Monthly Archives: July 2013

Human Resources

I wonder if we might be experiencing a resource crisis. We hear on the news about the depletion of natural resources, but I’m thinking more in terms of human resources, and the crisis is the under-use of our talents and gifts.

Not that we don’t work hard or do a good job. Often people are proficient- really good- at something they are doing, but they don’t care much about it. We just do the work that needs to be done and wait for the weekend.

Other folks so enjoy what they are doing that they couldn’t imagine doing anything else. An hour of work feels like 5 minutes, because they have managed to connect who they are with what they are doing. The work resonates with them and is a source of energy, not an activity that steadily drains away energy like a dripping water faucet.

So, how do you connect who you are with what you do? I think human resources are similar to natural resources, in that they are often buried. So first, you must uncover them since they aren’t generally lying around on the surface. Or, maybe you already know your talents, but you don’t maximize them.  It’s hard to know when you take something for granted. The reason it’s hard to know is that you are taking it for granted.

But perhaps you haven’t done much inner mining, and you aren’t clear on the gifts you have to give. You default to familiar routine while those resources, those jewels, stay hidden below the surface.

John Gardner was an American author and social reformer who once said thattrue happiness involves the full use of one’s power and talents.”  I’m all for true happiness! It seems to me the first step is to uncover your talents and then begin looking for conditions or opportunities in which to use them powerfully. Or at least use them. The world is waiting for you to be you.

Every Day is a Good Day

“Every day is a good day for George,” says Margo. He walks out the front door of his house with a spring in his step like some kind of cartoon character. She should know- she lives with him. I wonder if he just wakes up that way, feeling like it’s gonna be a good day. I’ve woken up close to 20,000 times myself, and I can probably count on my fingers the mornings that I’ve skipped and whistled my way out the door. In fact this morning (#19,472) I walked outside and said to myself, “Good night, how can it be this hot this early in the morning!?”

If I had the attitude that every day was a good day, I would need to embrace the reality of the actual day, just as it is, and live through it in a way that makes it feel “good.” I tend to live through the “to-do” list on my calendar, and my day passes by as I check off the little boxes. That feels good, for sure, but what if I missed something because it wasn’t on my list? What if my focus wasn’t so much on the goal but on the journey, and I traveled along believing that it was a good day. What if I did that every day?

I’ve been through enough days to know that some are filled with inspiration and passion that wells up in my chest and brings tears to my eyes, and others are frustrating and unfair and confusing. Most of them, to be honest, are just kind of normal; not too exciting and not too bad, just going along doing my work and checking off those little boxes. I guess the only common denominator that could make each one a “good” day would be my attitude. I’d probably need to make that decision before I got very far from my pillow in the morning, and on some days, every few hours along the way.

When I was in college I wrote down this quote: Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are. Let me learn from you, love you, savor you, bless you before you depart. Let me not pass you by in quest of some rare and perfect tomorrow.

Mary Jean Irion wrote that in her book Yes, World: A Mosaic of Meditation, and I have always loved it. George actually lives it. I’d like to do a better job of deciding that every day is a good day, just as it is. These people, just as they are. This particular place, just as I experience it. If George could talk, he’d probably say I just make everything way too complicated. How about a little less ego and a little more love? So I’m deciding that today, this very normal day, is indeed a good day.