What Moves You?
And what to do when you’re stuck.
A simple way to see what moves you is to think about your biggest accomplishments. Why were they so great? I’m sure that whatever you did, it was great because it mattered. Work that matters and moves you has two secret ingredients: you enjoy doing it, and it contributes to the world. Sometimes though, it is hard to visualize our contribution. This is especially true in the corporate world—behind the cubicle with a bunch of papers filled with confusing and often, meaningless metrics. When your work is concrete, like the cold-pressing olives into olive oil, then it becomes easier to see your contribution.
To find out what moves you, in an ever-growing environment behind screens, you need to clarify how you personally contribute:
- How is my work real?
- How is it useful and what value do I deliver?
- How can I enjoy the process of working more than just the results?
For something to matter and to be of substance, is has to be real. It provides value that impacts people. Some management practices waste too much time designing never ending metrics that do not align to what matters and are often fake like high-fructose corn syrup. Why? Because we seldom ask our team what they think is important and what they enjoy doing the most (whether or not it is challenging). When time management gets confused as a tool to keep us efficient and busy, we become fire-fighters. True time management comes from making room for work that moves us because it contributes and because it’s meaningful to you.
But what if you work independently? What if you feel stuck? Often times moving forward is not about finding what moves you but how you can move at all. Not finding what you are passionate about but figuring out what you can do today passionately. Not planning, but rather preparing. Getting unstuck is simply moving. Not the quality of the move, but a move. Doing and then learning. Move and then figure out the next step!
If you focus your attention to tasks that are not just busy work, then it becomes meaningful—and the process of cold-pressing olives begins. Once you let go of excessive metrics or expectations, you can focus on moving and this is when you reconnect with the joy of doing work, your best work. Try to remember everyday what your olive oil is and enjoy the process itself. That will give you a sense of purpose and energy. So keep moving!
Juan F. Diaz
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