Bob Dylan once said, “People seldom do what they believe in. They do what is convenient, then repent.” Last night, I attended my first Pecha Kucha night, and I was surrounded by people who are doing things that they believe in. It was where I needed to be.
Pecha Kucha nights originated in Japan, through an architectural firm who wanted to highlight the work of the firm’s architects and their friends. They knew that when they gave a microphone and a clicker to a creative, they would invariably speak for longer than necesssary. So they created a new format of presenting to remedy that issue. In Pecha Kucha, presenters create 20 slides, each of which automatically advance after 20 seconds, making for a brief, and exciting evening.
At last night’s event, we heard from a doctor who regularly travels overseas to correct limb deformities, an artist/chef/business professor who creates amazing works of art, a Clinical Psychologist who is passionate about seeing people live fulfilling lives, a Methodist minister who shared his family’s story of following a prompting to adopt a child, and a young lady who used her obsession with cats to launch a popular website on the feline persuasion. There were 10 presenters in all.
What stuck out to me the most was something that the event’s host shared towards the end of the night. He revisited the variety and diversity amongst the 10 presenters, and encouraged us to invest ourselves in whatever it was that made us more alive. Here I was, a captive audience to 10 brave souls who offered their free time to share their work with a crowd of strangers, after hours, on a work night.
I love my job, and am extremely passionate about the students that I work with. Even still, I’ve found myself in somewhat of a slump lately, feeling as though I’m invested in one aspect of my job (meeting with students), but not in other areas. At least, until last night.
Seeing the passion of the presenters made me stop and reflect on the true core of the work that I do, which led me to develop a new and exciting project today. Sure it’s more work, but it’s something that I believe in. I’m back in the game.
We all have rough days, go through periods of ambivalence towards what we do, and could ultimately use a renewed vigor at some point. If you’re there right now, I’d encourage you to identify and think about the core purpose of what it is your work should accomplish.
Forget about your job description, your daily tasks, and even any pending projects right now. What’s the essence of your work? Now, how can you transform your daily tasks and update your current projects to truly reflect that core purpose of your position?
Are you willing to make an inconvenient change in order to do more work that you believe in?