Thanks to Robyn Jay, I was pointed this morning to John Hagel's Labor Day Manifesto for the Passionate, Creative Worker. What a gem! Eleven simple truths to live our lives by. Here are a few that stood out for me:
Blaze new trails.
John says, "There is no established path to greatness." So true.
In Crossing the Unknown Sea, David Whyte writes:
"A life’s work is not a series of stepping-stones onto which we calmly place our feet, but more like an ocean crossing where there is no path, only a heading, a direction, which, of itself, is in conversation with the elements.”
I've found that when the path ahead is clear, then we are most likely on someone else's journey. It's when we step off the road that we meet our own personal avenue to greatness. It won't be clear. We can only choose direction over destination.
Recognize that institutions exist to serve people.
Sometimes I fear we've forgotten this, that we live our lives in thrall to the insitutions we've created rather than seeing that they should be serving us.
Umair Haque's Bettnerness: Econmics for Humans gets this, outlining a capitalism that is based in humanity, rather than in institutions. I think that each of us has a responsibility to ourselves and to each other to contribute to creating insititutions that reflect the best of who we are, serving all of us.
Escape the trap of wasting time by being busy.
Tim Kreider's manifesto on the "busy" trap reminds us that we are making ourselves feel anxious and that we are missing the best parts of our lives in pursuit of being "busy." But are you really THAT busy? How are you choosing to spend your time? Because it's always a choice. Creative people need to give themselves the space for serendipity and fallowness and the opportunity for the muse to visit. "Busyness" is the enemy of greatness.
Continually reinvent ourselves.
We know that passion is the key to personal growth; it compels us to take risks, overcome fears, and attempt things never done before. And as a result, passion transforms the passionate. Only as we continually reinvent ourselves can we start to discover and reach our full potential.
"Passion transforms the passionate." Yes! But we must allow our passions to transform and shape us. When we cling too tightly to who we've been and to who others think we should be, then we strangle that passion. We lose the power of that wonderful energy.
Reinvention is a very practical need, too. We live in a world where fast, transformative change is a given, not an option. We can choose to reinvent ourselves or we can react to circumstances that will force us to change. I personally prefer the first option.
As John's manifesto concludes , we need to help each other on this creative journey:
We all have the potential to become passionate creative workers. Let us join forces and help each other along the way to become better, far better, than we ever could alone. And, let’s have a hell of a time along the way.
That's what we need most--community and engagement, working with each other to go further than we can on our own.
This is the energy and spirit I want to cultivate through the Dream It/Do It Retreat, one where we support each other in our creative journeys and in our development as passionate people. We need quiet contemplation for our thoughts to percolate and spirited, supportive, nurturing discussions to further shape and refine our creativity.
What do you think of this manifesto? How do you see yourself living out these principles?
Do you have a creative dream you want to bring to fruition? Join me on November 9-11 for the Dream It/Do It Retreat.