Do you know that feeling? You just came off a high-energy workout, or perhaps a welcomed getaway, or in my case a Creative Mornings FieldTrip.
Over 500 folks attended this online workshop from all over the world — from places I’ve been like Dallas, New York, and Berlin to places I’d like to go like Bucharest, Islamabad, and Melbourne.
The endorphins have released, oxytocin is pumping and dopamine is rushing through my body. I bask in the sensation.
As I’ve learned how to stack my triggers (more on that below) I do what I can to extend the ride just a little longer. What an invigorating trip it’s been.
From Fixed to Fluid
Individuals and organizations [are learning] how to actively shape their time, rather than taking it for granted. freed from the rituals of commuting, coffee, the 9–5, the rhythms of shared space, the casual collisions, activities, and after-hours conversations of offices, time itself is open to design. for individuals, it’s about how to structure the rhythms of their days — to seize new kinds of opportunities to structure time aligned to internal speeds without being ground down by meetings and 24/7 pressures.
We’ve moved from fixed to fluid. We’re all looking to spend our time more wisely, be ruthless in how we expend our energy, and design the conditions to do our very best work.
And now that we’re moving as freely as water, it’s crucial we shape our work using the following three ‘rocks’ as our anchors.
We choose how we see ourselves and our work. Sometimes the stories we tell ourselves serve us for a time and in other instances, we must create new ones.
When we are in transition so too are our identities. More than ever, we feel we’re works in progress. We eventually let go of who we were to make room for who we are becoming.
This is auto-biographical thinking at work and no matter the endeavor, it’s something you can script.
Here we are seeking to have work be a source of energy. And the way to do this is really to reflect on how connected you are to yourself, others, and your work. When they are in sync you’ll find that the quality of your work jives with the care in which you bring it.
Bad bosses (an absence of them) and best friends (at least one or more) can also make a huge difference when it comes to being jazzed about work. Working solo can be a lonely affair so creating support systems (triads — informal groups of 3 that meet regularly is recommended) and other mechanisms to regulate and recharge is a good bet too.
What if we were to see work as a practice? As art? Or even prayer? When we do, we’re able to appreciate what illustrator Giles Andreae means when he writes:
It’s not about the destination. It’s the glory of the ride.
We can stack our triggers. These days when we hear the word trigger it’s often in a negative context. Yet there are so many ways to propel yourself into motion in a positive way.
Dickens stacked his triggers in total silence with nine particular objects on his window-facing desk, including a vase of fresh flowers, a gilt leaf with a rabbit perched upon it, and a bronze statuette of a gentleman embracing a swarm of puppies. Whatever floats your boat so long as you find and keep your creative flow.
As we roll into Summertime here are three questions to sit with
What stories are you telling yourself? Are they rooted in the nature of reality or just convenience?
Do you create the space for meaning to reveal itself? How deeply connected are you to yourself and others?
And finally my personal favorite — Do you induce a state of boredom so that you might be your most creative self?
Remember there is no one size fits all. It’s up to you to design your day, and life so that your work — works for you.