Weekly Dispatch – Threading Our Life’s Work

Weekly Dispatch - Life's Work

This past week has been intense on two fronts.

1) At work I’ve been mapping out my goals for 2015. We plan out goals by quarter, and it’s been challenging (and exciting) to think about what I want to accomplish over the next year. If I fast-forward to this time next year, what will I have accomplished? Who will I have become?

My goals fall under a few themes: effective management (building the skills to be a great manager), product development (I’m working on fleshing out a few projects/products we’re developing), and awesome partner management (my role is to work with our corporate partners). Each decision I make is not only about supporting the strategies of my company—it’s also about crafting my life’s work.

2) For my master’s thesis I’m finally in a rhythm of research/getting stuff done. The amazing Sarah Jane and I meet weekly to hold each other accountable to work/personal goals. I’m meeting monthly with a student in my grad program who is also working on her thesis. I have finally assembled my full thesis committee. And I have some fun research I’m diving into.

What are the threads that tie together your work, hobbies, volunteer gigs, conversations? I’m thinking about these threads. (Here are some of my threads.) Here are some links about work + meaning.

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My coworker recommended taking the Gallup Strengthsfinder ($10 for basic test). Why do this test? Well… “The Gallup Organization suggest that the most effective people are those who understand their strengths and behaviors. These people are best able to develop strategies to meet and exceed the demands of their daily lives, their careers, and their families.” My top five themes were: Empathy, Achiever, Belief, Ideation, Connectedness. Interesting stuff. (And amazingly accurate.) – Gallup Strengthsfinder

I consider myself an expert generalist, which is why I’m working on an interdicisplinary degree: I like working across disciplines and threading together seemingly unrelated ideas. The CEO at IDEO captures here why this impulse—going wide versus going deep—should be a conscious career choice. – The Career Choice Nobody Tells You About

Elle Luna shares how she discovered the through-line in her life’s work. Worth the 11-minute watch – The Crossroads of Should and Must (video)

On work that matters and the artist’s prerogative to create meaning – J.Cole Interview

“This is the deepest kind of theft; not merely prosperity having been looted from societies, but significance having been stolen from human lives.” – Making the Choice Between Money and Meaning by Umair Haque

…And because this week’s digest was fairly heavy, here is Time’s 50 Astonishing Animal Photos of 2014

Weekly Dispatch – Undivided in Heart

Weekly Dispatch - Undivided in Heart

I’ve been pondering what it feels like to be undivided. Which is not to be confused with what it feels like to be “complete,” as the impulse to pick an easier, more palatable word might suggest. “Undivided” feels like a work in progress. “Completion” seems like an unrealistic destination at which we can one day arrive. Undivided seems reasonable to me. If I seek to be undivided in my words, in my relationships, in my heart… well, shoot. I might just be doin’ okay.

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“When we don’t work with dignity our work becomes ‘separate’ from us, the person.”  – The Modern Craftsman’s Guide: Work with Dignity

I think about integrity—a lot. The alignment of words and actions is so powerful (and so scarce). As I look around at the tech startup world I often ache to see more integrity. Joe frames it as “both scary and empowering” that companies–startups and large corps alike–are increasingly being held accountable for their words and work. – What a Company Says It Is and What It Does

Lauren Bacon uses questions to frame ideas about connection between people online. – The Invisible Campfire of Online Communities

On the topic of good questions, my whip-smart friend Zack wonders about how to balance fear and creativity. – Fear and Creativity

The inspiration to write usually comes to me in twinges, flutters, whispers. I’m rarely overcome with obvious smacks of the muse. In this velvety, thick essay Sven Birkerts captures so many of the ways I feel about creating meaning through words. – The Unearned Gift

And this? This is simply happy-making. – How About a Crosswalk Light that Dances?

 

P.S. – Would you help a sister out? I’m going to get back to long form writing here on the blog, and I’d love to know if there’s anything you’d like to read from me. Let me know here