DO NOT PUSH

My boss has been talking about selling her business, so I’m in the process of determining my next career move. I do not have a clear sense of direction and am fearful that I will not find something in time. I’ve been doing what I call excavation work–internal digging to determine what my insides are telling me to do–but I don’t feel like I’m uncovering any answers. Everything is muddy and uncertain. I’ve grown impatient and have been pushing myself to figure things out NOW.

One day when this feeling was quite intense, I was sitting at a red light and a big truck with the words Pluto Excavation Service pulled up alongside of me. The word “excavation” caught my attention and I became curious. When the light changed, the truck pulled ahead and on the back in big orange and blue letters were the words

DO NOT PUSH

I laughed out loud. Okay, I get it. My impatience and desperation are causing me to push for answers. These words were a message to relax; a lesson to trust the process and allow things to unfold.

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With Purpose

When I took my first interior design job out of college, AutoCad was in its infancy. The company I worked for did not yet have it, so we drafted everything with pencil on vellum. I loved the process of putting pencil to paper. It felt really good to me.

Christian Baueracker was the master draftsman in the department. He was from Austria and sounded just like Arnold Schwarzenegger. He was an amazing draftsman and his drawings were beautiful works of art. I asked him one time for advice on how to improve my drafting.  What was his secret? He came over to look at what I was drawing and said


You need to draft with purpose.

He wrote on a slip of vellum “W/ PURPOSE” in his great lettering style and taped it to my shelf as a reminder. I immediately saw what he meant and how his work was so different. His lines were purposeful and had a well defined beginning and ending. He was confident about his work and each line carried its own weight and with that its own meaning. Some bolder, some lighter. My work by comparison looked tentative, with each line about the same as any other.  I was doing the work, but without much thought or purpose.

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