I was reminded recently of a chapter from my book Almost Isn’t Good Enough where I urge readers to “Get Comfortable With Chaos” and it has really hit home during these last few weeks. I truly believe that chaos is indeed the new normal. The word “chaos” tends to have a negative connotation in the minds of most, but I choose to examine the term in a different way.
Chaos to me is an electrifying energy where there’s so much going on that you almost don’t know where to turn. However, all those ideas swirling in your head might lead to your next big breakthrough. It’s similar to the concept of brainstorming in a way. You throw out all of the ideas that come to you and you do so without consideration to reason, but more so to what is possible. A lot of ideas might not stick, but you’re left with a few great, exciting options to execute. When I stepped down as CEO of Soles4Souls, my immediate thought was about what venture to take on next. I think I was stumped for an hour and then about 50 different ideas came to me and I couldn’t write them down fast enough!
Those little devices we stay glued to called “smart phones” don’t help matters much in the way of lowering chaos levels, but they are tremendous in organizing and managing chaos. Having multiple email accounts to instantly receive updates and give direction to my team, my iPhone in many ways actually holds me accountable to making more change happen. Some mornings I wake up to hundreds of unread notifications and think about how long it might take to sort through, but I’m also excited about the latest possibilities and ideas that await me.
I guess what I’m trying to communicate is, don’t take chaos as a bad thing because staying busy and therefore productive is a great thing. The key is striking a balance between adapting to our fast-paced world and knowing when to pull back on trying to do much. I would much rather fall on the side of trying to do much then not doing enough of anything. Don’t fear the chaos in the world, catch it like lightning and make a bigger change for the world than you originally intended!