Good cultures are all about permission. Cultures can be improved by giving people permission to do things that make sense. Not giving permission to do good things creates fear and destructive habits. Below is a list of things I need to remind myself I have permission to do. In parentheses I have put the initials of the people who have said these things to me.

Dear self, you have permission to:

  1. Ask questions, even to your superiors (RF)
  2. Have long hair at work (JW)
  3. After doing activity x, do something neutral to reflect before transitioning to activity y (JJ)
  4. Come home after a long day of work and do nothing (AC)
  5. Ride your bike and think and process the world (DV)
  6. Say no when you don’t feel safe in an acrobatic or dance move (SS)

One reason I like self-help books and advice speeches is they give me permission to not feel bad about doing things that go against the grain. Right now, I’m taking a long time contemplating my medical career decision, and everyone is saying: “Go, go, go. Decide, decide, decide.” But John Cleese says that it’s good to take the maximum amount of time to contemplate, because that leads to a better solution. He even gives a comeback to say to people who pressure me: “Look Babycakes, I don’t HAVE to decide until Tuesday, and I’m not chickening out of my creative discomfort by taking a snap decision before then, that’s too easy!”

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s