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Keeping Pace, Staying Balanced
2006, Q4 (February 23, 2007)
By Larry Kunz, Carolina Chapter President

Larry Kunz
Larry Kunz

Have you noticed that the pace of our lives is speeding up, and that the pressure to keep up has never been more intense? We hear a steady chorus of “work harder, work smarter. Stay abreast of new tools, new technology, and new ways of doing business. Don’t take your foot off the gas or everyone will pass you by.”

On the other hand, a little voice somewhere inside reminds us that no one on their death bed ever wished they’d spent more time at the office.
Having just come through the holidays, when the pressure often seems magnified, we find ourselves at the traditional time for making resolutions. We promise ourselves that we’ll spend more time on (pick one or more) pursuing professional development, doing things with our children, working out at the gym, pondering the great mysteries of life.

How do you choose between all of the competing pressures?
How do you set priorities?

Many people recommend having a personal mission statement. Just as it does for a business or organization, a mission statement can help you by providing a yardstick against which to measure the things that vie for your time and attention.

But can you really boil down your life to a sentence or two? Life has so many dimensions: work, family, faith, health, community — to name just a few. Instead of a mission statement, maybe you’re better off making a list of goals. When you reach a certain age, you want to be able to look back and say, “I did these things.”

As you consider all of this in the new year, don’t overlook the value of belonging to — and being active in — a professional association like STC. You know that STC touches the part of your life that’s labeled “work.” It helps keep you up to date professionally. It puts you in contact with colleagues who share your interests. It can help you (as it’s helped me) find a job.

But that’s not all. In the part of my life that’s labeled “community,” STC has given me a rich supply of deep and lasting friendships. It’s honed my leadership skills, given me experience working on teams, increased my self-confidence, and provided a great deal of satisfaction.

(One very satisfying experience — and one unlike any I’d ever had before — was serving last year on the search committee that selected Susan Burton to be the new Executive Director of STC.)

In turn, those experiences have touched other parts of my life, like the ones labeled “family” and “faith.”

So as we turn to 2007, I encourage you to make it a priority to become active (or stay active) in our STC community. There are plenty of opportunities to make a difference — for yourself and for your fellow members. Resolve to attend a SIG meeting or a monthly chapter meeting. Volunteer to do something new.

I wish all of you a very happy and satisfying new year. And I look forward to seeing you, and working with you, in STC.

Larry can be reached at larry_kunz at symantec dot com. End of article.

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