Time For A Revolution?

Saul Steinberg-illusion found on Pinterest

Pablo Picasso said: “Every act of creation is first of all an act of destruction.”

I’m not sure if I agree with that. I guess I do and I don’t.

I do agree that a new image somehow deconstructs the previous one.

I just find that Picasso would probably not be the best life coach;)

In order to create, for example, more meaning or fulfilment in our lives, do we need to destroy something?

Maybe metaphorically, yes. But operationally, we might only add something or tweak slightly. We could magnify or change or add some small part to what we already do, and it WILL result in a significant new quality of our life.

To believe that we need a revolution in our life to find more meaning or fulfilment is a limiting assumption and a tough expectation to have of oneself.

We put too much pressure on ourselves. We read stories of people abandoning their jobs and opening a restaurant. Someone else traveled, found an island and played guitar forever. These are incomplete stories.

Many times people combine whatever they discovered through ‘cooking’ or ‘playing guitar’ with what they were doing before.

Creating New does not have to mean abandoning the Old.

I know many examples:

  • two of my former clients — different times and places — felt very unhappy at work. Both thought they needed to quit and do something completely different. After more precise and thorough reflection, they just changed their role from managerial back to non managerial, staying in their respective fields. They took on more projects that they were passionate about. They both felt much better as specialists (wanted to master their skills) and team members (enjoyed the fun and creative element), and individual contributors (more time to focus) rather than leaders.
  • myself — I took a year break in 2004 to figure out what I want to do after 6 yrs of HR directorship. I was feeling completely burned out, working a job which held little meaning to me at that time. I considered everything from being a war photographer (went to school of photography before, traveled to places like Kashmir, Iran, Kyrgyzstan) to becoming a tailor (like my grandmother). I finally arrived at the conclusion that I didn’t need a revolution. I love development, I love to study what makes better relationships, what makes better workplaces, what kind of leaderships are out there. I decided to change my full time HR directorship contract to multiple freelance HR consulting contracts. Suddenly I had more time for reading and self development. My desired work/life balance was restored, and I immediately started to feel the return of my lost sense of fulfilment. 10 years and counting.

Let’s just not believe we always must destroy in order to create.

On the other hand it does take time to spot this small turning point sometimes.

I apologise to Pablo for using his name in this provocative manner.

It’s fuelled by my love of art, purely.

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