Tuesday, December 10, 2013

12/10/13—Embracing Service and Responsibility

Today's Draw Classic*: 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 of 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 and arrows. They may not be able to live in such a protected camp, because who else has the juice to carry all that wood to the top of the hill? Without him, 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 and the way you view yourself in the pecking order 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. 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. Small businesses wouldn't have a chance. And, as much as people hate to acknowledge advertising's role in this, you wouldn't know what was available, how it was different or where to buy it. 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 me...no 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 is 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. Your situation or the other persons involved don't need to change at all. You don't have the power to change things outside of you anyway. But you do have the power to change the way you see, approach and respond to situations, which can change everything. Consider how this applies to your life. Change your outlook and you can change your world.

*Adapted from a post on 4/22/11

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