Noise. Scientists have a definition of ‘white noise’, that incoherent hiss in the background. It used to be just background, but now noise is amped up, foreground, invasive. Real noise, such as the music-as-tranquiliser everywhere in cities. And virtual noise, the background information that thrusts itself into our foreground.
This throws us into a state that is far from ‘present’ or in the Buddhist sense ‘attending’ to what is in front of us. It throws us into reflex and instinct, into fear and desire and permanent urgency. A state without much care and without much love.
Umair Haque has just published in Medium some thoughts that are about life in general. My focus is helping people live better through their career strategy, and Umair’s thoughts are helpful.
Love drives deep success
So often, our organisational life puts love low on the list of what’s important. It’s scoffed at, deemed irrelevant. Scratch the surface though, and what’s often going on is fear of love. Incompetence, really, in a world that adores competence, at dealing with the power of love. This incompetence turns up in its low-grade forms, when a process is bizarrely inconsiderate of those running it or a room full of people fail to address their core task. The true loss is not measured, because the only kinds of value that can breathe take the form of status or money or power.
Love has an invisible metric
What do I mean? Well, in every organisation there are ‘invisible metrics’, things everyone knows are important but don’t get measured. Things like team cohesion, productive play, enthusiasm and yes, love, don’t get measured, though everyone knows they are vital to success. Love produces caring, produces considerateness, produces wonder, produces innovation, produces success. Love’s safe vulnerability is a source of deep success, not a barrier to it.
This hits your career, especially when you are in a true career transition, a life-pivot. A lack of love in a career is profoundly exhausting. It creates Umair’s ‘rocks in the heart’ that slow us down and can bring us, physically as well as emotionally, to a stand-still. At which point our career stalls and nose-dives.
So often, the fuel for a new career rushes to the surface when we can tap into love, that feel when we are joyfully engaged with the world through our endeavour. That love is a well of energy that causes perseverence, curiosity, clarity, engagement, creativity and action. It is at the root of our life’s purpose. It lights up work that has meaning for us. It produces productive silence, the antidote to life’s noise.
So read what Umair has written. And reflect. Reflect on your past career, how you’ll handle your career transition and how you want your future to feel.
I suspect you’ll find that when you get closer to being in that state of love, rather than confusing it with desire, you’ll start uncovering new ways forward for your career and your life.