Thursday, January 30, 2014

Passion Doesn't Belong at Your Job

"Passion: A strong and barely controllable emotion"

Why the hell do we want to bring this to our workplace? 

Passion is good, it's fundamental to life and feeling alive. It gives us motivation and excitement. It's an inspirational state to be in. And it's precious and fundamental and something for us to protect, like a little flame in our hearts to be sheltered from external winds.

Workplaces are murky pits of politics, ever changing priorities and agendas. Conflicting personalities, profitability and just generally unhealthy people in power - it all amounts to one thing: we are totally dispensable. What we are passionate about, and driving hard, can be as easily cut from the strategy as we can from the team.

So why bring passion, and allow our emotions to cloud the real gravity of the situation? Why allow our beautiful lust for life to be tainted by channelling our passions towards a corporate agenda that will ask us to turn off our passion like a tap, just because the leadership has changed?

Work demands ethics, accountability and pride, and that's a good and fine thing to bring to the table every single day. It reinforces our discipline, and is the perfect storm that creates respectability, credibility and influence. Bringing that is challenging and consuming enough for our feeble human state.

Treasure your passions - it's what gives us purpose when all else is rejecting us.

I simply adore this song, and it's the easiest reminder of all, how wonderful passion can be when it's put in the right place.


Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

How to Lose the Fear of Having Good Ideas

Creativity and inspiration – we basically agree it's a good thing, but we often do so little with it. There’s a lot of fear that comes with having so many ideas and possibilities inside us, because when we have to move it from inside to outside, we have to place it into judgement. That judgement might not even be from the public arena, but just from ourselves (when we realise what we’ve actually been thinking & facepalm). Whatever our personal root for the fear is, it’s stopping us from getting to those really awesome ideas that only we could ever think of. Only our own mind will be a culmination of life experiences, skills, and attitudes at a single time and place. No idea is original – I agree – but every brain is individual. Only you can think a certain thought, see a solution from a certain angle, and bring your energy from a certain understanding.

So how do we get to those ideas?

By treating our brain like a lemon tree. A lemon tree in the right climate will have a piece of fruit ready to pick And the tree puts everything it’s got into making that fruit. The more lemons you pick, the more lemons the tree will grow! If the lemons aren’t picked, they’ll sit on the tree slowly drying out or going mouldy. Eventually they’ll fall off, but the tree isn’t stimulated to grow more while it waits for that old mouldy lemon to fall off. So a lemon tree only really responds when there is someone there to actually pick that fruit!

Now, like ideas from one mind, not all lemons will be good from the same tree.  Imagine you are like most Australian suburban dwellers, and there’s a lemon tree in your backyard ready for you to pick from:

  • Some are diseased, some are affected by the environmental conditions, some will be attacked by pests – pick them and destroy them! The quicker they are dealt with, the more resources that can be spent on the already good or new.
  • Some are huge, abnormal, and overwhelming – pick them and juice them for all they’re worth. They might not be perfectly formed, but they can certainly be used. The guts are fine; it was the packaging that didn’t work.
  • Some are a little too green, a little too small, a little just not right – let them grow. They’ll get to where you want. And if, for some reason, when you go to pick them, nothing turned our right - never mind. There are always more!
  • Some are growing in the hardest to reach places, surrounded by thorns (yup, lemon trees are thorny buggers), hanging over your neighbour’s fence. If you need it, work for it. If you don’t, let it go.
  • Some are perfect. Beautiful. Glowing. Ready. You know exactly what to do with those.

You display them in bowls. You add them to your water. You add them to your cooking. You give them away to friends and family. You use them to clean your house. You use them to kill bad odour. You put them in your gin and tonic!

You use them! There’s no preciousness or protectiveness about them. They’re a resource to be used, to share, to trust in the abundance of.

Trust in the abundance of your creativity and inspiration. Let go of the preciousness of your ideas. More will come, every single day. They’ll suck, they’ll change your life, and they’ll annoy the hell out of you. But they won’t ever stop coming. The only thing that will slow them down is by letting them stick around too long without doing anything with them.

And you can do all of this in the most simplest of ways: get your ideas down onto paper. If you don’t have a notebook, get one today! (Seriously, go find a tattered school exercise book until you figure out the right size and design for you.) There will be excuses and awkwardness and blank pages. But that’s ok! Whatever you do, be good to yourself and start picking those lemons.


Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

Monday, January 6, 2014

2014, the Year of Enuf

2014, the year of E.N.U.F. As in, “Explicitly No Unestablished Fads”. Because I’ve had enough of spending a bazillion dollars on things I didn’t really get into, and am sick of wasting my energy dreaming of my awesomeness at things I’ve never really spent time on. So this is it, line in the sand, I’m just going to keep on keeping on at the things I’m already doing. Maybe I’ll finish up some projects, maybe I’ll throw away some things I’ll finally let go of my guilt over. Maybe I’ll even come to some peace with my place in the world and no longer leap onto fads as though they’re my only hope. I have enough. It’s a really good thing to remember: I have enough. I have enough financial resources, enough connections, enough intelligence, enough time, and enough health. The only question for me in 2014 is do I have the discipline to make it work, or am I simply going to keep searching for the next thing that will give me ‘more’?

Happy 2014, and I hope you too find yourself in the situation of having enough, with serenity.


Btw, if you're wondering how I can be employed in HR, and write about HR - here's my explanation.

If you'd like to chat some more, I'd love to see you at the #ozhr tweetchat that happens on Thursdays at 7pm Sydney time. This week we're talking all about emails, and whether it's really HR's friend in documentation, or foe in stunting relations. Check out the details here.
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