Yesterday, I answered the call to transform Valentine’s Day into Generosity Day. I decided to hand out quotable cards and magnets to random strangers on my commute to work. I wrote inside the cards and on the envelopes “Happy Valentine’s Day – Share the Love!” and then used the envelopes for the magnets. Armed with my small bit of generosity booty, I left for work. Operation Generosity had begun.
It was a lot more difficult than I expected.
In the height of my workaholism, I was running from meeting to meeting without time for a proper lunch. With a regular team meeting at 11 and an offsite meeting at 1pm, I subsisted on Snickers and Diet Dr. Pepper for lunch. When I got home close to 10pm, too exhausted to think, much less about cooking, I would wearily open up the chips, throw salsa and sour cream into a bowl, and wash it down with a beer before collapsing into bed.
Your body on too much work, too little time off, and meals consisting of Snickers and chips and salsa.
©: iStockphoto - luismmolina
Yes, yes I did. And no. It wasn’t sustainable. Continue reading
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.