A lesson on reality from a call girl

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One of the many things people can do to sustain a high-performing work life, is to care about what they do. This shifts the energy we usually reserve for our life and moves it to the workplace. It makes a significant difference in an individual’s ability to genuinely connect with other people and drive success across teams and projects. Making work personal is one of the simplest gas pedals people have to get things done, yet the highs it brings are matched equally by the lows.


A reclining Belle from Secret Diary of a call girl

The key to fantasy is knowing that you’re in one. So when you start thinking it’s real, things become complicated. Fantasy and reality and never-the-tween shall meet.

-Belle, Season 3, Episode 2, Secret Diary of a Call Girl

 

People tend not to manage their reality at work as a relationship, especially if they care. Consider the intimate relationships you have had and think of the ways you protected yourself during the moments of turmoil.  Sometimes the protection is creating physical space – breaking up, separation and divorce. Other times it is far more subtle, a reminder that the person you love is upset about something and just needs compassion and support, not for you to feel angry and attacked. Are you managing your romance with work or are you pretending that it is different? How we react to changes in our reality is how we manage our relationships with it. In the workplace this is what distinguishes the best leaders.

Melt down with as few people as possible. Try to pick people you have a close and safe relationship with. If you don’t have any like that, then do it on your own, but do it nonetheless. If you care about your work, the melt down is unavoidable – it is literally the relationship having been malnourished. In business, the chances that it is getting fed all the time are unlikely. The key is to manage it separately from the prevailing brand you present as a professional. People have enough challenges dealing with their own reality, so when yours bleeds into theirs there is a level of dissonance that if not received with care tends to irritate. Regardless, taking the time to heal the complications of treating work like life is vital to keeping your mojo flowing.

Caring about what you do is powerful. It parts the tribe in two and those that care have the upper hand. It comes with additional responsibility to yourself, which is to manage your work (fantasy) as you would you life (reality). People tend to blend them and engage in the resulting complication. When you find yourself unable to distinguish, remind yourself that these two are really never meant to meet. That you introduced them to each other was a gift to you and others. If you see others going through challenging times where the emotional component is as high as business at hand, then receive it with care – it builds meaningful relationships between people that transcend the workplace. Some would say this makes for a messy world view, but I would argue it was messy when we started caring.

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