I’m organized. I’ve always been organized. As a child, I would sit in the grocery cart and categorize items my mom would pick off the shelves into little zones in the cart. When I couldn’t balance any more items on my lap, I would walk along-side the cart and be sure that if any new item was added, it was assigned to the right place.
The ability to recognize patterns and see boundaries when there are none, are two skills that differentiate the “organized” people in the world.
Did organizing the grocery cart items really matter? It did to me. It helped me feel calmer to organize things into patterns. Did it matter to my mom? Probably not. Although she was amused, I do remember her becoming a bit exasperated with me at times. But what is true is that organized people tend to be organized… and no matter where you put them – those little quirky tendencies will show back up. Like it, or not. Some people will dig it and see it as something they need, some people want to strangle me.
The most difficult thing about being organized most of the time is that when you mess up… everyone tends to notice it, and they often feel compelled to tell you about it.
So, guess who left her purse at home the other day when she rushed out for her hair appointment? Tada… me!
No one seems to notice when the late, messy, unorganized, discombobulated person is that way. But they sure notice it when the “professional organizer” forgets her purse, or leaves her keys somewhere for whatever reason. As in: “YOU forgot your keys? I thought you were supposed to be organized!” Organized? Yes, and Human!
It’s like telling your friends you’re on a low-carb diet, then going out to lunch and feasting on chips, bread, pasta, and chocolate cake for dessert. At some point, someone will muster up the courage and say: “Hey – I thought you were doing the low-carb thing… what happened?” and voila – there’s your human-ness (the natural tendency for us to make mistakes and be in the moment) staring you in the face…
What I notice about this phenomenon is that it tends to drive integrity in “who” people say they are, and a heightened level of responsibility in “how” they act.
There is an automatic level of accountability that comes with stating yourself in the world. When you state what is so, automatic transparency appears, and the world shows up with a secret set of expectations that you are suddenly accountable for.
Those who aren’t ready for the game, of course, tend to sit on the sidelines and not play it.
Living in a glass house means getting real about what is truly going on. Noticing where you are – and accepting what is so.
Thinking it, planning it, even setting aside time to do something about it is great. But it is when you “declare it” to others that it becomes real! Stating what you will do, who you are, and how you will achieve what you want, is the most important step to take when you begin to consider a change.
As a professional organizer and productivity consultant, I’m one who lives in the glass house. And I know that people in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones. But, today I challenge you to look at yourself through a clear window in a totally transparent way.
You’re either on a diet, or you’re not. You’re either timely, or you’re not. You’re either in control or your not. You’re either organized, or you’re not…
Who are you? Where are you? What is so? What do you want? Are you living with integrity in what you say and do in your life?
Welcome aboard the accountability train… we’re going to see everything from here!