I had an interesting conversation the other day with a colleague, – a colleague who is from a Central European country. I’m not sure which one, exactly, but we were speaking about some new business ideas for SharePoint Directions, and she asked me if I was still wondering what to do. The thing is, though, that due to her accent, I wasn’t sure if she used the word “Wondering”, or the word “Wandering”. Even to hear her say the two words separately a few minutes later, my untrained and Western USA-educated ears had a difficult time trying to tell the difference What a difference one letter makes.
It started me thinking, though, about my journey with SharePoint Directions. – or in a bigger sense, with our journey in life.
To wonder is to envision, to question your direction, to question your efforts, your capabilities and your talents. To wonder is also to read, to study, to pray, to ask, to listen, to watch, to reason, to make plans. We must wonder before we can grow. Are we too busy to find time to wonder? Do we make the time to wonder regularly? Do you wonder how good you can be? Wonder regularly and wonder often. It’s good for you.
Wandering is the activity component to Wondering. Where To Wonder is to work from your chair, To Wander is management by walking around. Wandering is experimentation. Wandering is experiential. To wander is to try out your ideas, to practice that speech, to give that interview, to spend that extra hour with the client. To wander is to move into different circles and to expand into unknown areas that might be new and strange – until one wanders into them.
To wander is to act on your ideas, and to put your plan into practice.
I started asking myself if the time that I was spending on different tasks was time spent wondering or time spent wandering. It became easier and easier to make that judgment about what I was spending my time on. I did find, interestingly enough, that I was spending too much time wondering, and not enough time wandering. I don’t really know why it surprised me, or why I was a little saddened to realize that I hadn’t been wandering as much as I could have been.
I was struck by the simplicity of the concept between wondering and wandering. I was struck by how much time one could spend wondering, without reaching conclusions. It is only when wondering is followed by wandering that great achievements are made. And it is only when wandering is preceeded by wondering that people achieve at close to their capacity.
So, I will be trying to wander a bit more often. I will still be wondering – there is too much to learn. I wonder if this bit of inspiration is only for me, or if it also applies to others. I think that it might apply to others, but in this case, it only applies to me.
All because of one little letter. Are you Wondering? Or Are you Wandering?
I think that you are seeing right now why my blog is still being published under the http://owen-allen.com domain, and not under www.SharePointDirections.com. One of these days I’ll get around to putting the SharePoint Directions blog on-line, and that will be a work-only blog. But for now, you get work mixed in with personal reflections…