Shallow (Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga)

As I continue on a self-discovery mission, I have taken a moment to think about how much braver I have been recently in terms of reaching out to discover new networks in the human space; speaking out about things that trouble me, and also the recent work I have committed to- particularly the last year- in order to help organisations thrive through compassion for their people.

I can’t stop people who want to fake authenticity, that is beyond my control but I genuinely do want to achieve some greater good.

Sometimes though I can get really wrapped up in what I am doing, that I forget the importance of looking inside to keep a check on what I am doing it for.   This week I bid for some work and I thought to myself: how do I ensure that every piece of work I undertake aligns with my purpose?  It was a question that has haunted me since someone in my network expressed frustration at how many people had disingenuously cashed in on the wellbeing agenda. My colleague felt that— rather than really seeing the vulnerability of those affected- she saw how some organisations had just seen it as an opportunity to exploit the space – especially when she knew that these workplaces did not practice what they preached. That made me sad. I reflected and there and then committed that I never want to put myself at risk of that loss of integrity. In the bid I was writing – and every bid that will follow- I promised myself to include a line that includes my aims and that I would not engage in work that does not meet my ethical principles. I can’t stop people who want to fake authenticity, that is beyond my control but I genuinely do want to achieve some greater good. I would not work in public service otherwise.

At this point I was reminded of the film ‘ A star is born’ when Bradley Cooper sings to Lady Gaga:

Tell me somethin’, girl
Are you happy in this modern world?
Or do you need more?
Is there somethin’ else you’re searchin’ for?

—Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga ‘Shallow’

Since having my son who is now 4, I have been thinking so much about how I can protect him from the world he’ll grow up in and the issues like the one above.  I know that I can’t all I can do is tell him to be really clear about his purpose and not deviate from it whatever that is. I know I worked very hard in my earlier years working on things that in the grand scheme of things weren’t important and provided me with no satisfaction. I was trying to replace the things that were missing in my life (and sometimes missed living it) to often fulfil other egos. Without purpose, it was just drifting.  I hope if that happens to my son i’d have the wisdom of Lady Gaga to say:

Tell me something, boy
Aren’t you tired tryna fill that void?
Or do you need more?
Ain’t it hard keepin’ it so hardcore

—Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga ‘Shallow’

So I may not have done it in my earlier years but now when it comes to my purpose – it is all or nothing:

I’m off the deep end, watch as I dive in
I’ll never meet the ground
Crash through the surface where they can’t hurt us
We’re far from the shallow now

In the sha-ha, sha-hallow
In the sha-ha, sha-la-la-la-low
In the sha-ha, sha-hallow
We’re far from the shallow now

—Bradley Cooper and Lady Gaga ‘Shallow’

Michelle Harte
Michelle Hartehttps://hresque.co.uk/
Michelle Harte is the Founder of HREsQue, an organisation committed to bringing the best out of people at work. She is both MBA and FCIPD qualified and has over 20 years experience in both HR and OD. Along with undertaking largely culture change assignments Michelle regularly blogs and interviews thought leaders from across the leadership space as a committed networker to help build and share ideas in the collaborative space.