David Whyte writes in his book Crossing the Unknown Sea:
All good work should have an edge of life and death to it, if not immediately apparent, then to be found by ardently exploring its greater context. Absent the edge, we drown in numbness.
To have a firm persuasion, to set out boldly in our work, is to make a pilgrimage of our labors, to understand that the consummation of work lies not only in what we have done, but who we have become while accomplishing the task.
All of our great artistic and religious traditions take equally great pains to inform us that we must never mistake a good career for good work. Life is a creative, intimate and unpredictable conversation if it is nothing else, spoken or unspoken, and our life and our work are both the result of the particular way we hold that passionate conversation.
Individuals need a sense of belonging in their work, a conversation with something larger than themselves, a felt participation, and a touch of spiritual fulfillment and the mysterious generative nature of that fulfillment.
To have a firm persuasion in our work - to feel that what we do is right for ourselves and good for the world at the exactly same time - is one of the great triumphs of human existence.
Any life, and any life’s work, is a hidden journey, a secret code, deciphered in fits and starts. The details only given truth by the whole, and whole dependent on the detail.
David’s poetic writing captures why I am so passionate about helping develop and spread the system driven innovation movement known as Innovation Engineering. The essence of the movement is the never ending quest for Meaningful Uniqueness. Or as David says to do what’s right for ourselves and is good for the world.
My suggestion - to paraphrase David “ Step back and have a courageous conversation with yourself, with those whom you work, and those whom you serve. Develop a plan to do what is right for yourself and for the world. Doing this is one of the great rumps of human existence.”
By the way - when you fully embrace the importance of meaningfulness of work and living - this courageous conversation with yourself, those you work with and serve will be never ending.
It will also ignite great things. In my case these conversations at our Eureka! Ranch have resulted in the development of LEAP innovations in our project acceleration software and education platform (to be released in late September).
It’s also resulted in my next book and audio book DRIVING EUREKA! That will come out next month along with an audio book.
So what are you waiting for…..
To preorder my new book DRIVING EUREKA! at an Independent book seller go to. https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781578605811
To preorder on Amazon go to: https://www.amazon.com/Driving-Eureka-Problem-Innovation-Engineering/dp/1578605814