Mindfulness and Meaningful Work

Here is another excerpt from the book That’s It.!?  It’s about mid way through the chapter entitled Mindfulness and Meaningful work, and speaks to how we are responsible to own our time…


“Rise up this mornin’

Smiled with the risin’ sun…

Don’t worry ‘bout a thing

‘cause every little thing gonna be all right

‘cause every little thing gonna be all right.”


-Bob Marley “Three Little birds” (Exodus 1976)


So it really is less about what you are doing and more about understanding how we can best relate to it, right?  Again, it isn’t about you; it might be something that is just happening whether you’re there for it or not.

On that logic path, if it’s happening whether you’re there for it or not, why would you not make sure you take the time necessary to have some balance?  In some business management training circles they call it “margin”, meaning some space for you to do whatever you want with.  Campbell also stressed this point.  Sometimes you can schedule it, like a half hour a day in the morning for reading/writing/sitting, or like a family vacation, but other times you just gotta steal it!!

Consider how many times your boss has said, “Hey, Joe, why don’t you just take the afternoon off and do whatever you want!  You’ve worked hard and you deserve it!”  Don’t hold your breath waiting for that one.  Nope, we have learned that you have to take this time because no one is going to give it to you.  Most people who have been in the working world at all quickly understand this.  You can work 60 hours a week for 60 years and no one gives a shit.  OK, maybe a couple of people, but how common is it that the long time employee is let go after their employer is acquired or consolidated?  All too common.  Said another way, there is no ultimate credit and debit system in which you will build credits with your loyalty to your employer; in more romantic terms, your “fealty to your lord”.  We’re not promoting irresponsibility or any kind of deviance in the workplace, but rather encouraging you to take your time, to create adventures, and to get yours – you deserve it, we all do.   Here’s a quick example:  Todd had just joined our current company.  He hadn’t seen one of the company’s landfills, so we justified a trip there as an essential part of his acclimation to the market.  With that in mind we scheduled a day to go to the landfill.  Now, it didn’t matter that it only took an hour and a half to get there; we needed the whole day to really soak it in (wink).  We got a big work out in and jumped in the truck for the scenic drive to the small Northeast town, Coventry.  It was autumn in Vermont and even though the leaves weren’t quite at their peak, the hills were already spotted with russets and yellows.  The sun was shining, we had the windows down and the music was loud.  We met the landfill manager, took the tour, started a relationship with him, and did our job.  In the process, however, we had an awesome day that can never be taken away from us!

It’s not about time in; it’s all about how you spend that time.  It is absolutely essential to carve out some time for yourself every day.  Whether its 20 minutes of writing in the morning, getting in a work out, some yoga, whatever. Whatever connects you back to…you.   What do you get paid for?  Remember that the most creative times are in the margin.

Let’s summarize – we’re all human.  We all go through similar changes and life points, and we all need to relate to it.  What’s the best way to do that?  You are the hero of your own story!  Make it a great story!!!!

Todd often starts his journal entries with something like, “today we find our hero…”  Like Edwin R. Morrow’s voice from the 40’s or William Dozier who narrated the 60’s Batman TV series.  What a great idea!  It really doesn’t matter what our history is, or what our current circumstances are, we can write ourselves into our own story, make it exhilarating and romanticize it!  Why not!?!?