I've just seen the first jacaranda blossom of the season. These flowers have a distinctive purple blue hue. Right now in Brisbane their vibrant colour is starting to emerge as Spring unfolds across the city.
As an undergraduate at the University of Queensland, the arrival of the jacaranda blossoms was always a cause for great fear and dread. It heralded the imminent arrival of exams and a very stressful time of year. Part of the folklore at UQ was that if a jacaranda blossom fell on your head, you would forget everything you'd learned. You would never see students sitting under jacaranda trees when they were in bloom!
That's a shame, because they are magnificent trees, with strong branches and sweet, delicate blossoms. Since my first graduation, I now welcome the appearance of the beautiful blossoms and the upcoming festive season.
I may not have the same exam pressures as I did when I was an undergrad, but I still have deadlines. Some are externally imposed, but many are the deadlines I set for myself. Like writing my next book. Of course, I have to set time aside to do the work required to meet these deadlines and certainly at times this generates stress, as I've struggle to balance commitments and get everything done.
During writing of one of my earlier books, a friend said to me - 'don't worry, they're only self-imposed deadlines.' The implication is that deadlines we set for ourselves are somehow less important than those set by others. If we set the deadlines ourselves, then surely we can change them to suit ourselves? I think that's only partly true. Students don't choose the date of the exam, but they do choose to study a particular course and to put themselves through a process that involves examination. In some way most deadlines are self-imposed.
If we can't keep to the deadlines we set for ourselves, how can we keep to the deadlines imposed by others? If we want to achieve anything in life, we need to have an end-point in mind. There are many demands on our time and energy. So, why do we consider our own goals to be less important?
I challenge you today to set one goal for yourself that you'll complete before the last Jacaranda blossom falls.
What will yours be?