In today’s society, productivity and growth are revered and looked at as the highest
And much of the reverence for productivity and growth are for good reason: they often lead to getting more done, creating more, faster innovation, earning more and supporting more people’s important needs.
I, myself, have been dedicated to productivity and growth for a long time now.
All this being said, when productivity and growth become the only holy grail, the only thing that folks and companies aspire to, a goal to constantly be obsessed with…this is where things can go very wrong.
Undiscerning commitment to productivity and growth often result in:
- Loss of Joy
- Constant Dissatisfaction (because there is always more to do and to achieve)
- Manipulative versions of Capitalism (an out of control need to sell, sell, and sell more)
- Lack of appreciation for what has been created and achieved
- Power-over structures in society & business
- Taking advantage of employees
- Overusing the earth’s resources
Not to mention, it can also result in unsustainable growth – we are seeing this play out catastrophically in the tech industries and we’ve seen it happen over the years when housing market bubbles pop. I’ve also seen this happen time and time again in the coaching industry, when a business seems to grow exponentially overnight, and then it quickly crashes and burns because it didn’t have the foundation, the systems, the quality products, the maturity to sustain it.
When creating more – and creating more quick! – is always our only goal, we miss out.
We miss out on the pleasure of having time to rest and renew. We miss out on the delicious experience of sometimes taking it slow and steady. We miss out on creating sustainability for ourselves. We miss out on creating a more quality and meaningful product. We miss out on deepening real relationships. We miss out on finding solutions that include sustainability for the environment.
It is important in our own businesses (or on our own teams or even family structures) to question cultural beliefs that tell us “More is always better”, “Needing more space means there’s something wrong with you”, “Success & happiness can only look like achieving ‘the most’”, “The bottom line is the most important thing”.
⇒We need to accurately determine what is actually enough and what is actually too much when it comes to productivity, to creating more, and even to abundance and income.
⇒We need to be willing to be outliers with the status quo.
⇒We need to define our own terms of success and happiness and self-value.
⇒And we need, maybe above all else, to honor our bodies – all bodies – and the earth.
There are times for productivity, and there are times for rest.
There are times for more and there are times for less.
There are times to plow the land and there are times to let the land regenerate.
This is so vitally important not just for ourselves, but for us to support our clients with as well.
When a client says they want to create a 7-figure business, don’t just take that as “the right thing” for that client – ask good questions so that the client can see if this is actually aligned for them or if this is someone else’s dream.
When a client says they want to expand their work, don’t automatically assume that they have done the self-inquiry to see if it’s actually the right moment for expansion.
When a client is beating themselves up for not doing enough, even if it is during a period of time when they are not getting things done, look together at what “enough” for that moment and their well-being really means.
One of the key factors of my immense business and professional success – and my & my family’s wellbeing – has been to know what season any project I’m working on is in at any given moment. To put effort in when it’s time to put effort in. To retract when it’s time to retract.
I believe it is an act of resistance, and a way of working to change the world for the better, by taking action according to this wisdom.