That moment you spend doing something that someone else wants you to do, and that you absolutely hate. That moment when you despise yourself, blame the other, feel like there’s no point, find faults in everything. That same moment you get angry, furious, mad, and then sad, depressed, disillusioned.

It’s just not worth it, isn’t it?

And to be clear, that does not mean “follow your passion and do what you like“.

It means find what you like and be brave enough to stick with it.

No matter what others want or say.

They too will thank you, eventually.

Just you hiding

No matter what your role is inside an organization, you have the power to change the things you see not working. Much more than you think you do.

You might think that those above you condone a negative behavior or a flawed process, but the reality is that most likely they are simply not aware of them. Or they don’t have the bandwidth to jump on them. Or they have initiated the behavior or the process with completely different intentions and failed to follow up.

If you hide behind that excuse, be mindful that it is just you hiding.

Compliance and change

Most feedback features an I and a you.

I like what you did.

I feel you are not motivated enough.

I believe this is what you should do.

It’s the opinion of one person – often against the opinion of another person -, and the effectiveness of this kind of feedback depends on the status of the one giving it. Even in the best case scenario, even if the feedback gets through, it is because of compliance.

A more effective feedback features a what, an how, a why, and a couple more whats.

What happened?

How did it go? – in relation to shared goals.

Why did things go like that?

What will be different next time?

What can I do to help?

It’s the feedback that helps reflection and learning. Status has zero relevance, in fact this format can be used by anyone with anybody. And when the feedback is successful, you have lasting change.

Three burdens

The first is that you have to be liked. Doing something to please others is the reason why your work sucks and the very same idea that everyone could or should like you is most likely the reason why you are stuck.

The second is that success is measurable with money. It’s a very expensive fairytale and for a very large part of us it is also an excuse to never look at what matters.

The third is that commitment is forever. Very few are, and even when you have invested a lot in something, it is still fair to get to a point where you say: “thank you, I am out”.

Can you free yourself of these burdens?

Different hows

When we look at others we look at how they behave, how they look, how they interact with others. We often know very little of how they feel, how they think, how they see the world around them.

When we look at ourselves we look at how we feel, how we think, how we see the world around us. We often know very little of how we behave, how we look, how we interact with others.

That’s why every judgement, every comparison, every attempt to explain is unfair and unbalanced. And we need to learn to live with this.