What if We Didn't Continuously Grow?
You are not a machine. I feel like we need to be reminded of this, and I feel like some companies need to be reminded as well. I heard a podcast recently and the guy was talking about the way companies are constantly talking about growth and earnings. My boyfriend’s company announced % of growth over the next 4 years. The next 4 years?! If I worked there I would be exhausted already. How can companies continuously talk about growth and continue to expect employees to deliver? How can they expect employees to continue to innovate, create, give 100% and never quit? That is ridiculous, we are not machines!
The podcast talked about how great it would be if companies instead took a page from Mother Nature’s book. Nature has seasons and goes through changes and stages of growth. I love this idea! The amount of pressure that we put on ourselves to constantly grow, produce, and create is unfair. As a small business owner I feel this lot. I feel like I am being lazy if I am not creating a new workshop, actively scheduling marketing plans, or imagining the next stages for my company. But that is unfair. I moved to a new country, I started what was essentially a new business, and then I started a new program, Project Feel Good, and this year I got certified as a behavior change specialist so I can expand into the life coaching world. I have not been sitting around. Yet one week without posting to social media or imagining my next business cards and I mark myself a loser.
I am a tree, damnit! I need to breathe. I need to sway. I need to drop all of my leaves in winter and rest quietly. In the spring I need to blossom and spread my ideas and energy around. In summer I need to see what’s growing and look at what I created. When autumn comes I will revel in the work I did and see what worked and what didn’t. I am a tree. You are a tree. We are trees not machines.
Please send your boss’s boss this article. Imagine if companies told employees and shareholders “stay with us, have faith in the long term plans, we are going to take the first 2 quarters of this year to rest. We will ask employees to do all the things they never have time to do. We will encourage everyone to use as much vacation time as they want to. We will ask everyone to go home on time or early and we will dress comfortably when we work. Use this time to organize your workspace, clean out your email box, take a class, or start a project you have always thought about doing. Create teams or groups to throw around ideas or brainstorm. “Whatever you want to do- let’s do that.” Imagine what kind of peace and creativity could come from a companywide rest. Imagine what the 3rd and 4th quarters of that year would look like with people rested and ready to launch again. Imagine what kinds of returns and innovations could be discovered by having a chance to breathe.
You are not a machine. Be a tree instead.