Campbell famously wrote that the more we mythologize and idealize the person we love, the more disillusioned and disheartened we grow as we come to know their imperfect humanity.
Interestingly enough, the same principle applies to our work.
Careers, not unlike intimate relationships, are this constant battle between romantic fantasy and disenchanting reality.
Take the newly hired employee. Once onboarding is finished and she’s settled into her new position and she starts getting hang of things, something shifts. The honeymoon is over. Reality removes the veil that gently drapes in front of her eyes.
And now that she finds herself on the inside, she starts to see how the business really operates and what compromises are regularly made.
In fact, one of the company veterans sits her down at lunch one day to have the talk. As if to say:
Okay, you’ve been here long enough. Let me tell you how this place really works.
It’s not an uncommon experience. We all endanger ourselves in the attempt to conform to some ideal. There’s plenty of disillusionment to go around.
But if we learn to maintain an internal locus of control, knowing that the world may disappoint us, but we can still choose not to disappoint ourselves, disenchantment doesn’t have to swallow us whole.
Here are a few questions worth asking ourselves.
Can we sit with the rawness of things not working out the way we want them to?
Can we forgive other people for not being as we’d hoped?
Can we navigate our disappointment with the world not being the perfect place we thought it was?
Can we let go of unrealistic expectations based on conventional wisdom?
If so, then we’ll probably be okay.
LET ME ASK YA THIS…
Are you so enchanted to your work and the wealth you think it will bring that you cannot see its weaknesses?
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That Guy with the Nametag
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