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Have you heard the “push the rock” story?
Apparently, there are multiple stories with this title. One came to mind recently and it propelled me forward in my work. The other, a Greek myth that I just stumbled across, is just as compelling to me.
Both stories hold lessons about the importance of just taking the next step.
Of course, I can’t help myself and I talk about a few other stories that have helped me keep pressing forward on the journey to find and offer up my best work.
Episode 101 Show Notes
- Push the Rock – Greek Myth – Sisyphus – https://www.pazikperformancegroup.com/highperformancepaper/pushtherock
- Push the Rock – Christian Story – http://everforwardinchrist.com/pushing-the-rock/
Episode 101 Transcript
This is Rebecca Clark Episode 101. The work of pushing the Rock. This podcast is for anyone that knows they haven’t yet found and offered up their best work but are compelled to seek it out and do it. Mhm. Are you ready to move your desk? Mhm. Mm hmm. Sometimes offering up your best work. It’s hard, and it’s hard because you may not have figured out what your best work is. And that’s something that I continue to work on wondering what is the work I’m really supposed to offer the world. I’m consulting. I’m coaching, I’m advising. I’m experimenting with different things, but what really is the best I’m supposed to offer? And then I talked to employees and different organizations that really want to do one thing. But because of their job, they have to do another thing. And then, because of the desires of certain leaders, they have to even work on other stuff and mixed all into this is all of the I should be doing this. I could be doing this. I wish I was doing this like it’s all these different combinations of thoughts and desires that we bring to our work, and what I see often with high performing employees is a lot of should like. I should be looking into this new and innovative approach because that’s what’s popular. It doesn’t matter if I’m interested in it. In order to be marketable, I need to be doing it. I need to be researching it and learning about it, and they’ll go off and try to learn that, because that’s the thing that they’re supposed to learn or it’s supposed to be good at, and these should kind of come up and deep down it may not be something they’re ever going to be good at or really interested in. But they feel like they should be, because that’s what where their boss will like. That’s what will get them to raise, or that’s what we’ll supposedly make them more marketable in the marketplace. So this brings up a lot of interesting drama in the mind and body, right, because in the process of it, if you’re a great worker, you can start working more and start dismissing those inner desires that you really have, and you may think you’re offering up really great work, but it may not be your best work because you are defaulting, perhaps to what someone else thinks you should do or it’s required on the job and not fully pursuing the breadth and depth of what you could offer. And what’s really interesting is to see how many of us perceive the marketplace, whether it’s as an employee or an entrepreneur, and what we perceive is how we are supposed to show up and what we’re supposed to be doing. I’ve talked about this a few times with a few people in the last few weeks and say, Hey, I want to be an entrepreneur But I have these four or five interests and they say that I should just show up with one part of me you know, saying, Oh, I only work with these kind of people or I only offer this kind of product But I really I am a multidimensional or multifaceted or eclectic mix of different interests, and I wish I could bring all of my whole self to this work that I’m doing, and I started to say, Why not? Right? Why not bring your full self? Because if you bring everything you love to something you’re going to show up better for it. You’re going to offer more value because people are going to see that there’s depth and value that you bring. And you’re not afraid to say, Hey, I love flowers But I also love words and I also love this health stuff. Oh, but I’m also great at project planning, like what is wrong with bringing all that to the equation? Probably nothing, but because a couple guru said, You need to do it this way or someone said, The only way you’re successful is to do it this way. We tend to think we have to do these things, and yet every time we hear someone say, you need to have this to get a good job, you can also show someone else that didn’t have that right. The simplest explanation is go to college and get a degree because that’s going to make you more marketable. Look at all of the data. Well, the data may show that in some respects, but it was also not showing as all the people that have been successful without a college degree or without a master’s degree right. There’s always people that have figured out a different way to learn, and it may not seem legitimate quote unquote to some people. But if you look up legitimate, you find out, Oh, that’s following certain rules. But there are other rules and possibilities out there that might seem illegitimate, that are a way to success for other people and in whatever way success means. Because success is a very broad term, it means different things to different people. So in the process of talking to a lot of people about this going through my own feelings and thoughts about what I should be doing, what I actually want to do, what people are telling me, I’d be good at what I am not interested in pursuing all of those things. I’ve realized that at the end of the day, it may take a while to figure it out, but you’re not going to figure it out academically, just sitting there and one sitting and then go out into the world and do it. You’re going to figure it out, taking a step just one step at a time, moving forward and in those steps there becomes a journey where you make mistakes. You learn you grow, you have a ha’s. You have these great spiritual moments, these inspirational moments. You meet new people that need help. You help them, and you discover along this path who you are and what you want to do and how you offer up your best work. A story came to mind that I’d heard in my long ago passed that very much inspired me to keep taking this step. And it’s