Here is my question.
Why is your job as a teacher, a salesman, a store clerk, a dad, or a wife any different?
Millions of people wake up every day to live their lives and do their jobs with absolutely no heart. You know how I know this? Because it catches me off guard when the guy at the barista goes out of his way to make an actual human connection with me. It catches all of us off guard. It’s kind of strange when he asks us how our day has been. It’s weird that he’s memorized our order.
Here’s the problem.
Bringing our bodies to work and leaving our humanity at home does no one any good. If you do your job like a machine, simply doing what you have to do, then chances are a machine will soon replace you. Look no further than assembly lines for proof. If factory workers can be replaced, then so can the mindless, uninspired, script reading sales representative. So can you.
Here’s the solution.
Take your heart out of the box. A machine cannot ask questions. A machine cannot challenge convention. A machine cannot create something new. What separates us from a machine is our humanity. Bringing your heart out into the world is a scary thing. It requires vulnerability, which opens you up to the possibility of failure and rejection. Not everyone in line is as thankful for the personable barista guy as I am. His humanity makes some people very annoyed. That’s bound to happen. Some people will be annoyed. It’s probably because they’re threatened. This is no reason to put your heart back in the box. Our ability to feel, to question, to dream, these things are not weaknesses in the workplace. They are actually powerful and essential tools for creating something new and valuable.
When you leave for work, or school, or wherever you’re going today, do yourself and your community a favor: take your heart out of the box and bring it with you.
Follow jon on Twitter @jonjorgenson