Riding the Dragon: 25 Work Values

This is part of my work in the Julia Cameron Artist’s Way series. The work this time is from the book the Artist’s Way at Work: Riding the Dragon. The responses are self-examinations and assessments based on work through a daily series of exercises. While I do keep some material offline as it can be very personal and jarring, I often opt to be fairly open about my experiences, both positive and negative.

I’m going to get really heretical here and say…
Como Park and Conservatory - February 05, 2010

  1. Fun. I must enjoy what I’m doing.
  2. Authenticity. What I write and create must come from something that feels real, even if the reality lives in the abstract.
  3. Getting up early. Rising early seems to get my best work from me, if not my best socializing.
  4. Being well rested. More important that I’m well rested than that I’m on time.
  5. Stop for breakfast. Other meals I can skip. Not breakfast, especially not when I’m writing.
  6. Minimize. I do my best work when focused on a minimum number of projects. Being everywhere slows me down.
  7. Ballet style house slippers are a must.
  8. Have a candle lit while I work.
  9. Clutter can be tolerated, but only for a short time. Routine declutterings – sometimes every other month – do a world of good for internal and external creativity.
  10. Productivity is only productive if it encourages creativity.
  11. It’s OK to run out of stuff to do. I have declared myself a results-oriented employer.
  12. This is taking practice and courage: it’s OK to say I don’t like something, and it’s still OK even if I get backlash or pushback over it.
  13. I am in this for the long haul.
  14. History is valuable, even backtracking over “old news.”
  15. Originality is not nearly as important as it’s made out to be.  This does not condone plagiarism, it simply removes the onus of “this must be BRAND NEW!” when brainstorming ideas.
  16. It’s important to try new things as much as possible.
  17. If I feel sad or conflicted about a person, it’s because there is something wrong with that relationship, whether it’s in the business or personal realm. It is my job to look after the best interests of myself and those who partner me; it is not my job to fix problems where people are playing by silent rules. If they are using silence, they are already dealing dishonestly.
  18. There are differences of opinion that are important to pursue or resolve; there are also differences of opinion that can just hang out, being different.
  19. Pick your battles. Most of the time, the right answer is “don’t pick a battle,” but there will be times where it’s wise to pick the small battle now or fight for your life later.
  20. Anyone threatened by my outspokenness is trouble.
  21. Reading and playing recharges the mental batteries.
  22. I really do work best alone.
  23. Be generous; share information and resources whenever possible. Paybacks are not always direct, but sometimes the time saved in explaining things is payment enough.
  24. Do things and use things for effectiveness and satisfaction, rather than for status.
  25. The only person to compete with is myself.

1 thought on “Riding the Dragon: 25 Work Values”

  1. 10. Productivity is only productive if it encourages creativity.

    YES, this. My employers are obsessed with squeezing every ounce of “productivity” in every second, and I believe it actually decreases the quality of my work and others’ work. This is exactly the kind of affirmation I needed to hear today. Thank you for saying it!

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