Friday, April 22, 2011

4/22/11—Embracing Your Responsibility

Today's Draw: Ten of Bows from the Wildwood. Are you owning up to your responsibility? Do you see the value your skills provide to the whole? And do you carry your responsibility grudgingly or willingly?

Whether in your career, at home or in your relationships, the surface this card is about taking responsibility for your role. But beneath the surface, it's about cooperation, self esteem and honoring the importance of your role in "the pack". 

The man in the foreground carries a heavy load of bows up to the hunters who are camped at the top of the hill. When he gets there, he will be able to put his burden down, enjoy the fire one of the community members built and eat the food the hunters provided. Sure, he's a lowly stick hunter in the pecking order of the community, but he's essential to their mission. Without his energy and strength, the community may not get as much food, because the hunters will have to focus on finding their own bows. They may not be able to live in such a protected camp, because who else has the juice to carry all those bows to the top of the hill? And responsibilities may end up having to be split to make up for the service he provides to the community. 

Look at it one way and he's a lowly bow hunter. Look at it another and he's the linchpin of this community's survival. And that is the point of this card. The attitude you bring to your work changes everything. It changes the quality of the work you do, your self esteem about your work, your willingness to do it every day, the way you feel at the end of the day, and even how you feel about your time off. This is, at the very least, eight hours out of every day. Who are we serving if we're bitter about it? What are we achieving except our own depression and sense of worthlessness?

There are two good ways to be happy about your work. Do what you love. And if you can't do what you love, find a way to love what you do. I've had a number of such attitude adjustments in my career. I grew up in a household that thought advertising was evil and pointless. So this thing I loved didn't meet the approval of my father. And as my spirituality began to grow, I also began to have a need to "serve". I was raised to believe that advertising served no one. But here's the thing, without advertising, businesses would fail. Competition would dry up and monopolies would rule. Doing smaller business advertising and technology-related work, fuels innovation. How will you know alternatives to, say, WalMart exist, if no one is doing advertising for their upstart competitor? Since I reframed the role of the career I love, I no longer have the conflicting feelings I did when my career choice didn't meet with the approval of my father or stand up to my desire to serve.

At a another point in my career, I felt underpaid and unappreciated. So I quit the agencies and went out on my own...finding a way to love what I do yet again. Since then, appreciation is lavished up on kidding...and I earn a fair wage for my job. Now, at no point did I ever feel I was in the wrong career, but at many points I felt certain clients or situations were taking away the love I had for it. So I found ways to love it again. 

All of this about work because of the illustration on the card, but the same things can said about relationships, our roles in our personal lives and so on. The situation or other person doesn't need to change at all. You don't have the power to change all that anyway. But you do have the power to change the way you see it, which can change everything. Consider how this applies to your life. Change your outlook and you can change your world.

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