The new work security
For most people of this generation, the deal around work has been this: sell your soul, be compliant, do as you're asked and you'll be rewarded and taken care of. We've been encouraged to sacrifice our excitement, our passions and a deep sense of fulfilment in return for security. It started in the factories and then moved into the offices.
But that deal is disappearing. Jobs are being outsourced. You are likely to be squeezed more in your work and career, and then you could be let go of at any time. The world you were probably educated and trained to fit into is disappearing before your eyes. For many people this is scary.
But I believe that within this lies a tremendous opportunity. So if being compliant is no longer the route to security, is there a new source of security? And if so, what is it?
I believe it is to show up with your love, creativity and artistry, to bring your humanity into the work you do. To touch the humanity inside you and authentically connect to the humans in the market-place. Then you create a resonance with people. The opportunity is to let your work become a canvass onto which you express your uniqueness, your soul and your love. It is to let your passion out and show what you truly care about and create a business around doing that.
The world is hungry for work that is your artistic expression rather than is a commodity. Any work can be your canvass - the key is your intention not the actual canvass. Your car dealership, plumbing business, coaching or healing practice can be the canvas for your artistry.
In essence, this new territory consists of the following: Discover, acknowledge, show up with, package, and find clients for your brilliance. And then deal with all the fear and resistance that goes around that.
This does mean finding the genius and creative spirit that you were born with and you have been largely taught to repress throughout school and your employment. The opportunity is to show up with your best self rather than your compliant self.
Being an artist is about finding and giving your particular gift. We are all gift bearers but mostly you've probably not been encouraged to discover, value or show up with your unique gift. I have built a very successful business by giving away much of my best work on my web site for free and then having optional paid programmes down the line.
Don't work for pay, but do be paid for your work
How do you get paid for doing this? Many creative and spiritual people have some unhelpful thinking about money and doing what they love. They can often think that doing work you love means not valuing yourself and not asking for much money. Bringing your best self to work is about living a higher energy life. It means giving a lot and it also involves becoming a very gracious receiver - of appreciation, of gratitude and of money. I love the way singer songwriter and poet, Leonard Cohen expressed it. He said that when he set out as an artist in the 1960's, "I always thought I was in my career as an artist for the long haul. I was able to satisfy the only dictum I set up for myself - I didn't want to work for pay, but I wanted to be paid for my work, and I was able to achieve that, and that's an incredibly lucky turn of events. It is a wonderful life to be able to make a living doing what you want."
Leonard makes an important point, and it is the shift from working for pay to working for love. You have to find the work you were put on this planet to do, and love doing it and do it for the love. And then you need to get very clever and intelligent and be active and entrepreneurial in finding the people who will willingly pay you for doing it. You need to find that sweet intersection of what you love and what people need, and then package your gifts in ways that people like and want to buy.
You have a choice - will you buy into the fear? Or will you risk showing up with your best self, your heart and creativity. Please choose the latter. You need and the world need your best self more than ever. Please show up with it.