is
on, but I'm only at 50% capacity at best. I suppose that's
better than sitting on the couch with a bowl of popcorn, but I
prefer operating at a higher level than that.
The solution I have always recommended is to never turn on a TV
in the first place. It's amazing how easy it is to avoid plot
lines when you don't know what they are! That said, when there
is a major news event I find myself in terrible conflict; should
I keep my nose to the grindstone or just 'give-in' to the
temptation to keep up with what's going on? I have found myself
in this predicament during major events such as the Columbine
shootings, the Northridge earthquake, the Gulf War, and the
Challenger space shuttle disaster.
When something happens that is so devastating, so traumatic, so
incomprehensible as the terrorist attacks on the World Trade
Center and the Pentagon, I am not doing myself a favor by
'resisting'. I NEED to keep up with the details. I NEED to know
what's happening. I NEED to feel involved in some fashion, even
if only vicariously. So I gave myself permission, and just left
the TV on.I didn't even pretend that I was trying to get
anything done; I just stayed glued to the tube to stay informed.
Occasionally I had to remind myself to breathe.
I didn't get much done, but it doesn't matter; I did what was
most important at the time. After all, my country was under
attack. Members of my American "family" were lost. Others were
heroes. The coverage of the events and all of the incredible
ramifications was nothing short of amazing. It was a monumental
moment of history, and I know I did the right thing. If I had
been in New York, I would have been out of the house (or
apartment) doing SOMETHING to help SOMEBODY who was more
directly affected than I.
In reading what I just wrote, it sounds like I feel guilty
doesn't it? Well, I do a little because I, like most
entrepreneurs, have a strong work ethic. On the other hand, we
also need to strike a balance between our work and other
I'm in great pain because of what I saw and heard, but in
retrospect I really had no choice. It was simply not possible
for me to ignore what was happening so that I could "get some
If it's a really important distraction, give yourself
permission. After all, some things are just more important than
a few hours of work.