Greetings from Washington, D.C. where the Valentine’s Day gift most hoped for was that your federal government would remain open for business. We are a people that like to experience the simplest of life’s pleasures, such as the feeling of ease we get when paychecks post to our bank accounts.
So, what do you value most in the work that you do? Is it time, or money, or recognition? Or, do you value most experience?
For me, experience has been the glue the binds my work and career trajectory. From my first job out of college running a one-person trade magazine circulation department, through my amazing years in the advertising agency world and executive search, to my current role as a podcaster, author, and advocate for meaningful work, my experience gained has led me to be a successful professional.
We often think about our experience in the past tense; the experience that we have already acquired, we believe, makes us most valuable. I suppose that is, to a certain degree, true. But, should we also embrace experience in the future tense, as in, during 2019, we shall seek new experience doing (fill-in-the-blanks)?
I believe that we should.
A year of new experiences means, first and foremost, being present. Think of it this way: when we embark on a vacation, our experience is not limited to the hotel room. Of course not. Instead, it encompasses every moment of our journey, from our view out of the aircraft window, to the sights, sounds, aromas, and textures of the places we visit, to every new person (and donkey) that we meet.
I believe to successfully do meaningful work we must first embrace a daily life of new experiences with all the joy that we feel when we are on great, soul-lifting vacation.
To live a year supported by many new experiences means to also be present. And presence is where meaningful work takes root.
So, let us all embrace a year of new experiences.
In March 2019 — to help you dream, explore, strategize, and act on doing work that is profound, helps people, protects the planet, and is fun — we will formally launch The Dan Smolen Experience website. It’s a place where you can begin your journey to meaningful work by getting tips, hacks, information, and insights on how to turn work into something that has meaning and impact in your life and in the world.
Our best days lie ahead.
DAN SMOLEN is executive producer and host of the podcast, The Tightrope with Dan Smolen. Listen and subscribe to us by keywording “The Tightrope with Dan Smolen” on Apple Podcasts. Also, please rate us and offer suggestions for future guests and topics.
Photo credit: Feeding a Wild Donkey on Aruba, Dan Smolen (2016).