jusummerhayes (jusummerhayes) wrote,

Lifelong practice

“Once we turn pro, we’re like sharks who have tasted blood, or renunciants who have glimpsed the face of God. For us, there is no finish line. No bell ends the bout. Life is the pursuit. When our hearts burst...then we’ll go out, and no sooner.” Steven Pressfield, Turning Pro

“The unexamined life is not worth living.” -- Socrates

Spend any time online -- particularly places like LinkedIn and Twitter -- and you’ll soon discover that rather than people trying to earn attention (the sine qua non of social media?), you’ll find pitch after (faux) pitch of people trying to sell you on their product or service. On one level, I’ve no issue with this, but I do when that’s all they ever talk about. It’s like a broken record.

My question is simply this: are you what you pitch? Or, better still, if you weren’t working for said company or firm, would you still be talking about the same thing(s) in the same way? (All I seek is a bit of humanity, or the ability to engage beyond the dry talk of yet another uber product or service offering.)

Perhaps I’m naive to think that we should aspire to coalesce our work and our life, but, for me, as the above quote makes clear, “there is no finish line”. In that mode, what you see and read about is me -- the whole gnarly self -- and even though I’ve no idea what I’ll be doing to earn a crust in the next year, let alone twenty, one thing I know for sure is that my inner work will never be complete, nor will it end when I finish any one job.

I recognise that we’re all entitled to a degree of privacy, but I can’t believe what I see being hyped up is going to float anyone’s boat for a lifetime. In fact, I know it won’t judging by the fact that as soon as someone leaves the company they’ve been pitching for, you never hear from them again.

Take a backwards step and ask yourself the question, what if money was no object, would you still be doing what you’re doing now? If not, don’t do it. Do what’s in your heart. Of course, for most people, that’s way too simplistic and never likely to be taken to heart. Even if that’s the case, I implore you to look wider than who you work for or what you sell, and ask yourself what really floats your boat. And then...please try to think how:

(a) you can make more time for it; and

(b) start talking about it online (you don’t have
to but it would make you a tad more interesting -- trust me).

I suppose, in the final analysis, all of this can be summed up in one word: authenticity. That’s it. Try to be 100% you and not some I-must-say-and-act-this-way version. (I like the slogan 100% Me -- you can use if you like it.)


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