Below, nine narratives, nine stories, about what work could be for.
Whether we choose one of these, or one of the infinity of others that are possible for us, there’s no doubt that our narratives have a powerful role in shaping our identity, what we notice, what we think is possible and important, and our relationship with others.
Change the narrative and we change what work is for and much about how we experience it. Change the narrative and we change our relationship with our difficulties and possibilities, with the sense we make of the past and of the future.
Do any of these offer a new way of seeing what you’ve been doing so far…
… and what you might take on next?
.. a way of setting the world straight – fixing what’s wrong, making good, bringing integrity, standards, and justice into the world
.. love made visible – an opportunity to dedicate ourselves to our deepest commitments with our minds, hearts and bodies, and in relationship with others
.. a way to cultivate excellence – finding ways to do things better, with greater impact and with ever-increasing quality of attention and skill
.. an expression of artistry – work for its own sake, for the depth and expression and creativity that is unique to human beings
.. an opportunity to learn and discover – work as the pursuit of understanding, learning a field from end to end and using that learning to solve problems that would otherwise continue to challenge us
.. a way to lay down secure foundations – work as what makes it possible to have somewhere safe, dry and warm to live in, a shelter for ourselves and those we love, and the resources that will help us respond to unknown future challenges and possibilities
.. an exercise in freedom and hope – work as what enables us to break the confines of otherwise predictable lives – to play, to experiment, to meet people, to try out new things, to bring into our lives and into the world that which has not been so far
.. a challenge to the status quo – work as a way of upending things that need upending, revolutionising what needs revolution, using our power to shift cultures, expectations and the way things are done.
.. the practice of peace – work as a way of bringing people together, forging community and connection, relationship and shared purpose, a way of having our many differences serve us and each other rather than separate us