actually a Christian story because it’s it’s having this guy who’s talking to the Lord, right? So he’s saying he’s gonna do whatever the Lord wants and the Lord says, Okay, well, then push this rock. And so this guy toils and pushes this rock. He has all these bruises, his bodies torn and worn. And he’s just like, this is nuts, right? Like I’m pushing this rock and nothing is happening, except I’m getting worn out and not making any progress like what was the purpose of this anyway? So he finally goes and asks, and the answer he gets is very compassionate and the answer, and I’m going to quote it from a blog. I found it on my friend when, long ago I asked you to serve me and you accepted. I told you to push against the rock with all your strength and that you have done. But never once did I mention to you that I expected you to move it, at least not by yourself. Your task was to push. And now you come to me. Your strength spent thinking you have failed. Ready to quit. But is this really so? Look at yourself. Your arms are strong and muscled your back. See, nude and brown. Your hands are callused from constant pressure and your legs have become massive and hard through opposition. You have grown much and your ability now far surpasses that which you used to have. Yet still you haven’t succeeded in moving the rock. And you come to me now with a heavy heart and your strength spent, I, my friend, will move the rock. Your calling was to be obedient and push and exercise your faith and trust in my wisdom. And this you have done. I just think that’s a beautiful story that came from my mind from reading it a few years ago and then remembering it this month. And it motivated me. Did just get out there and help people. And I think I created a podcast about helping people just get out there and help people offer to help. And some people tell you how you can help. And some people you tell them how you will help. And it’s funny, because when I went to look this up today, when I was like, Hey, I’m gonna podcast about this I put in push the rock into the Web browser to search it, And up from the Web search came a different push. The rock story, which you may have heard, and I wanted to share its from Greek mythology. And so this story is about Sisyphus. Have you heard of him? It’s this Greek myth about this person named Sisyphus that came across a group of God’s talking and he heard the purpose of life or the meaning of life. And the gods noticed them. They’re like, Whoa, did you hear that? And he lied. And he said no, he didn’t hear the story and he went off and he applied the meaning of life and started doing great things. And apparently the gods were mad that he had lied and that he was doing these things because humans are supposed to suffer and go through all this hardship. So they thought of what they wanted to do with him as a result, you know, kill him or whatever. And they came up with the idea that they would have him push this rock and he would have to push it up this hill. And every time you get up the hill, it would just roll back down So he would be eternally frustrated and angry, right? Because he always do this hard work of rolling a rock up a hill and it would just keep coming back down. So he’s given this challenge and it is hard and he makes it up the hill and it rolls back down and does it a couple times and realizes, Okay, what’s going on? This is not working. And what a pain. And he’s angry and all the things. And then he has that thought that just do it one step at a time, right? Just go to this tree part way up, and then when he gets the tree, go to the next spot and then go to the next spot. So By the time he got to the top, he had enjoyed the process and literally kicked the rock down the hill. So because he’s realizing this is fun, I am anxious to see what I can do and trying to get this eternal rock this eternal falling rock. I guess I should say up this hill. And as I read the story on this blog that I found it on and then I went and looked it up on Wikipedia really quick to make sure you know, that this was actually a myth out there. I really liked this idea of pushing the rock as well, right? Just take one step at a time. Just do the work in the process of doing the work you will grow. You will make the connections you need to make. You will help those you need to help, and you’ll be able to look back and know that you offered up your best work because you were in the mindset of moving forward, obeying the laws associated with learning and growing and improving and success pushing the rock, knowing that it’s going to feel hard. But you’ll get creative in the process and you’ll help people and that sometimes in that process, we will come across things where, like I really should do that. And it will be a good should, right? He’ll be a should like, Yeah, you know what? If that’s what helps me get to point B, I’m going to choose to do that at Point A because it’s part of the process. But pay attention to whether it’s a good should or a different should, which I can’t think of a clever way to say that now that I’ve come up with a good should, right? But pay attention to that because if you are feeling like the should is against your desires and against the outcomes that you really want, then question yourself on why you should do that. In the first rock story, the man has decided he wants to follow the will of God basically, and so he wants to push the rock, no matter how hard it is, because he believes that there is going to be an outcome. He likes from that right? He’s talking to some omniscient beings, so he’s going to have some result he wants, so he felt like he wanted to do it. Then he gets to a point where he’s not seeing the results. He’s like, Okay, let’s have a talk here because this is not going how I wanted it to in the other story. It’s really interesting because the guy found out the purpose of life and was living it and was having great success. And then the gods didn’t want him to have that. And so clearly in both stories, the gods want us to do a little work, a little bit of sweat equity. But I think in the process we can also realize that the process is important. The overnight success isn’t really what we yearn for. We really yearn to overcome obstacles and to feel like we’ve gotten better at something and to be able to offer that better to those around