At home, I was a jeans and t-shirt gal. I’d respond to jokes with a dirty-trucker laugh, and speak my opinion with the enthusiasm of a child’s first discovery of matches. I ’d be spontaneous, creative, loving and honest.
But at work, something had changed. I had become a white-washed, Wonder Bread version of my true self. I was toned-down, bland and artificial, like a corporate drone. But why? My more creative spontaneous, and driven qualities are what landed me the job in the first place.
I don’t know exactly, but I have some ideas. For many people who land big corporate jobs, they quickly get cozy with steady hours and shiny benefits. They start to develop a false sense of security. Over time, work becomes more about maintaining that security than creating something great. They learn to minimize anything that could threaten their position (like personality or creative ideas) and stop contributing at their full potential.
Eventually I decided that the incongruency between my home life and work life was not okay and that contributing anything less than my best just wasn’t enough. I began asking myself some difficult questions like: what would happen if I started being %100 honest all the time, even at work?
Through my questioning I learned that what most people are afraid of–scarcity and uncertainty–are actually some of your greatest assets. Because they lead to innovation.
So, I started taking some risks, and those risks turned into entire projects:
The Truth Experiment (%100 honesty)
The first major risk I took was committing not to tell a lie (not even a “white” lie) for a whole year. It has been uncomfortable, awkward, thrilling and fulfilling, all at the same time.
Beautiful Uncertainty (documentary)
All the honesty from the Truth Experiment uncovered a buried desire I didn’t know I had. The desire to sell most of my belongings, buy a van and travel the west coast to do a web-based documentary on authenticity, self-awareness and living a life in line with one’s deepest values.
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