Learning to love order and gaining freedom in the process

Order is not my strong suit. Add process and my eyes glaze over. At least, that’s what I thought in my younger days.

Yesterday I read a quote from Winston Churchill that resonated with me:

“In the first 25 years of my life I sought freedom. In the next 25, order. And in the last 25 I learned order is freedom.”

Churchill Quote

Quote from WInston Churchill

Funny enough, though, for the last 25 years it doesn’t feel like I’ve been chasing structure. I do struggle to find it. And when I do, it’s fleeting. Maybe that’s why the universe favors entropy? At least that what I learned in Mr. Owen’s Chemistry class in 11th grade.

Freedom’s an elusive beast, too. Seek that too much and I’m liable to end up with no order or freedom. It’s a confusing world, for sure.

My Own Quest for Order

At work lately, I find myself admiring process. I work with a guy and for a guy who’re both really good with processes. I like asking them to help me think about how I may add routines to aspects of the team I lead. I appreciate their patience and guidance as I learn this new skill.

I’m all for the movement to focus on one’s strengths, strive to operate in those areas whenever possible and seek team members who support my weaknesses. What’s also true is that because I’m not good at something doesn’t give me a pass to say, “Oh, I’m not very good at that so someone else should do it.”

Yes, there are things I’m better at than others. What’s interesting to me is how things I don’t like to do generally fall in that dastardly “weakness” category. Not always, but mostly.

I’ll keep searching for order and praying for freedom. Surrender and acceptance are important for me, too. When my son was playing hockey, I used to tell him to keep moving his feet. I’ll take my own advice.


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