Friday, December 13, 2013

Get Meta on Life

by Nick Charney RSS / cpsrenewalFacebook / cpsrenewalLinkedIn / Nick Charneytwitter / nickcharneygovloop / nickcharneyGoogle+ / nickcharney

The elegant beauty of Kent's most recent reflection (see: Get Meta on Engagement) is that, well beyond the realm of stakeholders, its logic is applicable to the realm of self.

Life  I am learning  is about far more than being available. It's about contextualizing that availability within a larger narrative. It's about taking the time to thoughtfully examine why you think a certain way and ultimately how that informs your decision making.

Exposing oneself to new experiences is then critical. If your experience is singular then your context is narrow. We often forget this and accept our own experience as an experience shared by others, forgetting that divergence, innovation, and personal growth all happen on the boundaries of our experiences, not at their core.

The Stanley Parable (video game)
Perhaps this is top of mind having just returned from the Yukon, working, living and socializing under very different circumstances than those I am accustomed to. I met dozens of people, all with unique histories, deeply committed to their work and marked by a heartfelt hope for the future. I've had the privilege of meeting thousands of civil servants from all over North America and I can say with complete and utter confidence that I have never met a more collegial team than the one I spent two days with in the North*.

When someone questioned why I would voluntarily go to the North in December (on Facebook) the answer was simple: any opportunity for a policy person like me to step outside the Ottawa bubble and work directly with stakeholders is an absolute no-brainer.

And, again, it's a no brainer for precisely the same reasons Kent articulated in his piece this week. A periodic testing of assumptions — in work or in life  is useful. Seek them out, don't shy away from them.

In other words, get meta on life.

*As an aside, the North is an incredibly important part of our Canadian identity and I would encourage you to visit it at least once in your lifetime. I honestly think it will make you a better Canadian. Possibly even a better person.

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