us, to those we love serving and going through that process. We also get to notice and thank others that are going through their own growth process and are pushing their own rocks and trying to get to the outcomes that they want to encourage you to push the rock, whatever that is for you to keep doing the things the daily habits. The daily experimenting with an idea that comes to your head not knowing whether or not that’s the idea that’s going to be your big break, or if that’s the idea that’s actually going to be used at work. Oddly enough, I’m having more stories come to my head right now, and so I’m going to share them, because why not? Someone told me this week that they had a very interesting outcome to something going on at work. She was interviewing for a position she didn’t really want to interview for, but she felt like she should at least give it a chance because she had wanted to have that role for so long in the organization. And yet, because of the different politics and the different dynamics that go on, she kind of knew she wasn’t going to get it. But it would be a shame if she didn’t throw her hat in the ring for it, and she did not get the job. But it was interesting because another team she was on working on a different innovative project allowed her the chance to express some possibilities and ideas that she’s had on her mind. for a few years, and those ideas are going to move forward. They’re going to experiment with them and work on them. And she said, it’s interesting because what she desires to do she thought she was going to only be able to do through that role that she did not get. But in many ways she will have more freedom and flexibility to pursue those ideas within this other opportunity. She’s been provided isn’t that interesting? So all efforts for her to show up as herself for that interview didn’t help in the interview, but it happened to help for what she needed to do next. And that’s important because that also reminds me of a story I heard from one of my uncles as I was sitting listening to all the stories being shared at a recent family gathering, and he said, You know, often we don’t realize that our journey is going to be a little different than the inspiration we might have received. So, for example, you may see a sign on the road saying Las Vegas 500 miles ahead, and you might think you’re going to Las Vegas. You felt inspired to go to Vegas, for whatever reason, and you’re on the road to Vegas and somewhere near page Arizona, you get a prompting to go a different way, like a turn left here, right, Go go down by the vermillion cliffs and then take a left. And maybe you end up heading towards Phoenix instead of Las Vegas. And you’re like, What the heck is this? Why am I? I thought I was supposed to go to Vegas like that’s the whole reason I’m on this trip, that the inspiration leads you to Phoenix. And then in Phoenix you meet a person, and then you find an opportunity in San Diego. Let’s say, and you could think that’s odd going. I had the inspiration to get on the road and go to Vegas. But the reality is you were inspired to go to Vegas because you needed to be on that road and you needed to be on that road. So you got to that certain spot in Page Arizona, where you’re like, no, go take that little scenic route over there by the Vermillion cliffs And, Oh, by the way, once you pass them, you’re going to get a feeling that you should turn left or south or whatever. And you’re actually going to head toward Phoenix? Because right in Phoenix, on that day, you’re gonna be buying food at that place, strike up a conversation with someone, and they’re going to alert you to something that you’re really looking for, and that’s in San Diego and you’re gonna head to San Diego. But you could never have known that without going through with the prompting to get on the road, to go to Vegas and then following the prompting, an inspiration that came in Page Arizona to go by the Vermillion Cliffs and then from there, get the inspiration to go to Phoenix. And then you were hungry. So you bought food at that certain place, and at that certain place, you had the little prompting or the experience that led you to San Diego. Now that little story just made up didn’t happen. But the story about getting on the road to Vegas, what’s the real story? And I think a lot of us can look at experiences in our life where we go. Yes, I felt so inspired to do that thing, and then it failed. But then that failure and in the timing and the location and whatever else was going on was important in your journey, because then it led you to another thought, and that thought lead you to a different spot that lead you to something else. And it may have led to more failures. But through those failures you also recognized when something wasn’t a failure anymore. Where something change, something shifted and life was better and your work was better. But when you got to that good place, you still having you the memories of the failures and the experiments. And you have those experiences with you to take forward as you have the courage to take the next step and push the next rock and you’ll help more people because of those experiences. If you choose to because you’ll have more to share, you’ll have more understanding, deeper pain, deeper happiness, deeper experience. So keep pushing the rock, trusting that it’s part of the process that you’ll get stronger, that some things will get easier. And as some things get easier, other things will get harder because you have the capacity to do harder now because you are tough stuff, my friend you’ve been through a lot and you’ll go through more. But, you know, stuff you have something to offer, and you might be the strangest combination of what you offer that anyone else has ever met. And they may end up loving that right? That your your unique combination of things. That’s what you offer. Okay, keep pushing the rock. Look up the two stories. I’ll put them in the show notes because they’re kind of cool. They’re different, but they each make a point to keep going. Keep pressing. Keep offering up your best work. Have a great week. Have to know Mhm. Thanks for listening to the show today. If you enjoyed it, I’d love if you’d write a review and share the show with your friends, sign up for a weekly nudge at. Move your desk dot com. See you next Monday.