When was the last time you consulted your inner child? Yes, I know. You’ve been working like crazy, taking care of everyone but yourself, and your weekends are spent sleeping in, catching up, running errands, catching the game on TV. But when was the last time you turned off the TV and filled in the blank, “When I was a kid, I dreamed of being ________” and then compared that to your adult self?
“The creative adult is the child who has survived.” – Ursula K. LeGuin
To understand where Renewable Enthusiasm is coming from, you’ll need a quick bit of back story. Prior to 2010, I was a workaholic. I was Exhibit A that Clayton Christensen described in his Harvard Business Review blog entry, How will you measure your life?
“When people who have a high need for achievement…have an extra half hour of time or an extra ounce of energy, they’ll unconsciously allocate it to activities that yield the most tangible accomplishments. And our careers provide the most concrete evidence that we’re moving forward.”
It wasn’t just about working a ton of hours and taking my work home with me. I craved that immediate feedback and sense of gratification. Maintenance of my self-worth required it. How else would I know I was succeeding in life but through the kudos, the evaluations, the challenging assignments, the being needed and called upon by important people?
The author being bad-ass in June 2011
The only problem was, my work was becoming the sum total of my personality. That wasn’t making me happy. Enter in a need for something different. In early 2010, having settled into a regular 8-hour-a-day job that I loved, I set my new year’s resolution: I would do something bad-ass. I didn’t know what that would be at the time, except that it would not be work-related. I soon found rock climbing.