Wednesday, March 21, 2018

094. Unto Others

One of the best aspects of my professional career is the opportunity to work with others collaboratively on various projects. I enjoy working on a diversity of projects with a diversity of people because I am enriched by the process. There is always something to learn from every interaction or from the way someone else does, thinks, or says about something. Good things can be gained from even the most boring of situations if you're on the lookout. 

This doesn’t mean it’s always easy to work with others. It can be extremely challenging and frustrating to collaborate with other people or work on a group project. Every person is different, with different backgrounds, experiences, viewpoints, knowledge, levels of motivation, etc. My work would probably be a lot simpler and more effective if I just went off alone and did my own thing by myself. I’ve done that and have found that my life is much less interesting and boring without others being involved; and I think in the long run, my creative potential is less fulfilled without the input of others. 

More to the point, I think my own work is much, much better as I’ve listened to and incorporated the influences of others. I’ve noticed that when I pay special attention to those who are also willing to listen to others, I often gain the most from them as they have spent considerable time gleaning the “best of” from those around them in terms of whatever it is they do. Of course, you need to sift through whatever someone is sharing or preaching, and determine if it’s worth keeping. But even going through that process has helped me become better in my work and more informed. I’ve tried some things others have shared with me that sounded like great ideas, but turned out to be disasters. I’ve learned from these experiences too. I’m grateful for those who have made sacrifices to share the work that they have done with others, and to share their perspectives, instead of just keeping it to themselves and ignoring the rest of the world. I am better for it.

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