Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Don't Be Stupid

I recently saw a post about our insane tendency to push ourselves to achieve stretch goals and to over commit in our jobs; while at the same time being sure to only take on what we can handle in our personal lives (most of the time.)


Work Isn't Supposed to be Torture
Sometimes it seems our world has been reduced to a blur of a hyper-connected leadership culture of over achievement,  climbing the ladder, being in the inner circle, being an insider, being close to the CEO, always scanning the room to find someone more important or influential than the person we're currently speaking with, and on and on and on...

Quite honestly it's exhausting, unproductive, and does nothing to move any organization forward.

You Can't Fix Stupid
When we're at home and feel the need to do some extra work we don't pull out our iPads at the dinner table. We wait until we can build that extra work time into our life. We're intentional and thoughtful about what we do and when we do it. It makes sense...and shockingly we're productive!

Unfortunately, for some reason there continues to be a metamorphosis of sorts that happens every time we walk through the doors of our companies each day. We immediately focus on doing more, being almost frantic about how we try to accomplish so much in a short period of time, juggling emails, meetings, phones calls, more emails and our never ending task list.

 "How many goals do you think you're actually going to achieve this year? And if you do happen to complete a long list, is one of those goals to ensure you're staying connected to your team who typically do much of the work on 'your' goals?"

It's not all about you..oh wait, if you're at work it is...it's only when we're at home that we think about others and actually have a much broader level of sensitivity to those around us:

--> no competition at home to climb the ladder right? Just bring balance, focus on yourself and others, and be happy

--> not a bad perspective for work either?!

Where is the Flow
Somewhere between frantic-tasking all day at work and being a normal human being outside of work lies the new world of integrated flow. Finding a way to bring all four components into my whole day...my whole life...my whole perspective on how I see my place in the world eliminates the manic workplace focus on temporary achievements and faux status. 

Instead, my focus can be a calmer, more intentional effort to take my time to address all aspects of my life throughout my day vs. the opposite ends of the frantic-tasking, status-chasing work day, and a more pleasant real-life world I live in away from the office.

How About You
I've been stupid for too long. You probably have been too. I think it's time that we integrate the mindset, the social tools, and the role-modeling necessary to define our whole life as just that: a whole life. Not something that is carved in to unrealistic compartments that are based on self-promotion and status.

No one ever said on their death bed that they were so proud of being an insider who a CEO talked to about special projects. People do, however, take great pride in having lived a meaningful and productive life.

I'd love to hear from you.

No Excuses.



  1. I. LOVE. THIS.
    Thank you for writing just what I needed to read today. Lately, I've been focused on simplifying things to maximize my life cause, quiet honestly, we never know when our last moment will be. It's quality over quantity and I refuse to compromise my integrity no matter the money thrown my way. When you live your life as you described...I think peace (and sleep) comes easily. Nice post Jay!

    1. Thank you Traci. I hope that things slow down a bit for you...it sounds like you're juggling quite a bit right now!

  2. Great stuff Jay. I talk a lot about flow when I'm asked to present. I think flow aids presence, mindfulness and well being too. I don't think you're stupid at all - I think the smart ones like you come to a realisation and look to adapt and experiment to find better ways, not of working, but of living. Nicely done!

    1. Many thanks Doug. I know you're a big proponent of flow...and the philosophy makes perfect sense!