Reconnect With Your Nature

I cannot say I am a big fan of tedious tasks. This being said, the idea of going through numerous self-reflective assignments aligned with my own professional identity sounds quite torturous. And after completing the “Flower Exercise,” located in Richard N. Bolles What Color Is Your Parachute? I cannot deny the torturous nature of completing each of these petals and their tedious steps and sub-steps which at times felt like a waste of paper. This exercise is not created for those who are easily bored, I advise you to complete this on your own time, maybe over the course of a few weeks. Complete this when you are super bored, or super curious. Stroll through these activities when you are in an absolute need of a path towards your career. Still, I do have to confess I love to learn about myself and the way my subconsciousness plays into my conscious decisions. And though it took some time to finish each step provided, I did learn quite a bit about myself through these flower petals, even if it was simply through the confirmation of certain facts. 

The first task of this flower dealt with the subject of people. This topic was asked in a bit of a roundabout way, which I believe is the productive manner for one to go about such a broad topic. First, I was asked to consider the type of people I gravitate towards in a hypothetical room. This felt simple, like a teen magazine questionnaire or a Buzzfeed quiz. After a couple of steps, I was then asked to brainstorm some personality traits that I do not appreciate in the workplace. This felt like a breeze, considering the fact that venting about experiences with bad coworkers is second nature to me. I listed out the first couple of toxic traits I had personally experienced, but soon they stopped coming naturally to me and I began to unconsciously add synonyms to the list. It turns out I absolutely despise distracting people with attitudes, and this became even more obvious when it came down to ranking my dislikes. Once this was completed, the final twist of the activity became obvious. It was time for us to spin these negative traits into constructive workplace suggestions. This meant that the unhelpful word “distracting” would evolve into a “productive work environment.” I found this final step to be what made this exercise useful. This last positive spin is something I hope to utilize throughout my personal and professional life. 

Now, taking a bit of a leap forward, let’s discuss petal seven. This particular petal revolves around a person’s purpose in life. As Bolles put it, the goal of this petal is, “To know the moral compass or spiritual values by which you want to guide your life, or the overall goals that inspire you.” This petal encompasses more than just characteristics you might prefer in an office space, but this provides a well rounded view of the life changing decision making process the reader finds themselves in. This section is included in order for the reader to think about their own personal goals and outcomes they want for their lives, not just their careers. The author acknowledges the sprawling nature of this petal. He throws the rigid tables and charts aside, instead encouraging the reader to write a personal reflection highlighting what they want to add to the world. Completing this task felt like an appropriate close to this Flower Exercise. It reminded me of the true purpose of my career, and the bigger picture I am a part of. 

One Response to Reconnect With Your Nature

  1. Prof VZ April 6, 2023 at 1:04 pm #

    I’d love to learn more about where you ended up on #7–the deeper values that might informs your life and work alike. I appreciate the balance of critique (inevitable) and grudging appreciation for some of the exercises here, as well as your advice for how someone might approach it in those especially bored or curious moods!

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