Alice in Wonderland is Raging Against the Machine.

"I give myself very good advice, but I very seldom follow it." ~Alice

Nope, this is not some weird mashup. This is what I realized I was doing while fighting a needless mental battle about the work tasks I resent.

I, unlike Alice, strive to take the advice I give. Since my job is to help people become better communicators, it’s fairly vital that I do it well. I work hard to improve my own skills, check my own bad habits, make use of feedback and constantly get better at interacting with other humans.

In order to understand and optimize communication channels, I also help clients gain objective understanding of their organization or work group as a functioning system. When people understand how a system and all of its parts work (either well or poorly), they can operate within it and, if needed, use the system itself to facilitate change.

THAT is awesome hair

But this is where I sometimes tend to resemble Alice… I do not always seek first to understand the system. My inner compassionate and communicative zen-master is sometimes at odds with my inner indignant and disaffected punk-rocker when a system wants me to something I don’t like, value or perceive as useful.

Perception is key. My point of view on tasks I find unsavory in some way – monotonous, avoidable or negatively foreign – triggers instant push-back from my inner Punk. This can waste time in how I get things done. Critique of the status quo and normed assumptions is essential, but calm curiosity needs to partner with criticism to better evaluate the parts and functions of a system itself.

With this observation in mind, my questions are these: where are you giving yourself good advice but not taking it, and when does your resistance against the things you don’t like get in the way of your success?

Perhaps channeling an excellent mashup of Patti Smith and the Dali Lama is a good place to start your own critique.

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