Brilliant advice by Bill Watterson – creator of Calvin & Hobbes – on integrity, work-life and chasing your passion.
We take one of the two paths in life as shown below:
- Do what you don’t like, but should
- Get experience doing this
- Become great at doing what you dislike
- Gain opportunity to do more
- Live life empty of meaning.
- Do what you love and find meaningful
- Get experience doing what you love
- Become extra good at you doing what you love
- Gain more opportunity to do what you love
- Live life full of purpose and meaning.
Doing someone else’ dharma well starts when you do what society says to do so, even though it is not something you like. Over time you get experience with it and get good at it. So you get opportunities to do more of this work. You get promoted. You become the boss, the partner or the top executive. Everyone honors you and wants you to do more of something that isn’t right for you. And you experience your life getting more and more meaningless and unsatisfying.
The path of doing your own dharma starts with doing what you love and what is meaningful to you. In time you gain both experience and skill. You get very good at it. And, because of that, you get more opportunity to do the kind of work that represents who you really are. Even though you might get the trappings of success – money, fame, promotion and awards – the work itself remains its own reward. Your life keeps getting more and more fulfilling. And your satisfaction gives blessings to your friends, family, community and the world.
Cross Posted from “Love and Leadership”
“The inherent language of the corporate workplace is far too small for us now. It has too little poetry, too little humanity, and too little good business sense for the world that lies before us. We only have to look at the most important word in the lexicon of the present workplace – manager – to understand its inherent weakness. Manager is derived from the old italian and French words mannegio and manege, meaning the training, handling and riding of a horse….images of domination… and the taming of potentially wild energy. It also implies a basic unwillingness on the part of the people to be managed, a force to be collared and reined in…..most people don’t respond very passionately or creatively to being ridden… Sometimes over the next fifty years or so, the word manager will disappear from understanding of leadership… It is the artist in each of us we must now encourage into the world, whether we have worked for Getty Foundation or for Getty Oil”
Devdutt writes about transforming workplaces and dips into Indian history to make his point.
Every employee who joins an organisation, hopes it to be Madhuvan: a place of joy and hope and growth and teamwork. Every employee who is leaving an organization describes the situation as Kurukshetra: a place of struggle and politics and insensitivity. We want our worlds to be governed by the principles of Bhagavata, but we are often faced with the terrible ways of the Mahabharata.
Kent Blumberg has an outstanding post that is a call for action:
April 2006. I was 51. I had no job. I had no team to sustain me. Having lost three jobs in four years, I felt like a pariah. I was frightened no one would hire this fat, middle-aged ex-CEO, scared I would not be able to put food on the table, and wondering who I was.
My identity, you see, had been wrapped up in my title. I was my role, and little else. Without a role, I felt erased.
For months I wandered in that wilderness, chasing after jobs and searching for my mission. I scored a few interviews, and went to them full of hope. Every time, though, I returned with my tail between my legs. Either I didn’t like them; they didn’t like me, or both. Usually both. Most of the time, I was secretly glad it had not worked out.
As summer faded into fall, my hopes of returning to the corporate world withered and browned. Inside me, the lights of my manufacturing career dimmed toward dark.
But as the nights lengthened toward winter, and the lights in our house came on a bit earlier every day, new lights began to glow within me. I began to see that I was not a senior vice president, a COO or even a CEO. I was not a title. I was something much more unique. I was, and am, Kent M. Blumberg. My struggles to present a clear picture in my cover letters, my resumes and my interviews had forced me to cut away all the fluff and expose my core.
Don’t wait until you are 51 to follow your dreams. Don’t wait for someone else to force a change on you. Start right now to figure out what your gift is and to take charge of your career. Start now to explore your passions, values and beliefs. Start now to inventory your skills, talents and experience. Start now to discover the behavioral style that fits you best.
At the intersection of those three, pitch your tent and get to know the territory. Get to know yourself and get to know the callings that fit you. You might find that what you are doing now is perfect for you. Super! On the other hand, you might find something entirely different is waiting for your embrace and passion. That’s super, too.
Whatever you find there, take the next step today. Take another step tomorrow. And a third on Saturday. Each day, from now on, take a small step closer toward your dreams.
Your life’s work awaits you. Don’t wait for it to come to you. Go out and find it.
In life, you don’t get to rollover your unused minutes. Ya gotta use each one as it comes. Use yours wisely.
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