Friday, November 29, 2013


Earlier this year, I read Cliff Dowdey's "Lee's Last Campaign" which detailed Robert E. Lee's maneuvers from Wilderness to Petersburg in 1864.

One of the main problems the Confederacy and definitely Lee struggled with was the concept of troop concentration, that is, bringing all one's troops together into a single, formidable fighting force.

Had Lee been able to do that when he so desired, perhaps things would have been different for the Confederacy. Who really knows? I have, however, been thinking about how his struggle could be related to far wider implications in the struggles of every day life.

Maybe that's extreme-sounding. The truth is it's easy to be overwhelmed by the ever-present and sometimes seemingly ever-expanding to do-list. Even simple things begin to look like relatively tall orders and nothing gets done. A scattershot approach, where a little bit of this and a little bit of that are accomplished, doesn't get one too far.

But when you marshall all your resources to take on a singular task and go after it relentlessly until the mission is accomplished, suddenly there's the feeling of real progress and the juggernaut of domination marches on.

I bring this up as a personal reminder to myself that it is always better to do one thing well than to do 90 things at once half-ass. Sometimes that is not an option, but it is no way to live when it is. In our modern world, it is so easy to go all ADHD and try to do everything, or become distracted while doing one thing so you can handle another. Slowing down and putting one foot in front of the other with one project in mind at a time is what actually gets you somewhere.

Other stuff--even tantalizing new projects--can typically wait.

At least that's what my fortune cookie said.

Over & Out,


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