While walking to work this week, I happened to do so a bit later than usual, at some of the most popular times. There were more people walking the footpaths and waiting at each of the intersections than I was used to. Many had headphones on, lost in a world of their choosing, while others power forward with a look of determination seeking the fastest way to their destination. I was one of these people walking fast to make it to work before the clock struck nine.
Each morning I found myself thinking this type of rushing around wasn’t for me. This happens on more mornings than just those I hit the worst foot traffic, but it is most notable then. I don’t like being in a rush, because it sets me up for thinking I need to work the same way once I arrive. At the job I had before my current one, a colleague would say hello in the morning, but would follow it up by telling my to take my time to arrive well. If we give ourselves time to go through our own morning routine, then travel to our first appointment, we can arrive before we need to dive into our obligations for the day.
You might be asking: How does any of this relate to the herd mentality of walking to work?
At the current organisation I work, everyone else starts their working hours before I arrive. This places a little bit of pressure on me to start work earlier, even though it has been explicitly stated by both my managers that the time I start is more than ok. They are happy the work is getting done, and that problems are identified quickly and solved in a timely manner. But, I can’t shake the feeling that things would be better if I could get to work earlier, take my time to arrive, and start work proper earlier too. This is more of a “me problem,” adjusting my own expectations to match the reality that is, rather than discussing already set and accepted expectations of me starting later.
The question then becomes: How do I break away from the herd?
I want to walk at times when fewer people are on the footpaths. I want time to relax into the physical space of work before starting to do the work itself. I want to have the option to choose to engage in conversation rather than feeling expectation to do so whenever one is started.
Breaking away from the herd is also a consideration as I seek to write books and produce music. There is only so much creative space in peoples’ minds for stories and music that sound the same. More space exists for some types than others. But if I can write stories and music that has something different about it, I will keep my own creative mind engaged, and appeal to the minds of readers and listeners seeking something new.
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Are there times you find yourself following the masses ‘just because’?
How can you open yourself up to forge your own creative paths?
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Embark on adventures into the unknown. It can be daunting, and scary, but through the challenges we find wonderful new parts of ourselves.
Keep on keeping on being awesome.