Tuesday, September 07, 2004

I woke up this morning bleary eyed and ready for another day of the usual grind down at the office, tappity tap tap from 9 til 6. I came home this evening refreshed and invigorated, seeing a world of possibilities.

My department head announced to our group today that our group manager is leaving to work on new things. This is obviously good news for my boss since it means a promotion. But it is good news for me too since it has given the kick up the ass I needed to shakeup my own world a little. Let me explain...

Like a lot of kids, I was trained in my home and in my culture to link my self-worth to my success. This turned me into a desperately square achievement orientated creep, always spoddily seeking to impress teachers and other givers of praise who would gullibly respond and reassure me of my value as a human being: I am clever therefore I am.

To say that this didn't make me the most popular person amongst my peers is a bit of an understatement. And I'm sure it was pretty tough for my ex-girlfriends to have loved me when all I was giving them to love was my achievements, and not my self. So after rather a considerable number of disappointing relationships of all kinds, I slowly figured out that this wasn't an effective strategy for living and gave it all up.

Since that time I've found it very hard to motivate myself to achieve, to climb the career ladder, do something just so that I can say to myself I am a manager, or I live in this part of town. Linking my identity and my self-worth to these sorts of things has become the life-living equivalent of hoping to be able to fly by dressing up like a bird.

As far as I am concerned, I am a mystery, so is every human, so is life. I wake up every day in the full awareness that I have only partial knowledge of who and what I am. So how can I say I am this, I am that? The only certainty is that I am a mystery.

In this situation, I can only seek change at work on the basis of whether I am discovering more of the mystery.

In practical terms, for me this way of moving on in life means listening to my sense of time and place, to my feeling about whether things have got stale. I identified a frustrated itchy feeling a while back and since then I've been listening to life, waiting for a new opportunity.

I knew there were some positions in other groups going but was wondering how to approach the subject of a move, going through all the usual quandries of causing secretive situations, leaving the team etc.

The good news is that with today's announcement about my boss, the opportunity arrived. Not losing any time, I went to see my department head on my way out of the office and told him I'd like a move.

So I've rolled my dice, now it's life's move.

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