Work as a Platform of Self

Work takes up a huge chunk of our lives. How we are at work, how our day flows and how we deal with work stuff affects the other aspects of our lives, whether we like it or not. Especially if compartmentalisation is not one’s strongest suit and if integration is a theme practiced instead, this is a reality we have to deal with. But work is also such a wonderful initiative to devote our energy on that simply “dealing with it” lacks the respect it deserves. I like how it was framed by Seth Godin as a platform for our truest selves. If seen from this perspective, then it is just right that it flows into the other parts of our lives so it can imbue each one with a sense of our fullest selves. Over the past few years, work has been a genuine self expression for me. But it has been more palpable lately as manifested by the roller coaster emotions I’ve allowed myself to go through. I’ve never been this engaged, this affected, this vulnerable and also this happy. I am at my happiest despite a more complex interweaving of life and work. Thoughts about the business perpetually hum in the background and I’ve come to terms that it is an unshakeable part of my personal make up.I guess this is the reason why I strive to find meaning in the work that I do now. If it cascades into the rest of my life then it has to be more than about making money or getting recognised. It has to have lasting value not just for me but for my employees, for our clients, for our stakeholders and also the community. That is why I struggle whenever I feel that I am forced to do an endeavour for reasons that are simply for short term gain. I can do it if push comes to shove but I’d rather find a way to fit it into the compass that guides my action. Renewed energy for even the most mundane of tasks is in abundance when direction is clear and beyond one’s self. But it is not easy especially when you are desperate, with the struggle of limited runway and challenging cash flows. You are reminded again and again that entrepreneurship is not for the faint hearted. But plodding on and staying the course with intentionality will lead us closer to our truest selves, through the work and vocation that we choose to pursue with all our being. So let us carry on and just keep working.

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