Mission

Cultivating Work With True Heart & Meaning (AKA: How To Avoid Unhealthy Workism)

The article, “Workism Is Making Americans Miserable,” made me think hard about work. After pondering it for a couple of weeks here are some thoughts:

I deeply believe that in order to find happiness & meaning in work one needs to clearly define a personal mission & make sure one’s weekly work aligns with that mission. Otherwise work is just a paycheck and there are millions of ways to make money. 

If your inner world is undefined, your outer world will be undefined & meaningless. 
And humans by default almost always strive for “more”—money, work, things, tv, social media, etc. even when it's detrimental to health & balance in one's life and even when it's meaningless. 

Again, an undefined personal life purpose leads to a life of drift & personal detriment.

I also firmly believe that balance is achieved by opposing muscles of different life areas pulling against one another. This is how you balance in a challenging yoga pose, this is how you balance a challenging life. Therefore strong work muscles must be counterbalanced by strong rejuvenation muscles.

The awesome thing about many workplaces these days, at least the ones Oh My Green has the pleasure to serve, is that they have awesome world-changing missions AND high fidelity rejuvenation built into their daily/weekly culture. This includes healthy/delicious snacks & catering, meditation, yoga & even life/career coaching so that each individual is empowered to live healthfully and empowered to define/live their purpose & values.

Furthermore, all of our customers realize that their people are their most valuable asset and by not only providing for them, but actually empowering them with their personal development they are paving the way to a place where work can be fun, fulfilling & balanced with the rest of the equally important aspects of their life including family, hobbies, physical fitness, traveling, learning, spiritual growth and all the other awesome aspects of the good life.

When I step back and look at the possibilities provided to the people at the companies we work with every week I am amazed at just how much personal care & personal development is provided. Nonetheless, we all must take it upon ourself to actually utilize these resources & build our own version of an empowered life.

So, what if you are suffering from “Workism”? What can you do? Here are 4 ways you can alchemize your work/life:

  • Discover & develop your personal mission. Then make sure this aligns with your company’s mission or find a new company that does align with it. [Here’s a short article with resources for discovering/developing your mission.]

  • Define your personal values and make sure your company respects them (or find one that does). When you consciously know what values create heart & meaning in your life and your work is aligned with them defaulting to unhealthy workism will be a rare occasion.

  • Take a vacation from work. Sign off completely. Put up an email autoresponder. Don’t fucking read a single email or take work calls during your vacation. I’m dead serious. If you are so burnt out from work you can barely think it’s going to be pretty hard to discover or develop your personal mission or reflect on your values. Often times we need to create space and/or inner silence to be able to hear our Spirit or Higher Self’s guidance on our next steps.

  • Get your financial house in order. If you can’t even afford to take a break or risk looking for a new job that actually aligns with your mission & values you’ve become a slave to your job, money has become your master and workism will be your religion. [Here is an article about me facing my own money darkness & here is a progress report on my personal finances from last year.]

  • Take 100% responsibility for your life & your work-life! Even at my own company which has a super powerful mission and lots of empowering life-enhancing benefits, generous PTO, & flexible work arrangements I see plenty of employees getting CRUSHED by workism. I personally tell everyone I can that our mission of “empowering people to live healthy & blissful lives” will NOT be personally served up on a silver platter. Each one of us will have to actively work each day and week to create our personal version of health & bliss. That means setting & holding boundaries around one’s schedule/workload, actively scheduling time off for rejuvenation, and actually taking advantage of all the benefits offered. I believe this holds true for all the tens of thousands of employees we serve at offices across the nation. No company will do all the work of creating a work/life filled with heart, meaning & balance—that is our personal responsibility.

Taking action on any one of these 5 steps will catalyze you towards a life really worth living for! In truth, taking action & taking responsibility really does cure most things. No one can do it for you. Like they say, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink.”

Don’t be that horse.


END NOTES:

  • Special thanks to our Oh My Green CEO, Michael Heinrich, for sharing the “Workism” article in our company newsletter that spawned this blog post. You continue to be an incredibly empowering leader, mentor & best friend.

  • Additional deep thanks to Derek Thompson for writing the article and making me think so hard about my own work/life, my company, & the companies we serve.

  • Title photo by my dear friend & uber-talented photographer Noelle Johnson.



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The Joy of Purposeful Work

Whether it’s putting in solid work for my company Oh My Green, working on closing a new exciting deal, or working on a creative project for Alchemize Life there is just so much joy & satisfaction to be found in the journey & process backed by an authentic purpose.

Old me used to be purposeless & so focused on reaching some self-centered specific goal that I would be completely unaware of all the awesomeness that was abundantly surrounding me throughout the entire process of reaching the goal. This purely self-centered focus on the end goal sabotaged my happiness. I had a limiting belief that until I reached the goal I wasn’t good enough & I could not be happy. Even after goal completion, happiness was fleeting as a new goal arose.

