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December 26, 2011

Creative Whack # 13: Look to Nature

by Andrea O'Connell

Maybe it’s a result of being on vacation, but I’ve had to drag myself from off the couch to open my laptop.  I’m being very lazy.  But, it’s rather nice. It’s plenty nice!

I’m not even keeping track of the news this week…. My brother gets the New York Times every day.  I opened it only once this week.

I needed a break from all the bad news anyway.

Tonight we were watching old re-runs of 60 Minutes, and after about an hour, or so of watching, I got very depressed.  It was painful to be reminded of how horrible the economy is; how gloomy the job-market has looked – though it’s getting better.   But hearing all the sad stories of people without any money, no jobs, being foreclosed on…..  Although it is always upsetting to hear these heartbreaking stories, it was especially very upsetting tonight.

Even though I am not worried about finding work, it’s very unnerving to hear the stories of people who have been laid-off for over a year and still have no work.  And I actually RESIGNED from a job!

I thought for a moment tonight: Am I nuts?  And I answered myself: Well yes, just a little!

Seriously, I’m not really nuts.  And it was not nutty to resign from the horrible job I had!  Truly, that job would send me to the grave earlier than necessary had I stayed one day longer.  Either that, or I fought the system via the EEOC.  I really didn’t want to do that.

I couldn’t pretend to be happy working there anymore.  Just because it’s a job, is not enough for me I can’t just have a “job” for the sake of a job.  Why should I spend my working hours being miserable, working with people who are miserable – and with people who are just miserable period?  It felt dishonest and it felt like I was purposely hurting myself.

A lot of people hate work.  I want to love my work.  I have always loved my work, and I still do.  I was allowing the environment – the negative and demeaning environment – to cause me to hate my work, and to not want to give my best.  I began to resent giving them my best work, when I realized that I knew I had to get out of there.

Too many people stay at a job because they think they have no choice but to stay.  I understand that, but I cannot do it.  It goes against my nature.  And, if I don’t care about my well-being, who will?

So, that leads me to Creative Whack 13, Look to Nature.  These Creative Whacks, you may recall, were

Designed by Roger von Oech

created by Roger von Oech, who has a few wonderful products that stimulate creative thinking.  I love his Creative Whack Pack and plan to discuss all 64 of them here, eventually.

So, what does look to nature mean?  To me, it means many things.  Most importantly it means, not denying or defying your own nature and instincts.

“Let nature by your guide,” is the first sentence on the card.  It’s taken me a while, but I understand now that I must follow my instincts.  When I don’t follow my instincts I get into trouble.

It’s not easy to allow nature or intuition be the guide.  I certainly don’t always make the right decisions or take the right road, that’s for sure.  And, I can be impulsive.  I always work on that.

My decision to leave a job that was making me so unhappy was something I had to do despite all the risks. I had to ask myself if I was being impulsive.  I truly can say: No, I was not. I’ve spent the last four and a half years being miserable – too long.

What I need help with is strength.  Staying strong.  Staying the course without undermining my success with fear of the unknown; or maybe, fear of success?

In order for nature to help, it’s important to clarify what the problem is.

I do need to think with a bit more clarity about what problem I need to solve.   I’m pretty sure it’s going to be strength to get me to my next job – my next big thing.

The roots of trees say strength to me.  I love trees, especially the big, old ones

The root systems that support the great Cypress trees and support all the things that live within the branches of the tree:  The birds.  The bird nests.  The leaves.  The squirrels that make the tree home.  The animals and the insects that trust the tree.  That is a good model  for me.

Trust.

Now, there’s something I need…..

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