He is a beach vendor who of course sells hats.
The simplest way for Tomas to make his way up and down the beach is to pile all of his hats on top of his head. It’s quite the balancing job.
He’s really no different than the rest of us who perhaps are not in the hat selling business but are none the less also trying to balance a huge stack of hats on our heads.
I wear a lot of different hats…
and so on
Think about it…
How many hats do you wear?
The list is probably much longer than you imagine. Sure there are hats related to roles we play, but there are also hats that come with tasks that need to be performed – hats of responsibilities that you might have chosen or were just thrust upon you.
Maybe you wear the hat of problem solver or organizer.
Or the go-to person who takes care of whatever needs taking care of.
Or the hats of household chores – cook, cleaner, gardener.
Maybe at work you are the conflict manager or team leader or moral supporter.
We are all multi-hatters.
Pause for a moment and jot them down – how many different hats are perched on your head today?
The problem isn’t that we have multiple hats. The problem is wearing too many at the same time.
Multi-hatting is no different than multi-tasking.
It comes with the same challenges. No matter how many hats you are wearing you can only focus on one role or responsibility at a time.
Oh sure we all have expectations from ourselves and others that we can wear multiple hats and look good doing it. That’s not really true.
Even the guy on the beach knows he looks a little silly with too many hats on his head at the same time.
The beauty of my recent beach vacation was the opportunity to take off most of my hats for a while. Not throw them away but just set them down. When you do that you become acutely aware of not only the weight of all those hats, but also the energy it takes to balance them.
Here are some questions to ponder:
If I can only wear one hat, which one would I choose?
The answer to that question gives you some insight into your core values.
Which hats need to go?
The answer to that question highlights obligations or commitments that no longer reflect your priorities.
Which hat would I love to put on?
The answer to that question reveals unfulfilled hopes and dreams.
The key to remember is that you only have one head.
While we may have lots of hats, we can only mindfully wear one at a time.
Whichever hat you are wearing, give it your full attention. That’s what your brain is trying to do anyways. It doesn’t pay attention to two or more things at the same time. It switches between tasks and in the process loses efficiency.
When you try to continually multi-hat, you are switching back and forth between roles and your effectiveness in that role suffers. You can’t focus on being a great spouse, parent, friend, coworker all at the same time. Bring your attention to the hat you are wearing right now, and then mindfully change hats as needed.
Which hats are currently in your collection?