Now I realize two important factors: (1) we must have a purpose greater than ourselves & (2) when we have a strong personal mission the process becomes the prize. Putting in good work is a gift. There is boundless fruit in the labor when we approach it with the right mindset.

Once I developed my personal mission of “empowering people to transform” I finally had a mindset that made all work joyful & gratifying as long as it was in line with my mission.

With a strong purpose, all work becomes similar to a super amped sweaty physical workout. You know it’s hard, but going hard is fun, exhilarating & damn satisfying!

With that in mind, I strive for all my work to be purposeful & filled with meaning. And when you live a life on purpose filled with meaning... happiness & satisfaction is a natural byproduct!

So if you find yourself dreading work, unhappy & unfulfilled it may be time to develop a personal mission. If you don’t know what your personal mission is then YOUR MISSION IS TO DISCOVER & DEVELOP YOUR MISSION! This is truly one of the most awesome missions as it empowers you to use everything & all work to explore & refine your purpose. If you accept this mission you will embark on one of the greatest adventures of your life—self-discovery!

And if you already have a strong mission then I’m preaching to the choir. Like me, you probably love putting in the work just as much, if not more, than crushing the goals!

If you have a mission & feel like sharing it in the comments please do so! It is always inspiring for myself & others to hear all the awesomeness people are up to in this world!

END NOTES:

  1. This post was originally an Instagram Post last week, but I thought it was quite fitting to republish on LinkedIn. Give me a follow on IG @justindavidcarl if you would like to be inspired with daily stories of #mindset #motivation #entrepreneurship #fitness & much more!

  2. Some good resources for developing a personal mission: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey, Living Forward by Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy, The Fire Starter Conversations by Danielle LaPorte.



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Living With Intention & Purpose: Why I Create & Share

Living with intention, having a purpose, and clearly defining your "why" in just about any area of life is one of the most powerful things you can do.

For the last few years I have been thinking about why I create & share with the world. I've always felt innately called to do so for as long as I can remember, but it wasn't until recently that I actually started to do it. And now that I am a few years into it I've really been seeking to understand my intention & purpose for investing energy into my creative practice & sharing it with others. Here is my answer:

1. Alchemize My Own Life: Ongoing healing, growth & transformation does not happen in a vacuum. We are on this journey together. Producing creative work in the form of writing, pictures, videos & sound forces me to metabolize my own life. It empowers me to mine the darkness for the gold, personally codify the lessons & stay deeply present in my own Life. True alchemization happens through “the seemingly magical process of combination, creation & transformation.” This means combining myself with other people, places & things in order to create anew & transform for the better.

2. What You Teach Is Teaching You: I find that the more I teach the faster I learn & the more I learn. This happens through dynamic exchange with other people. Just articulating your own learning in the hopes to teach another forces you to crystallize your own understanding. Then their feedback pushes you into even deeper understanding.

3. Mastery Requires Lifelong Practice: Once the master achieves the level of black-belt he does not stop practicing. I’m after Life-Mastery and that is a lifelong practice. This means I must continue to create & share indefinitely. I’ve learned the joy of striving for an ever-receding horizon by focusing on embracing the journey. The process is the prize.

4. Creating Is Always More Empowering Than Consuming: I’ve discovered that creating & sharing is incredibly energizing & empowering for me when it comes from an empowering place. It leaves a lasting sense of Joy. Conversely, mindless consuming & sharing often leaves me feeling bereft, promotes personal dissatisfaction & engenders internal unhappiness.

5. Inspire Others To Be Inspired: When I share my Energy & work to authentically empower & inspire others I seem to always receive even more energy. It’s like rejuvenation for my Spirit. When done right from the right place it literally lights me on fire!

6. Perpetual Leadership At Scale*: By creating work that I can share through the interwebs in the forms of writing, pictures, videos & sound I am able to lead at scale. I can reach more people than I ever could in-person. I aim to have a majority of my content be evergreen so that no matter when people discover my work it can act as a catalyst if they are ready for positive transformation. This is my contribution to the idea that “when the student is ready, the teacher will appear.”

7. My Act Of Service In Action: My mission in life is “To Empower People To Transform & Self-Actualize”. In order to live this mission I must take ACTION on it regularly. Sharing myself & my learnings in a powerful & vulnerable way empowers me to be a bridge for others & fulfill on my mission. We all must take our own action to Alchemize Life. You can’t do it for me & I can’t do it for you. But I can lead by example.

8. Connection & Impact:  In order to feel truly ALIVE we have to feel connected to others and like we are making a difference. Making the world a better place through one’s creation & contribution is necessary in order to truly live a life worth living for!

Why do you create and/or share?


*This article was originally inspired by James Clear's article: Leadership At Scale (Why I Write). I read it years ago & loved it so much that I wanted to steal it & make it my own. James was inspired by Justin Jackson's article: Words. This is an awesome chain reaction of creative alchemization.



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