At first, it didn't register.
Did you hear me?
IT DIDN'T REGISTER.
It hit me...like a freight train.
That's my work.
Another way of seeing this -- particularly as regards my talks --- is that I allow myself to be "troubled out loud". (This isn't my expression either but something I heard Stephen Jenkinson say in an interview concerning his book, "Die Wise"; if you've not read it, then I strongly recommend you do.)
In the beginning, it was about 'BrandYou' and social media, then the intersection of the spiritual realm with a life lived out there, and now, ...well, I'm not 100% sure.
I know that I want to make a difference -- don't we all? -- but I feel this overwhelming need to go to town on the death sentence we adopt in working for the man. To be clear, I want everyone, employers and employees alike, to WAKE UP to the shift in work patterns, the need for meaningful work and to stop talking about a company's 'Why', without at the same time including an environmental dimension. (As I've made clear in the past, that which goeth up and up is very likely to hasten our demise, and business must play its part in reducing or eliminating our deleterious footprint.)
Of course, being a writer, I could have chosen to write about anything but these topics are what's shown up; and, likewise, what follows is likely to be less about a campaign, i.e. engineered around a topic, as that which shows up if I stay in touch with my muse.
But if you were to ask me what's really driving me to write about the lamentable state of the workplace, it's still the same overriding theme that's been with me from the very start (2010); namely, . And no, I'm not talking about the ego part of our personality -- "Look at me. Aren't I effing awesome!" -- but true self.
Yep, I know that sounds way too Woo Woo; but what I'm aiming at is something uncompromising, something deeply soulful and something we don't pursue...because we're already it.
If there's a way to true self, it's in expressing ourselves through our art whether in work or otherwise. And when I say art, I mean the version that Seth Godin has written about:
"What is your art?
I define art as having nothing at all to do with painting.
Art is a human act, a generous contribution, something that might not work, and it is intended to change the recipient for the better, often causing a connection to happen.
Five elements that are difficult to find and worth seeking out. Human, generous, risky, change and connection.
You can be perfect or you can make art.
You can keep track of what you get in return, or you can make art.
You can enjoy the status quo, or you can make art.
The most difficult part might be in choosing whether you want to make art at all, and committing to what it requires of you."
In expressing out loud my troubles with the work/life/soul/art mix, I know that I'm making the internal external. No doubt I'll draw on my own experience -- which in many ways is the antithesis of a life of art -- but hopefully I'll write about and shine a light on best practice, however that manifests.
Of course, I may deviate from this theme and write about something else, but so long as I feel this quiet, inner rage at the waste of so many lives, lived out through meaningless work, repressed workplaces and bosses who don't give a sh*t about you, the more likely it is I'll spend more and more time bringing my 'A-game' to this space.
I realise that in writing about the workplace debacle I'm going out on a limb -- particularly in the legal space -- but as Seth says:
"Art is hard. Selling is hard. Writing is hard. Making a difference is hard.
When you're doing hard work, getting rejected, failing, working it out--this is a dumb time to make a situational decision about whether it's time for a nap or a day off or a coffee break."
What else is there?