You know that work doesn’t happen at work. You’ve been told to work smarter, not harder. You’ve been shown how little it takes to start your own dream business. You’ve been encouraged to create, to stand out.
Here’s what could just be hiding underneath all this: the feeling that there’s something you’d rather be doing. The conviction that there’s something else out there and that sooner or later, all projects, ideas, efforts and strategies will lead to this big thing.
What may just lie underneath all the magic tricks you pull off at work – all the motivation you tell yourself you need – is the reality in which one big passion pulls the strings connected to your everyday actions.
Fifteen years ago, my part-time job had me stationed by a lake, day after day. There were calm days and there were windy days by that lake. And on a really windy day, here’s what would happen: company cars from nearby businesses would pull up at the car park, folks would jump out of their cars and out of their suits and into their wetsuits, and in five minutes they’d have their boards and sails all rigged up for an afternoon of windsurfing.
Think about it. There’s a wetsuit in each of these cars’ trunks. There’s a weather forecast app on each of these laptops. There’s a back-up plan, a dreamed-up meeting, an improvised emergency that allows them to show up at the lake when the wind lets them do what they love.
This is what matters. This is work. This is where they’re at their most ingenious, most authentic, least afraid.
Many of us have a thing like that: something that pulls the strings, demands precedence, makes us juggle and rearrange priorities until (consciously or not) space is left for that thing to breathe, to thrive and become important.
You can pretend it’s not there. Sometimes it’s not there. But if it is, this could be where your work belongs. Do you want to find it and give it a name?
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