This afternoon, Holdcom is holding its bi-weekly blog and content development meeting. The themes of our meetings usually revolve around special moments of the month: for example, in January we converted our upstairs office into a tea-lounge to reflect a calming atmosphere – one that contrasted with a stressful month that consisted of rush jobs, snowstorms, and unpredictable obstacles.
This month, we are sharing stories of passion in our lives, since, as we all know, Valentine’s Day is just around the corner. Whether it is a talent, experience, or favorite food, we want to find inspiration in those moments that push us out of bed in the morning.
What better way to find joie de vivre than in childhood memories?
Over the past few days, everyone from the office has dug through their photo albums to find baby pictures. I compiled the pictures into a power point slide presentation, but left out the names – a guessing game, in a sense.
While I was making this presentation, I thought of experiences that influenced me as a child, and I recalled one story by Hans Christian Anderson that changed my worldview. The story is called The Snow Queen; it is a parable on the nature of “good and evil” – or at least, on the surface. Skimming the story for today’s entry, I found lots of disturbing themes – nihilism, abandonment, and deception – as well as mature concepts such as selfless devotion, sacrifice, and sympathy.
The portion of the story that stuck with me most, and I can relate back to the office, is the introduction – a malevolent sprite constructs a magic mirror that deforms every object it reflects. He gathers a band of sprites and they fly around the world, displaying the mirror, where “the most beautiful landscapes looked like boiled spinach, and the best persons were turned into frights…whenever a good thought passed through a man’s mind, the mirror would grin.”
The sprites decide to play a joke on the heavens, so they fly upwards with the mirror – but it laughs so violently that the mirror shatters. Thousands of broken pieces scatter throughout the world, where they fall into people’s eyes and hearts – these people are cursed to pick out every flaw, see every defect, and be unaware of “good.”
Everyone has a tendency in a workplace environment to be hypercritical; we are so concerned with success that we only notice the “crooked” and “cankered” in ideas. Even if a meeting doesn’t go as planned or a project is completed on time, we can still gain insights from the experience.
In the story, a piece of the glass falls into the eye and heart of a child – soon his heart becomes “a lump of ice.” Hyper-critical thoughts become paralyzing to creativity, for they reinforce inhibitions and prevent open discussion. Are you more likely to share your ideas when those around you will only shoot you down? Obviously not. Embracing the beauty in conversation – listening to one another – can help yourself, and others, discover passion.