The Grown-Up Paradox
How Much Do You Identify With Your Job?
Ever heard of the term Grown-Up Paradox?
The Grown-Up Paradox is the fight between following the rules like an adult should, and disobeying the rules like an adult can.
It’s the balance between being a responsible human and giving voice to what makes you unique.
As kids we’re taught to think and behave a certain way and that by following the rules, we’ll fit and get rewarded.
Following the rules is probably what has prevented us all to die of multiple ulcers trying to organize daily chaos or get hit by a car. Knowing and understanding the rules at play in our world is essential to survive.
But there’s a limit to that truth.
Because for one human who strives following the rules in place, there are millions who barely make it work.
Rules are generalities set to contain a group. They will contain the group mindset within you. But what about the rest of you? What about the things that are inside you and that make you, you?
I’m not talking about you becoming a shepherd, opening a pottery shop on Etsy, or living underground with a fringe group who burns cars.
I’m not talking about trashing everything you’ve built so far to become a shepherd. I am talking about self-expression. As known as creativity.
I’m talking about you cultivating the you-thing that gives your life a unique and empowering flavor.
It’s not about more, it’s about tastier.
Do you remember the first time one of your friend, peer or colleague willingly disobeyed the rules and got acclaimed for their innovative spirit?
Do you remember the wtf, it’s not fair?! moment it triggered in the room?
Say hi to the Grown Up Paradox.
As a functioning grown-up living in the 21st century, you’re asked to be responsible. But if you want to strive you need to be disruptive.
You need to produce results but it would be great if you could also be creative and bring fresh ideas to the table.
These mixed messages are confusing. The temptation is to follow the rules, even when they don’t make sense and to lose yourself in the job.
To stop taking holidays, to stay as long as the others at the office, to sleep less to fit everything you want to do in 24h…
The risk? Losing your flavor (and going into full burnout).
Arianna Huffington says it best: “I think the minute we completely identify with our jobs, we lose our ability to take risks, to be more detached from what we are doing because very often if we’re trying to be creative and doing new things, you have no guarantees. And anytime you are trying to be completely secured, and do only the things that are guaranteed to succeed, whatever they might mean, you are not going to do very creative things.”
How much do you identify with your job? Is there room left for risks and errors?
Take a risk now. Do something foolish and seemingly unproductive. Reconnect with the joy of creating.
If you have access to a pen and a paper (lol), draw us a sheep. Give it a name. Possibly an age and a dream job. And share it.
Why? Because it will make you smile, connect with others through something you created and it will force you to let (your sheep) go.
And if you want to bend the rules I gave, please do.
PS: if you feel this is ridiculous and an insult to my brain… DRAW A SHEEP coz it’s definitely time to loosen up ❤
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Nathalie Sejean is Activate® Creativity co-founder, a company dedicated to help you reconnect, stretch and nurture your creativity. Click here for more.