When is it OK to not be committed? (part 3 of 3)

This is the last of  3 part post on my reflections/lessons learned from my time at the Art of Hosting conference in Karlskrona Sweden last month.  See Part 1 & Part 2

During the Open Space, I brought up a session on “breaking down barriers between faculties to bring forth sustainable change” – a project/idea close to my heart. This was my reason for doing JYU Talks last year and why I started to continue it with my course this year.

I was nervous about bringing it up because it was a strong passion last year and I sadly, haven’t had the motivation to keep it going.

It reminds me a lot of what Margaret Wheatley said on our first day:

You can begin with passion, but that does not keep you motivated. You need perseverance. The sense of urgency can become a trap – it pushes people away and scares them. Anger can burn out. You need discipline. “Everyday I have to decide not to give up”.

But, this idea was something “burning on the inside” that I felt compelled to share. I wanted to talk about it with these leaders.

During the session, I told them that I wasn’t sure about my commitment to the idea of moving forward with a project on ‘breaking down faculty barriers’ but we ended up having a great discussion with a goal to have some open spaces at our universities in the near future on this topic. I said I’d get back to them asap so that we could plan something.

I didn’t do what I said I would. It took me until now to send my group an email – offering them an apology for not following through.

Toke (an amazing Host) said something at the conference that I’ll never forget – he said he’d “rather follow a committed person without a plan, than a person with a plan but not committed”. It really stuck. To my horror almost… it’s the realization that I’m the second person.

When I say that this idea is something close to my heart, I wasn’t lying. And I mentioned it to my group that my commitment was shaky, and it still is. I’m afraid of committing to it. It’s something that I will likely face one day, but I can’t give it the attention it deserves right now. (There’s the time factor – how much time left in Europe, and just mentally – if I do this, I need to have the perseverance to keep it through).  I feel like if I was to start on the project again right now, I’d end up half way and leave people wondering… (which is essentially what I did last time).

But, this raises a good question:

When is it ok to not be committed? When can you just raise an idea and “host” with the intention of just feeling comfortable with the idea yourself?

It’s one thing to have the power to say NO to other projects. But when the idea is your own, and you’re even honest with your commitment, people still look to you if they’re interested in making a go of it. I guess I just shouldn’t have accepted “action” on it – but the group nicely infused me with passion again – just not enough in myself to persevere…

So, going back to that first statement of not quite feeling the same vibe as everyone else in the room, I felt like I let people down. I brought up a cool idea, got people motivated, took in their ideas, and then left them hanging… something you should never do. I apologized to my group and hope that they understand. If anyone else wants to run with it, by all means, please do. I’m happy to support, and I’ll join in, whole heartedly, when I’m ready…tjane

This is part 2 of a 3 part reflection/lessons learned from my time at the Art of Hosting conference in Karlskrona Sweden last month.  See Part 1

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