Have you ever wondered, “Am I doing the right thing?” “Am I in the right job?” Perhaps you know what your strengths are. Perhaps you don’t. Have you listened to the feedback given by yours peers, subordinates or superiors? We get feedback all the time from our environment but get lost in our delusional ways of thinking and feeling we are in the right. When’s the last time you sat down and cataloged your strengths and weaknesses? If that’s too hard, have you reflected on what people have told you recently about how well you are doing, what you could be doing better or on the rare occasion what others think you should be doing with your life?
The thing is feedback is coming at us at all times, but we refuse to see it. We get lost in our problems and solutions we are seeking. Instead of calming the fuck down and re-centering on what we value in life, we get wrapped up in the myriad distractions coming from within and without. We search our electronic devices for something funny, sexual or connecting to us in a safe unobtrusive way. We go about our jobs in survival mode instead of thriving with the life exuding from our every decision and action. Perhaps you’ve moved into management and yearn to return to the hand-on parts of the job you used to thoroughly enjoy. Perhaps your strength is testing, design or verification of requirements but you’ve been moved into a leadership role that just doesn’t fit. You’ve moved into a software and database management role when you long for some basic application of science via engineering.
As Frank Herber says through the character Duke Leto Atreides, “Without change something sleeps inside us, and seldom awakens. The sleeper must awaken.” I love this quote. It reminds me about the importance of not becoming stagnate in what we think is right or comfortable. To evolve as individuals and continually awaken the spirit within requires change. That change may be adapting to current constraints and issues or it may be a hardcore reflection on what we are best at and doing something about it. It may also be a meditation on what is important to us in our lives or simply coming to terms with what we enjoy doing in our work, social and personal lives. To live authentically is to embrace who we are with all of our strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats to our well-being. Living with life requires us to know what we value most out of life and focusing on that. As my daughter said years ago in trying to interpret my blog posts, “You have to live with life, daddy.” It doesn’t get much clearer than that
This reminds me of the Joseph Campbell lectures on applying world mythologies and the hero’s journey to our lives, “Follow your bliss.” Without which we are simply traversing the intricate levels of Dante’s hell. Bliss is the integration of our current problems with our deepest needs, long-term consequences and short-term pleasures. I tip my glass to all of us doing something with our lives that brings more life to our decisions, actions and more importantly moment-to-moment attention on the ever unfolding problems of our lives. Live with life by following the bliss from within while not sacrificing the world without.
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