Wednesday, September 14, 2011

9. Good work vs. Great work

I read certain blogs for inspiration. I acknowledge my innate laziness at checking them each day though (who has time?), so I sign up for them to come directly into my email inbox.

If I didn’t subscribe this way… I’d never take the time/effort/energy to actually go to the website and check for updates. Just wouldn’t happen.

But rather than spending my energy feeling guilty that I’m not following my favorite blogs… I just set myself up with what I need to be able to be successful at reading them… an email subscription.

I enjoy getting new thoughts/ideas/influences coming into my world on a daily basis. Makes me happy.

I mostly read them on my phone during my subway ride to work.

Sometimes I read the whole thing. Sometimes I read two sentences and it doesn’t resonate with me and… delete. No biggie. I know I’ll get another one tomorrow.

I love reading EVERYTHING written by someone with a POV that really inspires me. And it’s free!

Blogs are awesome.

I’ll be introducing you to a few of my favorites in the coming months, I am sure.

Here’s one that I’d like to share with you today. It hit me close-to-home…

Note: This is an excerpt from Michael Bungay Stanier’s blog at Box of Crayons. If you are inspired, consider a subscription.

“For the last eighteen months I’ve been walking a fine line, working on the business that I love and that pays my bills, and working on my Great Work Project, a new book whose sale raises money for an important cause.
It has been a constant struggle to give this Great Work the appropriate time and space to come together, and that’s primarily because of the seductive comfort of Good Work.

Great Work, because it’s work that truly matters to me, makes me fret, gives me sweaty palms, and invites all sorts of doubt and self-sabotage.

Good Work on the other hand is the relatively simple task of rolling up my sleeves and getting things done, having some fun and making some money along the way.

And yet, Great Work – unsafe and uncertain as it so often is – is where I hang out on the edges of my own competence and ambition, learning what’s possible for me and for the world. Great Work is also where I can most easily invite other extraordinary people in to help me create the meaning and impact I’m hungry for in my life.

The shift in thinking is to remember (and remember and remember) that Great Work projects take time and need time, and your calendar never lies about what really is most important to you.

And the experiment for now is to look again at “the bottom 10%” of what I do, to see if I might say No to that in some way, to say Yes to Great Work.

What is it for you? Where might you trade money (or time) for meaning?”

(I love, love, love this. Thank you, Box of Crayons!)

What is my great work? … How am I making time for it?

Doing good work (that pays the rent) AND doing great work (that feeds the soul) … and then taking a vacation and doing no work at all!

That’s my idea of a perfect balance.

Wishing you success in your great work,