On Lists

Lists appear to have suddenly become the leitmotif of the few blogs I read. From Don Miller sharing his fiancee’s list to Esco imagining the All Nigerian Girl, to AnyaPosh, Miss Enigma, Sting and all the lasses doing that 30 day blogging thing, everyone appears to be sharing bits and pieces of lists.

When I was much younger I was a big fan of lists  – on everything from five year goals and plans, gadgets to buy to what I wanted in a spouse – complete with excel spreadsheets which calculated weighted averages across the various categories. The one thing I didn’t bargain for was that it would become a mechanistic check-the-box-or-check-out exercise – that happened – nor did I question the basis on which the items were identified, or  if indeed I was at a time and place where I could expect those qualities from others.

Carolyn McCulley in her 2006 article at Boundless posits a middle ground – having faith for the man (woman) he (she) will become. For the possessor of the list, this involves making a distinction between what are absolute must-haves from day zero, and what can be subtly influenced over the course of the relationship. For the one who has been handed such a list, it can serve as a deserved kick up the backside to wake up from the years of lethargy and to begin taking tangible steps to grow and mature as an individual. The flip side though is that it can feel like one is being measured against an impossible standard, creating pressure to conform, or to just call it quits and move on. Balance then is key.

On a less self absorbed note though, I shall be trawling all these blogs and more with my pen and paper, taking notes and keeping my eyes open for that All Nigerian Girl. Hopefully, I can finally find out what women want

The Action Item List

I identified a few key things that I need to work on in my life to improve on myself majorly. The prioritized list I will be working off is below:

  1. Develop a reading schedule: financial, self motivation, self esteem, writing and career related books.
  2. Schedule times for laptop gaming, internet and other non essential activites.
  3. Build a plan for improving my life in the categories of Al Mohler’s excellent piece – The Marks of Real Manhood.
  4. Develop a plan for regular bible study and prayer, determine a time and stick to it
  5. Document my peculiar sin vulnerabilities: identify the triggers and fight for the life of me!
  6. Identify two mentors – one in the workplace and one for my personal life. Set up weekly teleconferences or meetings as appropriate.
  7. De-clutter my life. Reassess all my people connections and downsize to a manageable number.
  8. Complete my MSc, identify critical modules I will require in the work place and read up on them before I get to resume work.
  9. Get a complete physical exam done. Identify any potential health vulnerabilities and ensure they are in line for focused attention.
  10. Maintain my weight – can’t afford to increase health risk levels by bulking up.
  11. Develop mechanisms for tracking and assessing need before expenditure. Consider adding a need assessment module to my excel tracking sheet.
  12. Read up on investment opportunities in Nigeria. Develop mechanisms for assessing investments and prioritizing them for action.
  13. Identify worthy causes and get plugged into a couple.

Hopefully, I will be able to state categorically at the end of the year that I have worked through the list.. I then shall measure effectiveness and decide which new directions I need to chase!