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How serious should you be about your work?

How serious should you be about your work?

I came across this concept reading a book by Osho. In short he stated that seriousness can be considered to be a disease in western culture. It makes people hard and tense and not able to flow and adapt to changing situations and seek the best outcomes.

Instead, he suggested to try replacing seriousness with sincerity. Even just thinking about this, immediately relaxes me and lets me approach things with a differently quality. Although I am still focussing on doing my best, it is now something I do from the heart. On top of this, I feel more flexible to change or adapt my opinion.

The cultures I have primarily lived in (The Netherlands and Germany) are both on the more serious side of the spectrum. Reinforced by seeing a society with a frown on their brow during work, it is easy to fall into the ego trap of thinking seriousness is a virtue. Honestly, it's a challenge to keep this principle in mind some days.

Man seriously peering into a laptop

In my experience, the beauty in letting go of a serious attitude towards life, is that what once seemed hard and mentally driven, can now appear more open and felt from the heart. When we approach things with sincerity, we allow ourselves to be touched by what we are experiencing and as a result, can be more natural and emphatic in our interactions. (For more on the importance on empathy in business see this post.)

"I am sincere, but not serious, and sincerity is a totally different quality. Seriousness is the disease of the ego, and sincerity is a quality of the heart." - Osho

Title Photo by Hannah Tasker on Unsplash
"Serious man" Photo by bruce mars on Unsplash

Erik Heirman

Erik Heirman

I believe technology should be at the service of society. I trust in agile methodology & principles, client centric innovation and design thinking.

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