It was a sunny Monday afternoon. Summer showed a last glimpse of itself in Copenhagen, and we were all set for our first gathering on “Happiness at work” – or as we say in Denmark; “Arbejdsglæde”.
It’s good sometimes to pause from our work. Take a breath. Really consider our work.
Sometimes the truth is that we are thrilled. We are delighted by our work and grateful for the privilege of contributing. We can’t wait to get to work each day. We love the challenges we face, the service we offer, the skills we learn, the way we express ourselves to the world in our work.
Using the word “love” about work is surprising and even shocking to most people.
When I use the “L” word when I speak or teach, it is what my colleague Darrell calls a mic drop moment.
“Love.” Boom! Then silence. Dead silence. Perhaps followed by nervous laughter.
But that’s also where the really important exploration begins.
Think of a time when you felt a sense of wonder. Perhaps you marveled at the grandeur of a towering mountain. Or maybe you suddenly sensed the vastness of the universe as the Aurora Borealis spiraled across a winter sky. Were you caught off-guard? Did you lose your sense of time but gain a sense of mystery? Did you feel small and deeply connected to something greater than yourself? Then you probably experienced awe.
People are struggling in most workplaces with disengagement, poor well-being, lack of diversity and inclusion, burnout, conflict, bullying and harassment, unethical behavior, poor performance, challenges to creativity, and lack of problem solving.
So what the heck are we doing to ourselves? And wouldn’t it make sense to do something else?
The fabric of our society feels threadbare. A tattered cloth with gaping holes, it barely drapes us nor does it display its full beauty. We wish it were different but we seem to have lost our ability to weave that tapestry. But in truth, we’ve never really mastered that craft in the first place nor has our tapestry ever truly been complete. But where to begin? We need to learn to weave.