Many times, I have been asked with regards to this blog, “What do you expect to et out of this?”
Well, fame, fortune, world-wide recognition for being an intellectual genius, a great job, tons of friends, an awesome new car, my kids’ college tuitions paid for and a bottomless glass of beer would be nice.
Unfortunately, as much as I can dream, I don’t actually think I’ll get those things (at least, not all of them). So what do I honestly expect?
Writing this blog is, sort of, its own end. Yes, I’d love to have achieved all these wonderful things as a result of my writing, and maybe I will. However, even if I don’t – I will keep writing. Because it’s the one thing that comes easily and naturally, and that people seem to tell me I’m pretty good at.
And, it has some very, very nice rewards, too. I’ve interacted with many great people, who have done amazoing things that make me envious. My words have reached 6 continents and been cited by corporate honchos and students conducting research alike. In perfect alignment with my mid-life crisis, that gives me some feeling of having at least a little bit of a legacy to leave behind, long after my remains join the floating particles of the universe.
So, in a way, that’s what I expect to get from this – some recognition. And that has come with a wonderful sense of purpose and pride that ought to be cultivated in everyone from an early age. All too ften, however, pride gets muddled together with the brute application of effort – and that is supposed to be a healthy trait – working through arduous, difficult circumstances for the sake of doing a good job or one’s duty. We really don’t do enough to tell people to play to their sttrengths and enjoy what they are good at. Rather, we reward those who have overcome something difficult – even if the difficulty, in reality, was self-imposed.
Perhaps we ought to rethink the things we take pride in. Perhaps, then, we will focus more on the people who do the little things to avoid fires rather than make heroes of those who put them out (figuratively, of course – real firefighters are, genuinely, heroic).
Pride can’t be bought. You can’t simply give someone a heap of rewards and expect them to be prideful. It is an innate sense of producing something the individual cares about – even if the larger organization surrounding the person doesn’t. If you can recognize and appreciate what a person cares about, and provide them with opportunities to do exactly that thing in such a way that they can be prideful in their work and benefit the organization – I am willing to bet you will have given that person not just a sense of pride, but of purpose as well. They will no longer be working only for themselves – but for both their own sense of self as well as the good of the group.
The interactions I’ve had so far as a result of writing this blog have certainly created a sense of purpose and pride that are far greater than any monetary rewards.
Now, if only I could get paid for it…….