Archive for the ‘John Jackson’ Tag

Acting in the Face of Disenchantment

Some colleagues and I were on a call recently with a couple of my mentors, Jay Kubassek & John Jackson where we considered how to proceed in the face of disenchantment. The early romance and honeymoon period of any new endeavor is truly exhilarating, often times with stunning results, everything from conceiving of children to pulling together the resources needed for your next big project and/or the early stages of starting a business.

OK, the baby is born. You have the project resources on hand. You almost have the new set of skills required to apply to your project under your belt. Suddenly you find yourself mired in the daily drudgery, desperately missing the enchantment of the honeymoon period. Wondering if you’d made a tragic mistake. Welcome to disenchantment.

While disenchantment has been considered by many theologians and philosophers, for our purposes today, let us consider how to continue the work of the day in the face of disenchantment. I’m curious if a bit of judicious forgetfulness might be of help here. While maintaining a laser focus on the source of your enchantment, judiciously forgetting the dreariness of some of the tasks, even while doing them, would seem of use. Admittedly this is easier to do with the more mindless tasks of one’s day. Cleaning out various email boxes requires little actual thought, thus is easily forgettable. Canvasses need stretching and priming. The project plan needs to be sketched out. Scheduling needs to be worked out. All of this, while necessary, is imminently forgettable upon completion with little need for any emotional investment. Now focus on your source of enchantment. The successful piece, the successful business, the happy/healthy child, the happy/healthy you.

The tedium of disenchantment can drown even the most invigorating enchantment. Might some of the more involved tasks be done with a minimum of emotional engagement and energy, thus enabling you to focus your emotional life on your enchantment? Might they be broken into smaller chunks, the completion of each small chunk wildly celebrated? Can some of them be delegated? In the spirit of someone else’s disenchanting administrivia might be more interesting than your own, perhaps you can swap task lists. The added benefit here is that you both end up signing up for each other’s projects. Might the tasks be approached from a quasi meditative, non-judgmental state. The possibility with this approach is finishing the day with a sense of renewal and accomplishment.

I would love to hear your thoughts on acting in the face of disenchantment. Would also love to hear what amazing things you were able to accomplish, just after that scary moment when you thought about giving up, but instead chose to re-focus on your source of enchantment and do the chores necessary to get you to the next step.