To make a valuable contribution, you have to get uncomfortable and embrace lifelong growth and skill development.
—Todd Henry, author, The Accidental Creative and Die Empty
Todd Henry opens chapter six of his phenomenal new book Die Empty: Unleash Your Best Work Every Day with this incredibly salient principle that serves as an interesting translation for an equally thought-provoking quote: Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral.
Originally published in the book The Prophet written by Lebanese artist, poet and writer Kahlil Gibran. This quote was excerpted from a philosophical essay found in the The Prophet titled “On Houses.” If you’re not familiar with either The Prophet or the inspiring quote from “On Houses,” check out the rest of the noteworthy text that follows the inspiring quote:
Verily the lust for comfort murders the passion of the soul, and then walks grinning in the funeral. But you, children of space, you restless in rest, you shall not be trapped nor tamed. Your house shall be not an anchor but a mast. It shall not be a glistening film that covers a wound, but an eyelid that guards the eye. You shall not fold your wings that you may pass through doors, nor bend your heads that they strike not against a ceiling, nor fear to breathe lest walls should crack and fall down. You shall not dwell in tombs made by the dead for the living. And though of magnificence and splendour, your house shall not hold your secret nor shelter your longing. For that which is boundless in you abides in the mansion of the sky, whose door is the morning mist, and whose windows are the songs and the silences of night.
Let’s face it; there are times when working in-house can seem monotonously cyclical. It’s easy to fall into a lull of just cranking out seasonal projects dictated by a computerized calendar.
As in-house managers, let’s make a commitment to continuously seek opportunities to broaden our perspectives with the goal of discovering new aspects of things seen a million times before. Together with our teams, we’ll fight the urge to let the cycles anesthetize our minds into accepting the comforts of predictability in-house. We’ll create opportunities out of discomfort, leading us to solve old problems with newly acquired skills. As Henry and Gibran suggest: embrace lifelong growth and skill development … your house shall not hold your secret or shelter your longing.
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