“Severe storms forecast for region.” “Forecasters say large hail, damaging winds and tornadoes are possible.”
Living the first 24 years of my life in the American Midwest gave me a healthy respect for storms and especially for tornadoes. The tiny town where my grandmother grew up was leveled by such a storm and that storm is now part of a frequently repeated family story.
When I moved to the East Coast, I thought or hoped that I was out of the reach of such storms, but such is not the case.
We’ve had many bad storms in the Washington, DC area, but last summer’s derecho, a straight-line wind storm, dealt a particularly strong blow to much of our area. Today another derecho or some type of severe storm is on its way.
Many local people are preparing for the strong possibility of an extended power outage by buying a generator. Others are stock up on ice for coolers. One dissertation coaching client told me this morning that she is concerned by the shelter-in-place plans at her place of work and is thinking through alternative locations.
Such a storm gives us the opportunity to decide where we need to place our focus for a specific situation. For instance, we can use what we have learned from past experience with storms as well as what others who have been hit recently by bad storms have advised.
Choosing an appropriate focus gives us the chance to
— recall what we have learned from past experiences,
— clarify our choices,
— make use of the strengths and skills best suited to a chosen focus,
—and be in the moment.
Whether you are writing a dissertation, encountering daily stress in your workplace, or dealing with an on-coming wind storm, the way you focus your attention is critical.
What do you think is critical to your successfully navigating a dangerous storm, whether that storm is literal or figurative?
And if the storm peters out? That’s the best you could have hoped for. Plus, you have gained practice and muscle for the next big thing.
All good wishes to you,
Nancy Whichard, Ph.D., PCC
Your International Dissertation Coach and Academic Career Coach