I’m at a cabin in New Hampshire, alone.
Since I’m busy being a hermit, I’m not sending you a full newsletter this week.
Instead here are 4 things I think you should read.
Strivers seek professional success to deliver satisfaction and happiness. But self-objectification makes both impossible, setting us up for a life of joyless accomplishment and unreachable goals followed by the tragedy of inevitable decline. To be happy, we need to throw off these chains we put on ourselves.
An old article by Taffy Brodesser-Akner in, of all place, Real Simple magazine, about mindfulness and productivity:
Here is the thing about mindfulness and routine and slowness: They are great in theory, but when they become more important than the things they were supposed to provide you, they are a danger [italics mine].
On the third day of the interview, the head of the creative department asks me if the courses I would be expected to teach should even exist. “No,” I wish I had said as I made my body gently vanish. “They shouldn’t exist at all.” Instead I say yes, and pull a beautiful, made-up reason from the air and offer it to him as a gift. Gold for your dust, sir. Pearls for your pigs. “Who is watching your sons right now?” he asks. “Their father,” I answer.
What does it mean to be worth something? Or worth enough? Or worthless? What does it mean to earn a living? What does it mean to be hired? What does it mean to be let go?
It is not the anger of other women that will destroy us but our refusals to stand still, to listen to its rhythms, to learn within it, to move beyond the manner of presentation to the substance, to tap that anger as an important source of empowerment.
I cannot hide my anger to spare you guilt, nor hurt feelings, nor answering anger; for to do so insults and trivializes all our efforts. Guilt is not a response to anger; it is a response to one’s own actions or lack of action. If it leads to change then it can be useful, since it is then no longer guilt but the beginning of knowledge. Yet all too often, guilt is just another name for impotence, for defensiveness destructive of communication; it becomes a device to protect ignorance and the continuation of things the way they are, the ultimate protection for changelessness.
That’s all for now, folks (and not even a Taylor Swift quote). See you next week.
Consulting and Coaching Services: While I’m still not pursuing full-time work, I remain available for engineering management consulting and leadership coaching on a limited basis. Get in touch if you’d like to learn more.
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