Is There a Place for your Soul at Work?

Soul at WorkIs there a place for your soul at work? That’s the question on the forefront of my mind these days. The entrepreneur that I am now would say yes unequivocally and yet so much “real world” business advice is about:

  • Doing all you can
  • Doing everything you know to do
  • Learning and implementing new and better ways
  • Working harder
  • Working smarter
  • Trying and tweaking until you get it right
  • Pushing up hill
  • Pushing through resistance
  • Learning and assimilating new stuff all the time
  • Struggle and focused endeavour

It’s all so left-brained, isn’t it? It’s all so heavy. And yes, most of it works. I know that because I’ve done it that way too, but at what human cost?

I want my business to be all about inspiration and intuition, waking up from a dream or with an inspired thought in my mind (which I have no idea how it got there) and following through on that and seeing what happens. Or downloading the creative idea in the shower and walking 5 yards in a bath towel and experimenting with it immediately. I call it noticing or feeling the intuitive nudge, from your soul.

I feel very lucky that I have so many years of doing it the other way in the bag, as it were, and that I can pick the best bits of what I know from that somewhat antiquated out-dated way of being at work and update it to suit the entrepreneur I am at this stage in my life. I can streamline all the accumulated wisdom from the best business books and my most useful real-life learning and they inform my own new and lighter way to be at work, my increasingly soulful way which serves me so well for this phase of my career.

So what am I to do with all this wisdom I’ve spent all my adult life acquiring, doing things the old way? I can share it with clients and readers, for sure. One of the best things about it is that it’s proven and people like proof. It feels confident and certain. We think we want a step-by-step process to follow with guaranteed results.

But, now that I think back during my time as a coach and mentor, there has been resistance as well, and not just from life’s flakes and under-achievers. Increasingly, real people I respect and who I know have it in their DNA to be successful using the old tried and tested hard work technique, are rejecting received wisdom and throwing out the rule book and yes, I know that’s a risk with us entrepreneurs. But I see this, with them, as only good.

So, you know how they have those bring your child/pet/jeans to work days? How about we have a go at inventing the Bring Your Soul To Work Day? Hmm, it feels risky, doesn’t it? Not if you are working at home alone, but if you are working with colleagues, or freelancing or you have less open-minded business partners perhaps; you put your reputation for sanity and solidity on the line somewhat.

“Oh, she’s gone a bit flaky these days, hasn’t she?”

Who wants to get marked down as a weirdo? Me! Frankly, it goes with the territory anyway. We self-employed types are all too easily pigeon-holed as risk-takers, gamblers and junkies as one smart colleague reminded me.

I recognise that stepping outside of the way we do things round here, the status quo, carries with it somewhat of a ticking time bomb. If it works for you and no-one else, you are nudged out, separated from the gang. And that takes backbone and independence. Eventually – or even sooner than you imagine – this leads you to a place where some sort of hard decision has to be made. To stay and conform or to move on and follow your inner guidance.

I just found myself advising a close pal to stop soliciting the opinions of others, which only complicates things, and quoting “to thine own self be true”. And even as I was saying it I knew it was tough love as well as my true, authentic and best advice. Oh, and Shakespeare’s too!

“This above all: to thine own self be true,
And it must follow, as the night the day,
Thou canst not then be false to any man.”

If you were to see/read/feel the lesson in those three lines and take that lesson and your soul with you to work, what changes would you make in your life and business?

Do you dare?
Have you done it already?
Was it the right thing to do ultimately, or is it too soon to tell?

How can we be truer to ourselves, bring our hearts and souls to work and let that be a platform which enables us to be of service to others of like mind? I believe that this sort of spirit shines out of us in a way which is very attractive, once we stop pretending to be whom and what we think we ought.

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