Alignment and flow

I have been wondering for a few months about where to live. There were a few things I wanted: outdoor space for my kids; low rent; and close to school and work.

I have found a place to live that meets the first two criteria, but not the last two. I am going to move there in a little while as it feels like the right time and place. It feels like moving their is going with the flow and is aligned with what I want to do.

I am curious to see what happens with the other two criteria, being close to school and work. Will I end up moving again soon? Will the school and work move closer to where I live? Will I no longer care about being close to work and school?

One move at a time. The next move will take care of itself.

Time away from work

There seems to be a myth that tells us if we spend a significant amount time away from work, away from a regular employed job, it will have long-term damaging consequences for our career.

I am here to say that I think the opposite is true. That this is a myth that serves the short-term interests of employers and keeps employees feeling trapped.

I have two experiences in taking career breaks. The first was when I walked away from my IT career for 4 years to pursue the creation of three small businesses. Not only did I have some of the best working experiences of my life during these 4 years, but when I came back to IT at the end of it I ended up being paid more than twice what I was paid before I left.

The second experience is right now, where I have taken 18 months of any type of paid work while I start some of my own ventures. I am about to go back to paid employment next week, and although I am not going to be earning the same kind of wage I was before I took this time off, I come to the job with a totally different perspective to work and know that the value I can offer is more than triple what I could have previously.

You are not stuck. You have options. They do not always seem obvious. They are not always easy. But in the end following your curiosity will be better for you and those you serve than staying where you are and following the rules.

I'll show them...

When I feel aggrieved, when I have been let down by somebody, when somebody doubts my ability, I find myself thinking, 'I'll show them. One day they will be envious, wish they had never doubted me. I'm going to do something amazing.'

Three thoughts come to my mind soon after this:

1) By the time I do get to wherever I am going, they are probably not going to care or even know who I am

2) By the time I get to where I am going, I am not going to care or know who they are

3) If I start doing things just to prove people wrong, I am in all likelihood going to start working on things that are not quite right for me

So I let those who doubt me, give up on me, move on from me do so as their decision. It has no bearing on me and what I am doing. What I am doing comes from a place within, and I do it to meet a deep desire from that place; to bring into the world that thing which only I can bring; to experience that moment of bliss that only comes when I know I have followed my path.

The protection of laziness

I have finished reading Dr Jason Fox's book on how we can change our motivation through how well and consciously we design our work.

One of the side points he makes in the book is that laziness can be seen as a self-preservation exercise. It ensures we do not put effort and energy into things that ultimately do not contribute to our survival or enhance our existence: stopping us from working on goals that we cannot ever achieve.  Way back in the cave day this meant that we put our energy into hunting for food and making shelter, and were lazy for things like perfectly clipping our nails and stylishly cutting our hair.

Today laziness has a bad name. Whilst I agree that laziness as an end state is not helpful to anybody, getting curious about instances where we find ourself being lazy might reveal some interesting insights into how we think and live.

My laziness in my corporate job extended for a number of years. It wasn't that I was so lazy zI stopped showing up, rather I could not summon the will to do it well for extended periods of time. In retrospect, if I was able to get curious about this (instead of feeling guilty about this), I might have realised that my laziness was protecting me from a job that ultimately was not going to bring me satisfaction, and deep down was out of alignment with my values.

I also struggled with laziness and exercise when I stopped playing team sport. I felt guilty for not being able to sustain early morning riding sessions with a bunch of other guys. Once again, a curiosity about my laziness might have revealed that I did not actually get a lot of benefit from solo sports like cycling, and that team sports offered so much more for me as a whole person.

At the lazy time of the year, a cheer for letting our laziness talk to us.