Here at Swell+Good, Adam Grant has a hall pass. We’ll read everything he writes, and his tweets-turned-instagram-posts regularly make the rounds in our DMs and team updates. (Who are your “hall pass” writers/thinkers/voices? Send us a note and let us know—we’d love to follow them!)
Last week, he posted this simple (and gut-punching) message.
Oof. That hits hard.
Generally, we like to think that we’re pretty good at this. We spend lots of time thinking beyond the what of our work, and diving deep into the how. What are our processes? What are our metrics? What is working (and what isn’t)?
Our end goals are simple: do great work for our clients, be efficient, and help awesome organizations thrive.
But lately, we’ve added another priority to our list—and it’s caused us to rethink all of our habits yet again. We still want to do great work (this will never change). And we absolutely want our clients to thrive (duh—we love you guys!).
But we also want to make sure we are healthy and happy in our work.
We started Swell+Good because we felt called to build something that was our own—something that reflected our values and let us shake things up a little bit. But even the independent, entrepreneurial path is littered with land mines of tradition, expectation, and “this is the way things are.”
There are countless voices telling us the way things “should” be done—and all too often, those “shoulds” sound like (or lead to) overwork, stress, chaos, a lack of creativity, and burnout.
We’re over it.
We want to stay true to our own goals—which means questioning all of our routines, even when it’s uncomfortable. What happens if we cancel that meeting (PSA: cancel the meeting!) or simplify that deliverable? What happens if we don’t use the tool that everyone swears by? What happens if we just say no to a project? Or say yes to one that feels exciting and life-giving but absolutely wild?
What is possible if we ask the questions? Choose our own path? Look at things differently? Can we still achieve our goals?
You get to build your life—and you get to build your career. If something isn’t working for you, change it. If your habits are bad for your mental health, scrap them. Build routines that get you to the future you want—even if that means charting your own course. The status quo is overrated, anyway.