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Thought Leaders Unpacked -> The Answer to How is Yes #6: Enduring the Depth of Philosophy

thought-leadersWe have lost both the interest and the ability to go deep.

We simply do not know how to reflect deeply about what is most important to us. In addition, we aren’t even sure that doing so would make any difference.

So Peter Block asserts, and I concur.

Instead of exploring the value of and means toward becoming people of depth, though, Block focuses on one of the enemies of depth… speed.

Maybe these chapter titles are throwing me off. The titles point to a positive attribute, but the content elaborates on the negative forces that work against the titled attribute.

I find myself anticipating an exposition of the positive attribute (e.g. “depth” in this chapter, “intimacy” in the previous), and come away disappointed when the emphasis is on all that works against intimacy and depth.

With that off my chest, let me think about the problem of speed in my life.

The first insight that caught my attention was how legitimate needs for quick action, immediate decisions and demanding schedules can expand without my noticing into more fundamental and insidious changes to my character, my lifestyle and the very frame of reference from which I approach my work.

When we talk about being intentional in the design of workplace cultures here at Bold Enterprises, the issue of the uncritical buy-in to the fast-paced, non-reflective approach to workplace productivity becomes enormous!

We feel like we don’t have a choice, when, in fact, we do! We feel like we will be left behind, lose out, or miss something vital. Again, we don’t need to argue that there are indeed occasions for quick, decisive action. What we want to notice is whether we can no longer tell the difference and all of life and work ends up being rushed.

The second insight that was cause for pause came with the question, what have I postponed in life in order to keep pushing fast and hard on my work?

I can feel my insides wince with the question. I think of my marriage and kids. I think of my volunteer ambitions. I think of my spiritual and physical health. What takes a hit each time I choose to push blindly ahead on an urgent work matter? If I paused to think about it, would I have made the same decisions?

The value of asking such questions is to inform our future choices, not judge our past choices.

What kind of life do I want going forward? Where do work, success, and the expectations of employers fit into that bigger picture of who I am and who I am becoming?

Where can you carve out a bit of space in your schedule to pause and think more critically and reflectively about your day, week, or life?

What was your main take-away from this chapter?

Each week I post my reflections from one chapter of The Answer to How is Yes by Peter Block. My reflections are my own and are intended to generate conversation, catalyze additional thinking and encourage mutual learning.
If you are just joining the discussion now, welcome! Catch up on the entire series here.


Here's My Thought...


7 + = sixteen