Charlie Warzal and Anne Helen Petersen raise the interesting querry…“As we peer around the corner of the pandemic, let’s talk about what we want to do—and not do—with the rest of our lives.” Their article titled “How to Care Less About Work” published in Atlantic magazine invites us to look at our hobbies, our early life joys, and the things we have been longing to do yet made excuses for because we had “too much work to do. They invite us to step off the treadmill and shift the axis of our life away from work.”
They ask powerful questions: “Who would you be if work was no longer the axis of your life? How would your relationship with your close friends and family change, and what role would you serve within your community at large? Whom would you support, how would you interact with the world, and what would you fight for?”
What comes to mind for you?
In the Third Half Advisors programs we create space and time for these very questions. We work with our participants to create a timeline of their lives. Each person then examines their timeline for passions, places of curiosity and a growth mindset. We use the concept of Internal Resume to help people unlock possibilities that are a stored away and to begin to make slight shifts to the axis of their life.
The timelines reveal highs, lows, sorrows, joys, adventures, longings and often deep insights into what is next. This activity often reveals old hobbies and childhood longings to become musicians, dancers, creators, and scientists. The tool reveals the hidden corners anxious to be surfaced. New opportunities, things to try, adventures to explore await on each individual’s timeline.
Warzal and Petersen remind us ” Whatever your thing might be—and maybe there are many things—the most important component should be aiming to make it as unlike work as possible. This means resisting the very contemporary capitalist urge to commodify it in some way, even when people say to you, “Oh, you’re so good at [this thing]; you should sell it!” But it also means resisting the urge to master it, or display it in a way that transforms it into some mode of performance. ” You don’t have to use social media platforms to share it with the world, just enjoy it.
What’s are you longing for? How can your longings help you tip away from your work?
One way to tap into this is to examine the things you might have on your “bucket list”. I’m not someone who has a bucket list but I do have two things I really want to do some day. I really want to see the Aurora Borealis. I confess I have an AP that tracks the closest place to see the Aurora Borealis and for the most part it’s always over 5000 miles away. I also really want to try dog sledding in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area in Northern Minnesota. I see myself swishing across the ice on the snow, and in the bonus dream it is under a purple, green borealis night sky. Ah, there is an axis shift!
I’m not sure I’ll ever dogsled under the aurora borealis. Yet, I do see that what is longing for me is a deep immersion in beauty, wonder and awe. And that is what is helping me shift away from the axis of work.