As I’ve alluded to in the past, I’ve started a new job recently, one that looks at wellness issues in corporate environments. In working with people on making sustainable lifestyle changes regarding their physical health (I’m not allowed to touch the emotional aspect, unfortunately, which has partially highlighted for me just how much I am drawn to this side … but as my friend Annie pointed out, the physical can be a manifestation of the emotional), I’ve started to think a lot more about wellness issues, and what it is, exactly, about wellness that attracts me so much.
And though I’ve known for over a year that I am heavily into wellness, recently I realized that though this phrase may describe most of my seemingly-disparate interests, as my friend Lisa pointed out I am all about connections and living an integrated life, what underlies that is an interest in motivation. Motivation, inspiration, empowerment, driving force … the idea comes in many flavors, but it is fundamental to so much of the work that we do.
In my current job, the question is one of finding ways to make lifestyle changes palatable. In my previous job, how to get teenagers to "buy in" to a system, how to empower them with life skills to handle life's challenges or to help them with decision-making or to help them develop their own social support network. When I watch movies, read books, follow the elections, I am always curious about the inspiration behind a piece of art, or what motivates a candidate, or motivates an author to put to paper his thoughts, to draw out a character into the flesh.
It is a very individual-centric approach, I'll give you that, and thus, potentially limited in the scope of its impact. But at the same time, there's no point in manhandling a horse towards a drinking hole if it doesn't believe it is thirsty. "Motivation" seems to get at the same thing that "root causes" in public health drive at ... and its funny but the arts, psychology, public health, politics ... they all can have a common denominator after all, or at least in my view of how the world spins and toils away.
So now my hope is to somehow pursue this line of thinking in a career. It is what draws me in each and every job, in each and every interpersonal interaction, and in how I view art, life ... wellness, even ...
We'll see. We shall see.