Meaningful work: reality check.

A follow-up to yesterday's video, in which I framed our historical moment as a call to meaningful work. Are you really ready to do this? Start with these 2 mindset challenges.

Watch the video or read the transcript below:

Video Transcript

Hi friends, it's Jenny Phillips at

I am with you today as a follow-up to yesterday's video post, where I talked about the urgency of meaningful work and how looking hard at the way we're spending our days is going to be important work and an important commitment for us to make in the time ahead, as we try to create a society, a world, and communities that reflect our values more fully. So, I wanted to start with a follow-up - and this one will be brief compared to yesterday's video - to talk a little about the mindset that is needed to go into this type of work on our careers.


And, specifically I want to focus you on the longevity that will be required for your commitment if you really want to think about how to begin to shift - and continue to shift - the work that you're doing so that it better supports the type of communities that we want to build, and that we want to live in, and that we believe everyone deserves.

So, the ask today - very directly - is that you get real with yourself about how committed you really are to this - because, if you are only grasping for answers after being confronted by another tragedy, then your commitment is going to ring hollow pretty quickly. And, if you want it to be substantive and you want it not to be a superficial response, then you need to be willing, one, to come back again and again and do this work - inner work, the work of changing your role, the work of changing your path, whatever is required. You're going to have to commit to coming back again and again and again to doing this work.


So, assuming that you are still watching and you are willing to do that, the other important mindset piece that I want you to start thinking about and considering, sooner than later, is that you are going to have to allow yourself to be uncomfortable from time to time as you go through this process, as you make whatever shift that you personally need to make. So, you're going to have to have difficult conversations, yes, and that's something that those of us who are engaged right now in an activist sense are very aware of and have maybe been in the process of making peace with for a long time now.

But, in addition to the uncomfortable conversations that you're going to have to have with other folks, you're going to have to have some uncomfortable moments with yourself. Because, you are going to have to get real with yourself about where you are and where you want to be - and how aligned your current situation is with your values. And, recognizing points of tension between your values and your life is a stressful thing. There is really no way to avoid that. There is no way to get past it and to better align our lives with our values if we don't lean into that discomfort and we don't engage in a willing process of self-critique. This does not mean beating ourselves up, it does not mean expecting everything to change at once, it does not mean taking unreasonable, unsafe, or irresponsible risks. But it does mean opening yourself to a willingness to understand the risk that is necessary to make the change that you want.


So, two points on mindset today: one has to do with longevity, willingness to show up again and again and again and keep pushing on this, regardless of what in the news is making it urgent today. Second is a willingness to be uncomfortable and to examine the tensions that exist between our lives and our values. And I will tell you that we are all going to find them, because no one is perfect. Again, we're not going for perfect.

But we are needing to...we're needing to push ourselves harder, folks. I don't see any way into what we want to do without working harder and without being willing to do things that we don't want to do. So...mindset. We'll start there. I'm going to keep going with this.

I'm going to be coming back to you as long as I get the sense that folks are listening and finding this helpful. I will continue to talk about mindset, but also really start to talk concretely about some different possibilities for how you might move this forward. I have lots of ideas, I have lots I want to say, but I also want to be respectful of your time as you make space for this new commitment in your life.

So, welcome to the work of doing good work! I'm excited to work on it myself. As you know, I have improvements to make too over here. I'll see you next time. Have a great day.