Why Do I Do What I Do?

Today’s blog post is inspired by Julie Drybrough and Niall Gavin. Julie recently reminded me of a process called ‘wild writing’ where you just write. Don’t think any more than you have to, just get on with it. Julie describes this in more detail here. I took a look at her work and tweeted my appreciation. Niall then approached me and suggested I try it. I did so, and in the spirit of working out loud, of showing my work, here is what fell out of my brain onto my keyboard with in a minute or two last night.

Why Do I Do What I Do?

I don’t like answering this question. I have doubts about why I do what I do. It doesn’t pay as well as my old corporate life, and my work is packed full of uncertainty, but I often enjoy it. I get satisfaction from my work and from seeing people realise there are others ways to think feel and act. I’m drawn to difference, and I’m drawn to integrating difference, without losing it. I enjoy paradoxes, I enjoy sharing my vulnerability to demonstrate that when I do so, interesting curious things can happen. I do what I do because I get the opportunity to travel, and to develop and share my story. Part of my story is my art, and part of the story of my art is that you never know where your story will take you if you remain open to the possibilities. Try it, you might like it. What is it? I’m not always sure. I do what I do to test myself – to challenge myself, so that I might then challenge others. Maybe not challenge others, encourage is probably a better word. I’m anti ignorance, anti coercion. I get angry, happiness is over rated. I’m straying from the why do I do path, I like to wander. I don’t appreciate certainty – it binds and restricts us, so I do what I do to help people overcome the certainty epidemic. I am conscious of the power and privilege that being a white man affords me. I often see this power and privilege wielded with ugly ignorance, and even uglier intent. I do what I do in pursuit of inclusion, even though I exclude at times. I’m frequently conflicted – I believe most people are, and many are not willing to acknowledge this, which strikes me as another inhibitor. I do what I do because there is more to life than following orders, and doing what is expected of you. Do the unexpected sometimes. I am learning that you can proceed until apprehended and do so with kindness. This is my answer to the question, Why do I do what I do? I will have another go at answering this question tomorrow.

Find Another Way

How do you respond when things go wrong?

Note: I first started writing this post over three years ago. At the time I was not in a good place, and I drafted something with lots of anger in it. Since then I’ve played with the draft many times and never managed to get the balance right. This week I took another look and I think I have finally managed to position things in a way which is helpful to me – and hopefully for you too. Thanks for reading.

I’m having a great week. Meeting interesting people, having interesting conversations, doing work I enjoy and which I believe makes a difference. Learning to appreciate myself and others more, trying to make good, better. This week I’m on a roll and I am grateful to everyone who is helping me right now. I hope you’re having a good one too.

But what happens when the opposite is the case? Sometimes things don’t go to plan, and when that happens, it is helpful to have someone to blame. I do it, and you do it too, don’t you?

I Blame HR

I blame HR, with their pointless annual appraisals, their patronising diversity training and their crappy happy clappy fund raising bake sales. I blame HR.

I Blame Finance

I blame finance, with their stupid budget restrictions, their over complicated spreadsheets and their mind numbing expenses policy. I blame finance.

I Blame Sales

I blame sales, with their cheap suits, their bonus chasing greed and their legendary ability to over promise. I blame sales.

I Blame Facilities

I blame facilities, with their untimely fire drills, feng shui faux pas and their utopian paper free office strategy. I blame facilities.

I Blame Customer Services

I blame customer services, with their call waiting stats, their net promoter index and their ‘I can’t do that, you need to speak to my supervisor’ unhelpfulness. I blame customer services.

You get the picture. But have you ever stopped to think, maybe it’s you? OK, maybe you didn’t cause the problem, but let’s face it, pointing the finger at everyone isn’t much help. The attitude you choose, particularly when things aren’t going to plan, says an awful lot about you. So the next time things go off course, if it’s only a little, then hey – try and enjoy it, maybe there’s another way. If things are way off course, then try and be useful, find out if people need help to get things back on track. Most importantly, try to be kind about it. More and more I’m realising that a little kindness goes a long way. It’s The International Day of Happiness today, so why not push the boat out and throw your best smile into the mix too.

Blame Is Not The Answer

Blame is not the answer. Find another way. Have a lovely weekend.