Seeker #2 | April 09, 2024

You are more than your work. 

Dear Passionado,

Last month in sunny California, I shared my "Supercharge Your Work and Life" keynote. In the reflection activity, I met a wonderful participant who I’ll call “Pink Chanel Jacket Lady”.

As I sat with her, I could see that she was experiencing a breakthrough. With tears in her eyes, she said: “I know I’m so much more than my work.”

She shared that she has no idea what she’s passionate about anymore, because “it’s just easier to work.” 

She’s right, isn’t she?

We are running through our days, serving so many, chasing deadlines, expectations and demands that stream to us. It’s a blur of STUFF. Year after year. 

Then, something happens that makes you pause, look around and ask yourself: how did I get here?

There can be a pain that accompanies this realization – that we are not living the life we thought we wanted. We’ve got ourselves into this place where it is EASIER to work than to spend time doing the things we love, or exploring what it is we may even love. 

  • It’s easier to respond to the emails after dinner, rather than start that art project.
  • It’s easier to scroll through LinkedIn, cheering others, rather than invest in our learning that could open up another path to follow. 
  • It’s easier to finish the work spreadsheet rather than do the math for your side hustle's business plan.
  • It’s easier to give feedback on your team's work rather than sketch, code, bake, write, record or spend an hour in the garage puttering with your tools. 
  • It’s EASIER because it’s what we know, and we’ve fooled ourselves into thinking that this familiarity – what we’ve been told we’re “good at”, what we’ve been told we’re dutiful humans because we “complete” – is inevitable.

Yes, it takes effort to change the habit of responding to emails after dinner. Yes, you have to get comfortable with "sucking" at something new, even if you're used to being a top performer at work. 

It feels hard because we’re packing so much into our days, our boundaries are no longer blurred, they’re nonexistent. 

And so, we feed the cycle...

I’m here to tell you today that together we can BREAK IT! Here are three things to try:

Dip your toe in: 

Realize that breaking the habit of “fake easy” will not be (ironically) easy. Start with just one hour a week to explore something new. Outsource dinner, avoid work emails, and focus on an “interest”. No pressure, just exploration. Release all expectations of success, and simply do it.

Tell your phone who's Boss: 

I’m not here to tell you to do a full social detox – in fact, I believe we can use technology to create our momentum. Choose one topic you’re curious about, search for it, then follow at least 3 accounts that inspire you. Make it a weekly habit to curate a feed that fuels instead of numbs your soul.

(Re)kindle a connection: 

Stop putting off the connections because you’re waiting for the perfect life story to tell. That friend who always asks you to do fun stuff? Text them. That community event that you’ve never made time to join? Register (P.S. our next Morning Buzz is April 19!) 

This month, try these things, and let me know how you get along.

Work is a fact of life and can light us and others up. But remember, you are more than your job and career, and only you know what that “more” can be. 

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