All of yourself…

Some of us engage in two kinds of work – one for the kitchen, one for the soul. In other words, we choose some work to put bread on the table, and we engage in some pursuits that bring us joy, or fulfillment. Sometimes, it is not about two distinct pursuits as such, but there are parts of us that we are not conformable revealing at work. It doesn’t have to be something secret, but just something that we feel not appropriate for the work culture.

This is a short video (~ 5 mins) by Dan Clay, who had two different lives – one as a serious leader for a brand & innovation consultancy, and the other one being dressed up as Carrie Bradshaw( Sex and the City character) on Instagram. Watch this video to know how it started, and how it transformed his work for better when he decided to bring his whole self to work –

Here is one little piece from this video that I found quite insightful –

Maybe that’s you, maybe it isn’t. But all of this has taught me so much about just the importance of bringing your whole self to work. And it’s really challenged my own misperceptions about what it takes to be successful.

There’s no one kind of way to be a leader. It’s about finding your strengths and finding ways to amplify them.

One of my good friends, and a successful leader with multiple talents decided to disclose his own bipolar disorder after several years of professional work in the software industry. He felt really liberated after that disclosure. Not only that, today he has found far more fulfilling work in the mental-health space. Embracing his whole self helped him flourish.

But it doesn’t have to be something as serious as that, it doesn’t have to be something like Dan Clay either – coming out, and two radically different lives. Let me share my own example – I’ve been a closet poet for a long time, but I’ve started sharing my poems with (some of) my colleagues at work only recently in the last few years. Likewise, there are parts of us that we exclude from our work-life for multiple reasons. Slowly, those parts of us begin to fall apart as we fail to nurture them. Maybe Dan Clay was lucky, he found a supportive boss. For some of us it may not be indeed possible to bring few parts of us to work, no matter how much we love them.

Nevertheless, I’d urge to you spare some time and efforts nurturing those parts. You never know what opportunity might show up in the future, and how one such part might blossom. Wouldn’t you at least give it a chance?

“There is a part of me…” ~ From ‘Notes to myself’ by Hugh Prather

Featured Image:

The featured image used for this article is by Alexas_Foto from Pixabay, and I using it here with gratitude.

2 thoughts on “All of yourself…

  1. This is such a beautiful topic Manish. I first started reading about ‘wholeness at work’ through ‘Reinventing Organizations’ book by Frederic Laloux. I sincerely feel we need to explore this possibility in more depth so as to make our world a more beautiful place to live in 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your thoughts on this 🙂

  2. Here is an interesting snippet from an HBR article that talks about being authentic.

    How different is your professional persona from the one that shows up around family and friends? If there’s a sharp difference, what are you getting in return for masking or minimizing certain parts of yourself? What’s the payoff?

    Withholding your true self puts a cap on trust and on your ability to lead.

    Although withholding your true self may sometimes help you solve problems in the short term, it puts an artificial cap on trust and, by extension, on your ability to lead.

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